"What Do You Mean By, 'Debate Like a Girl?'"
Let's be honest. The colloquial phrase, "like a girl," hasn't been a terribly flattering one. As a kid, it was a sneering insult that made an otherwise innocuous term sound like a four-letter word.
You hit like a girl.
You run like a girl.
You fight like a girl.
It is as if doing something "like a girl," meant that the effort was less than ideal. This brilliant video from Always was recently launched tackling this rhetoric.
Similarly, Verizon paired up with Makers to illustrate the subtle ways in which girls and young women are discouraged from expressing their curiosity and critical thinking skills.
Many people will contend that the necessity for gender equality has passed. There aren't any rules preventing women from becoming doctors, astronauts, mothers, teachers, artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, or politicians. Some may point out statistics that show a greater percentage of women enrolling in college to illustrate that everything is going great.
Except when it comes to representation in politics. Or only 3% serving as Chief Executive Officers. Oh, what about the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields? Nope, that's not too hot either.
One would think that being a highly influential leader in a public debate would mean that the content and quality of one's arguments would be the most important factor. They are, unless you happen to demonstrate some semblance emotion. Then journalists will pose the question, "Can Hillary Cry Her Way Back into the White House?"
So let's start reclaiming what it means to do things like a girl. Young women and girls can be as passionate, critical, articulate, argumentative, competitive, and successful as they want to be. There is no shortage of desire, curiosity, or talent among today's young women. That's why we're selling our "Debate Like a Girl" shirts and donating the proceeds to the Women's Debate Institute. The funds will help cover the cost of their tuition-free debate camp for high school and college aged girls.
The shirts also give you the opportunity to start discussing the power and potential of young women in forensics and debate. Though it isn't perfect, this activity celebrates the accomplishments, intelligence, passion, charisma, and efforts of a diverse community of individuals. If someone asks you what it means to "Debate like a girl," you have your answer.
Debating like a girl means using passion, critical thinking, logic, and strategy. How else would they do it?