"Like a Girl" |

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31 March 2015
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"Like a Girl"I recently attended Women to Women conference regarding women working with men who batter.  It was awe-inspiring that there were quite a few of us female facilitators for a Battering Intervention Prevention program (BIP).  Sitting at a small table of 10 ladies maximum, we discussed our roles as women facilitators of men’s battering groups.  The conference could have lasted more than the 4.5 CEU hours, because we had so much to discuss.  In the discussion, we talked about how men perceive us as women, as well as how us, women, perceive men.  Somehow society places us in a “man box” and “woman box”.  It’s a way to categorize and make sense of our surroundings, but these boxes do not have to have solid lines (and should not).  So, what is in the “man box” and “woman box”?

“Man box”

aggressive, don’t show emotions, never back down, get the last word, get the last punch, don’t be a pussy, don’t be gay, man/head of the house, provider…

“Woman box”

submissive, emotional, place yourself on the back burner, don’t compete, caregiver, belongs at home, get behind your man, cook, clean…

The lists can go on and on with both of these boxes on how each gender should act or their role.  When a man steps out of the “man box” and a woman steps out of the “woman box” they are viewed as anomalies, or abnormal.  After all, men aren’t suppose to show emotions… they might be caught by the “men police” or women are not meant for CEO status, unless she did sexual favors.

My biggest question to society is why penalize and shame those that step outside of our gender boxes?  Embrace and support one another in their own discovery.  Show each other that it is okay to step outside of these boxes that society has defined us in and create your own box.  What does your box look like?  Are you letting others define who you should be?  I’ll leave you with this encouraging video of knowing who you are and to embrace yourself, regardless of what society says…


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