“But , It’s Not Ladylike!”

By: Zeinah Hesham

The Earth is a bit over 4.3 billion years old. Our planet has existed for billions and billions of year and I’m proud to illustrate what we’ve seen so far.

In this world, we’ve seen slavery stop , people falling in love minding the sex or quantity , women finally having jobs  but we’ve also seen the worst. We’ve seen racism , sexism , homophobia , misogyny and all type of discrimination.

I’ve seen women and men daily prove to the world that they’re capable of doing anything that they set their mind to and yet I never seem to escape the phrase “It’s not ladylike” or maybe for a man “Man Up a little”. No matter how far we go , we still live in a place that accepts, tolerates and encourages those two phrases to be said on a daily basis.

Why exactly should my capabilities be limited to what matches your expectations of an entire gender? Or race? Or religion?

According to many people, I’m expected to sit still and look pretty. I’m expected to do well in work but not too well so that I’m not threatening any man. I’m expected to work out but not too much so that I don’t look manly. I’m expected to be confident but not to the point where it intimidates men and makes me ‘unapproachable’.

Day by day people look at me weirdly because I do not fit in with my generation. I do not typically care about my butt and boobs as much as I should. I don’t spend my time worrying about a guy who only cares about said butt and boobs. I don’t spend every night wanting to go out to party and drink. And I definitely do not go out of my way to please anyone that ends their compliment with “…for a girl.”

Women have fought for their rights for so long and I do not know what it’s like to be in a protest but I do know what it’s like to know that you can’t walk alone , to know that you can never get a drink from anyone , to know how to act when you get cat called , to know how to earn someone’s respect in a job , to know how to prove to everyone that you are worthy of every single thing that you have and wish for.

Women face battles every single day and if that is not lady like then you are only describing a pet that sits at home and waits for your beg and call. If you want me to act like a ‘lady’ then be worthy of what you think is a ‘man’.

Because of society, I am considered not lady like just because;

I’m a girl that lifts weights.

I’m a girl that likes learning.

I’m a girl that is confident and loves herself.

I’m not strong for a girl. I’m just strong.


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