Yeah, so I’m a girl. That means a lot of things to me: that it is acceptable for me to wear a skirt, and that my voice is higher and I’m shorter than most of the un-girl population. It also means that my room is painted baby blue and that I have a dolls house, and that I love ballet more than anything else…
Well, not really. These stereotypes may be considered part of the female populace, but I know at least two boys who love ballet, and I’m sure plenty played with dolls, just as we have probably all fiddled around with matchbox cars. And I suppose skirts are really no different to the Scottish kilt. I’m not even that short.
Some things, I just couldn’t be or do or have, without being a girl. Being a girl means I go to the school that I attend, instead of the male equivalent half a mile away, it means I have the friends that I do and that I wear the clothes I choose to wear. It also means I get cramps once a month and that I sing in the soprano part of my choir. In ballet, I’ll be on pointe and I don’t need to worry about supporting any weight but my own. Being a girl is a pretty trivial thing, most of the time; just because we have never known anything different.
But sometimes, in some sort of moment when your brain goes really philosophical, you sit down and realize how special it is to be female. In being born a girl, you’ve already overcome the chance, which is just over 50% of being male – so you are already more rare and unique. In all honesty, however, you are so special because, with most women; anything they achieve, they are already defying what people thought they could do.
Once upon a time, a woman wouldn’t have a job of any status, she’d be owned by her husband, she wouldn’t be properly educated. If a girl goes to school and goes on to a good job, then she has already done what many people, once upon a time, would never have believed possible. If she marks a ballot paper and votes for a new Prime Minister or President, then she is doing what men said women were too weak to do.
To me, that’s really something. Just being a girl at school, right now, means that I am surpassing ancient expectations. Nowadays, there are far less pressures on women; but some things are still here. If you like a boy, and you ask him out – that’s too eager. Your average girl would flirt and sit around and wait for him to ask her…and in society, that’s not too keen. As a girl, you are expected to follow certain trends – you get told that you should wear makeup or high heels, follow fashions.
Boys don’t seem to have all this pressure on how they look, and that appeals to me sometimes – to not be told I should care.
Most of my role models are fictional characters, because these people are often far better than in real life. One of the women in a book that I admire greatly, is Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series. The one thing that makes her special and unlike anyone I’ve ever met, is that she honestly doesn’t care about what other people think about her. She is brave, good, witty and loyal; and she is fighting against the Dark Lord wearing a necklace made of butterbeer corks and billywig earrings.
Another is Katherine Valentine, from Mortal Engines; because she was a strong female without being violent or coarse – she broke down barriers within “London”, she put cities that could feasibly kill her first, because of the civilians inside, and finished her mission with death, when she realised she could do no more, and when not doing so would kill a stranger who had more to give. Those are the heroes, of my books, but more special to me are girls like Sylvie (Sylvie and the Songman) or Clarice Bean – they are good people who I can be like, who I can achieve with and feel like they are completely real people.
So, yeah, I’m a girl. In some ways, that means nothing, and in others; well…it means the world.