Oh yes, we’re jumping on the #LikeAGirl bandwagon, and proud to admit it!
My dad was a former college baseball player who had three daughters before he had a son. He had us in the backyard throwing the ball for as long as I can remember. I was so pleased with myself every time I could throw a ball so hard it stung his hands. Once I overthrew the ball, watched it sail over his head and break one of the windows on the house. I momentarily froze, thinking I was in so much trouble! Then I saw the smile on his face as he said, “You throw just like a boy!”
My grandfather played semi-pro baseball in the 1940’s and 1950’s. He was a dairy farmer and Bishop who worked hard to provide for his family and loved his grandchildren. He stayed pretty busy running the farm but never a missed a tournament when my softball teams traveled to his sunny part of the state in Southern Utah. It was during one particularly close game that I was instructed by my coach to bunt to advance the runner. Back then I was also pretty fast. I laid down the perfect bunt and beat the throw to first base! I used to relish listening to my proud grandpa flash his gold-toothed smile as he told the story of the time I “bunted the ball just like old Ty Cobb!”
I threw ‘just like a boy’ and bunted ‘just like Ty Cobb?’ Why was I being compared to men? Why couldn’t I just be incredible, #LikeAGirl? My dad and grandpa were far from sexist ‘meninist’s’ – they were my biggest proponents as an athlete. They did nothing but coach and support and encourage me and my sisters to hone our skills, be good teammates, and play our best. But they’d never seen a girl play sports! They didn’t grow up with Title 9 like we did. So to them, they had nothing to compare a badass girl athlete to – other than boys and men.
Now we all get to do things a little differently, and support and encourage girls just for being girls. Does this take away from boys and men? No! How could it?
Are we stoked about #LikeAGirl?! I think that’s an understatement!