Thursday, July 07, 2005


So when I was in the same major sports store where previously blogged about swim paddles were being sold, I saw a stand of t-shirts made for girls who participate in various sports (tennis, volleyball, soccer, softball, and a few others I think). The shirts played off the old disparaging remark: you throw like a girl. These shirts though are trying to reclaim the "like a girl" part by using slogans such as "kick the ball the past you--just like a girl" "ace you/spike it/ hit it out of the park...just like a girl"--you get the idea.
In terms of design and attitude they were very bold. And I myself was tempted but being the good postmodernist that I am, I decided to question my initial response and the t-shirts purpose.
Can we or should we reclaim the "like a girl" phrase when it comes to athletics (or anything for that matter)? Are we just reifying the binary of girl/boy man/woman? And probably most importantly are t-shirts like this really attempting to highlight the accomplishments of female athletes or encouraging them to stay "like a girl"--i.e. feminine, and sticking to competing on their own fields with their own kind--not challenging boys?
Thoughts, anyone??

1 comment:

EBuz said...

I'm trying to think this through with my radical, subordination theory cap on...
I guess i like the empowerment angle of it. Encouraging girls to develop their physicality and awareness of their bodies is good.

But what we need to probe is whether the slogan emulates and reinforces "masculine" values--perhaps arrogance & hypercompetitiveness--that created the power structure to begin with? If so, the shirts are just trying to get us to adopt the value system of the dominant power group in a show of "me-too" liberal feminism.