– Article taken from our partners at Blog4SDG’s
I am Georges, I was called “Lady” and I am going to tell you what happened inside my head.
On March 8th 2021, I went out for a ride with my Suzuki motorbike as I like to do when I have some free time. That day I took the direction of Katutura and wanted to visit the open air market.
On my way, I saw some young people playing basketball and others jogging: I decided to stop and went to talk to them. They allowed me to play with them and I was happy as I have not played basketball since last summer.
Out of nowhere, as we were just playing, I heard “basket, lady” then I felt insulted and I cannot explain. At first, I got confused and a bit embarrassed. I felt weak that I was called “lady” by someone I just met 5 minutes ago.
The worst is that I am used to people judging me, not being satisfied with what I have to offer and not seeing me. I am different and I do not try to be like other people around me. So I am used to comments and the look of people any time I stand for my values and principles.
Having experienced many different sorts of discriminations and having built a relatively strong personality, I could control my feelings and I kept playing. I did not express my feelings even though I can feel the weight of them.
Only today, march 9th, I started questioning myself. Knowing that I consider myself someone with a lot of respect for women. Knowing that I will always give more credits to my mother than I will ever give to my father.
Why would calling me a “Lady” affect me the way it did ? Why did I feel weak and embarrassed ? Why can calling a man “lady” be even seen as an insult or mockery?
Deep in our subconscious, women are pictured as weak, slow, and even incapable. Worst, those women who achieve great records in sport and defy all these stereotypes are only seen as exceptions.
Therefore, boys would not appreciate being called girls because the message that delivers to their brain is “weak”, “slow” and many more negative and embarrassing feelings.
It’s easy to say “I believe in gender equality…”, “I do not discriminate against women…” But here is the question: how do you react when someone tells you that you are working like a woman? Or that you are playing like a girl ?
It is crystal clear that there is a message behind telling a boy “you play like a girl” and the message always gets through. This means that the society has managed to establish a certain category for women and men do not want to be in that category.
The International Women’s Day – March 8, 2021 is over. We shall however, be more aware of the damage we create by spreading stereotypes on women. We should be more sensitive to women around us.