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April 3, 2009

For every girl who is tired of acting weak when she is strong, there is a boy tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable.

For every boy who is burdened with the constant expectation of knowing everything, there is a girl tired of people not trusting her intelligence.

For every girl who is tired of being called over-sensitive, there is a boy who fears to be gentle, to weep.

For every boy for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity, there is a girl who is called unfeminine when she competes.

For every girl who throws out her E-Z Bake Oven, there is a boy who wishes to find one.

For every boy struggling not to let advertising dictate his desires, there is a girl facing the ad industry’s attacks on her self-esteem.

For every girl who takes a step toward her liberation, there is a boy who finds the way to freedom a little easier.

This text  is just awesome. I think everyone should see it; I’d like to paint it onto a poster and put it up at school. Why do we have to gender every human emotion? Why can’t people see that we are all more or less gender-variant? No one fits the stereotypes; or stereotypes don’t fit anyone. So who should we fix, the person or the box? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

I saw this for the first time on a handout, at my first Pride March; this post at Labels Are For Jars made me remember. By the way, Labels Are For Jars is a blog by an incredible mother who doesn’t force societal gender norms onto her (also incredible) boy; check it out!

Poem attributed to Nancy R. Smith. This site claims to contain the original 1973 version, called For Every Woman (different, but with the same general idea).

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2009 3:37 pm

    Thanks for the link to my site, for the visits, and for the kind words. Yeah, I still can’t get over the wonders of this poem…

  2. April 5, 2009 10:07 pm

    these folks did make a poster out of it! (on the lower right at the above page) not that you shouldn’t make a version of your own, but the quote definitely has resonated with lots of people — including myself…

    yeah gender subversion through graphics!

    • April 5, 2009 10:09 pm

      oh whoops, you already saw that… if I had followed the link I would have known!

  3. April 6, 2009 6:07 am

    That was beautiful. Thank you for posting it.

  4. April 6, 2009 10:31 am

    I wanted to say, the first time I saw that poem was at my birthday this year. My friend gave it to me as a present in the form of that crimethinc poster :)

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