Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Already Have a Pair

So I'm reading some women's magazine (a mistake, I know) and I come across this article entitled: Do You Need to Grow a Pair?

Are you effing kidding me? I'm reading a magazine that is supposed to be for women and here they are perpetuating the notion that assertiveness and confidence are innately connected to whether or not you have testicles. I mean seriously! No, I do not need to grow a pair of balls because I am female. My pair of ovaries are fully functioning and give me the ability to contribute my genetic material to offspring—if I so choose.

I know what you’re thinking: calm down, Sha’Donna, they don’t mean you literally need to grow a pair. Yeah, I understand the use of figurative language just fine. But the metaphor is problematic in what it implies about the “nature” of being male and female. If the women’s magazine is trying to instruct women to go against confining gender norms that encourage women to be passive, unassertive and polite, then kudos to them because some women do need to practice standing up for themselves. But likening becoming more assertive to having a pair of balls reinforces the gender norms that they are encouraging women to resist and that is kind of ridiculous.