On Being a Girl

I love being a girl. In a time when we celebrate everything from chocolate chip cookies to best friends, pizza, dogs, margaritas and more, I’m glad to celebrate girls on International Day of the Girl.

Over the years I’ve often thought: “Man, I’m glad I’m a girl” (Funny that that sentence begins with “Man.”). I don’t know why exactly I’ve held this sentiment, because like most of us, many times I’ve I wished I were the other gender. There are the obvious moments, like once a month, or when I’m cleaning a gutter. And the less obvious, when the subtleties of a less than mind set crept into an experience, and even into my consciousness, and I questioned the value of being a girl. Yet ultimately, I’m always glad that I am, a girl.

In a Me Too era, I’ve had cause to reflect and ask if I’ve been a victim of a Me Too experience, where being a girl has put me at a disadvantage or at risk, in my personal life, or in the workplace. I’ve recalled some moments that could qualify. Fortunately, I’ve been able to escape anything that would cause me trauma. But I am able to empathize with women who have had to come head on with experiences that have been detrimental to their well being. But in those horrible moments, being a girl was not the problem.

I’ve never struggled with confidence of knowing my gender. I can’t imagine the struggle of those who are told they are a girl (or a boy), yet their spirit says otherwise. I recognize some incongruences between the stereotypical girl, and myself, but still know that I am a girl. I’ve had many moments when my mentality is more male like than female. For example, I eat more than most of my friends in a single sitting. I love red meat (the redder, the better), and before I chose to be a good example to my kids, drinking out of the milk carton was cool with me. Giving me flowers is sweet, but I’d rather have you mow the lawn or do the laundry. I love jewelry, but not at the cost of pinching pennies. I like honest feedback, and don’t like to beat around the bush. Actions mean more than words. I snicker at smack in sports. In the workplace, respect is necessary, but make your point and skip the niceties, because usually, timing is crucial. I’m impatient with call centers who ask how I am. If I’ve contacted you, I’m in the middle of a problem and am hoping for a solution, not a social experience. I’m not a fan of Girls’ Weekends, yet I love my friends and don’t know how I could do life without them.

This girl and her red meat.

This girl and her red meat.

Yikes. I’ve never listed all those things before. I sound like a dude! I know that I’m generalizing, but for years, that’s what we’ve done. It’s not uncommon for both men and women to associate being female with romance, needing or wanting expensive gifts, or being gentle in their approach. But not all women possess those traits, like not all men like to hunt.

I’m a girl who likes diamonds, flowers, candles, clothes, and in general, beautiful things. But those things do not make me a girl. I just am a girl. Probably, a practical girl!

In spite of what could be perceived as my male like mentality, I am fully a girl. I like diamonds, flowers, clothes, and in general, beautiful things. But those things do not make me a girl. I just am a girl. Probably a practical girl!

I love looking like the girl that I am. I love dressing like the girl that I am. I like what my girlness brings to my life and to the lives of others. I like the complexities of a female, such as the strength we are, and the tenderness we demonstrate. I like connecting with men (even though the last years might look otherwise), with a feminine heart and spirit. I enjoy a man who opens doors and pays for dinner. I am happy to know a man who cooks, is a caretaker, takes good care of himself, and provides for his family. I appreciate a man who does the heaving lifting. I love letting him be a man, and me be a girl. I’m not confident I can define that. I just know that I am a girl, and I am glad.

I celebrate femininity, strength, and being a girl. Happy International Day of the Girl!

2 replies
  1. Lizzy
    Lizzy says:

    Great blog, Joni! You’re such an awesome communicator. I’ve never heard of International Day of the Girl here in New Zealand. And can’t say I’d pay it much attention if I did. I find so many of the never-ending American “this day commemorates this or that” a bit over the top. In my view, we should celebrate one another, for whatever reason each & every day. No need to label it. However, that aside… I could relate to many of your comments. I’m a “tomboy” at heart. Aside from VERY few female friends, my best mates are guys. Suffice it to say, I have more in common with them. I’d rather talk rugby than shopping and beauty treatments. I’d rather have a beer & chew the fat in a local pub then go away for a girl’s weekend. I’d rather wear track pants or running shorts and a t-shirt or hoody rather than a glam outfit. I hardly wear makeup these days and wear baseball caps more often than not to avoid having to do my hair. But my daughter’s a real “girly girl”. And I respect and admire her (and all those who are as well). It’s just never really been me. And I wonder, where has that term, “tomboy” gone, in this day of folks seeking their gender preference (gay, heterosexual, trans, bi, etc). Hardly hear the expression any more. I’d still rather climb a tree than have a manicure, just sayin’ 🙂

    • Joni Thurber
      Joni Thurber says:

      Hi Lizzy! I know. A day for this and a day for that, it is over the top, like everything else American! I agree about the word “tomboy.” I love it! Because tomboys are still girls. As much as I love pizza, I probably wouldn’t have written about International Day of the Pizza. But being a girl seems to bring on so much confusion these days, I was compelled to celebrate us, tomboys or otherwise. We’re all people, with unique and varying personalities, who are also boys and girls. For some, there is confusion, which has to be a terrible burden to carry. We are fortunate. I love seeing your name in my blog comments. Love you!


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