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Marco A Pastrano

Professor Jon Beadle

English 115
2 November 2016

What does it mean to do something like a girl?

In an analysis of this advertisement, Always #LikeAGirl we can appreciate how it

delves into the like a girl sentiment, more specifically What does it mean to do something
like a girl? In the video we are presented with the various stereotypes that surround the idea of
doing something like a girl, but at the same time exposed to the fact that women are not like the
way they are portrayed, and demonstrating that women are something more than just a synonym
of weakness and submission. Ultimately, the video is calling for a better representation of
women for the upcoming generation.
Doing things Like a girl has always been a synonym of weakness, indisposition, debility,
incapacity etc. In the video we observe how the question What does it mean to do something fight, run, throw - like a girl?, is asked to normal regular little girls. Nevertheless, the little
girls portrayal of such actions are completely normal and a hundred percent less perceivably
influenced by societys stereotypes. This is important because we can finally perceive the
videos main argument, which is, that the stereotype of doing things like a girl is very
demeaning and detrimental to the development of a girl. .... those who are represented less often

in the media adapt by more easily identifying with dissimilar others .. even though they do not
see themselves reflected in terms of gender ( Collins, 1) . In here we can see how it explains
how individuals that are less represented or misrepresented are more prone to identify with
others that are not similar to them and therefore creating a sense of general uncertainty when it
comes down to find a valuable source of guidance. This is important because it reveals that the
video promotes the need for better representation for women in order to have good role models
for the oncoming waves of women .
Towards the end of the video, we can appreciate how a little girl is asked the same question,
but there is another feel to it. This is because this little girl is the personification of what it means
to be a child; innocent, obedient, fragile, meek, gentle and pristine. This is important because we
can see how the video makes a subliminal message that uses the idea of a pristine little girl that
believes that women are strong, and that has not been corrupted by societys stereotypes,
limitations, expectations and stigmas. As we move through our lives, society demands different
gender performances from us

and rewards, tolerates, or punishes us differently for

conformity to, or punishes us differently for conformity to, or digression from, social norms. As
children, and later adults, learn the rules of membership in society, they come to see themselves
in terms they have learned from the people around them. (Devor,35) . In here we can appreciate
how Devor explains the process of gender construction and states how society influences our
social norms. This tells us how society shapes us and holds us to certain social norms, especially
when it comes to gender norms and expectations. We can see a clear connection between
Devors and the videos argument, this connection tries to tell us how we should strive to depart
from the expectations and stereotypes that society places us on us, due to the detrimental effects

that it has on us. if This proves the need to change the way society views women as a whole, in
order to create a future where society influences our views positively and is free of all this
negative stereotypes.
In the video, stereotypes are a big theme, but why? Stereotypes have been very detrimental to
our society, it has placed limitations and expectations on various groups of people. As a result of
society imposing these stereotypes, it limited the advancement of those groups of people that
were being targeted by such stereotypes. In specific, women have been heavily impacted by such
forces of oppression and as a result, they have not given the same amount of fair treatment than
those of their counterpart, but now in the recent years we have seen a change on this matter.
Women now represent 47 per cent of the US workforce, compared to 38 per cent in the mid
1980s, according to the study. In sports, there was a rapid acceleration of women participating in
athletics at both the high school and the college levels after 1972 .Girls made up only 7 per
cent of high school athletes in 1971 to 1972 but that number is now more than 40 per cent.
College participation rates increased sixfold in the same time period. In 2012, 57 per cent of
women graduated with a bachelor's degree compared to 40 per cent in the early 80s, according to
the study, which is out today in Psychology of Women Quarterly. But these changes do not seem
to be reflected in people's' attitudes, the researchers found. ( Beall,1 ). This positive
advancement is crucial, but as the quote says, peoples attitude has not changed in regards of
stereotypes. This is important because it shows us just how strongly held this beliefs are, even
though there has been a considerable advance on womens societal status, we need something
more in order to completely eradicate this problem.

On the other hand, some may argue that males are being shamed when they do
something that doesnt fulfill their established expectations. father, concerned about public
crying, said about his five year-old son, I dont want him to be a sissy. I want to see him
strong, proud, not crying like a sissy.. (Kane, 94) In here we can appreciate a prime example
of society punishing the deviation of behavior of a given male. Although relevant, some may
also argue that women have been battered more than men regarding this theme. This is a
reasonable argument when we take a look to our past history of systematic sexism, for example:
not giving suffrage to women, the fact that women were expected to be nothing else but a wombs
with legs, expecting a good woman to be submissive to women... But one thing is true, that in
order to eradicate the problem of gender stereotypes we must look at the problem from all sides,
not only one, in order to gain a better perspective of the problem and figure out a solution to the
In conclusion, the video exposes the various stereotypes that surround women, and at the
same time, shows us how women are capable of utterly destroy and impeach such claims of
inferiority by demonstrating that they can perform any task, such as: running, fighting, throwing,
laughing or whatever, with all their might. And that doing something like a girl isnt a synonym
of weakness and submission, but rather a synonym of strength, power and determination. If that
was not enough it calls for a better representation of women anywhere, because it is crucial for
the upbringing of oncoming generations.


-Kane, Emily W. No Way My Boys Are Going to Be like That: Parents Responses to

Childrens Gender Nonconformity. Composing Gender, Edited by Rachel Groner

John F OHara, 14th Edition, Bedford Spotlight Reader, 2014, pp 91-97.
-Devor, Aaron. Becoming Members of Society: The Social Meanings of Gender
Childrens Gender Nonconformity. Composing Gender, Edited by Rachel Groner
and John F OHara, 14th Edition, Bedford Spotlight Reader, 2014, pp 35-45.
- Collins, Rebecca. Where Are We Now and Where Should We Go Springerlink, 22
Accessed 17 October 2016.

-Beall, Abigail. Gender stereotypes are holding strong: Beliefs about the roles of men and
are as firmly held as they were in 1980 Daily Mail.com, 9 March 2016,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3482589/Gender-stereotypes-holding strong-Beliefs-roles-men-women-firmly-held-1980.html Accessed 17 October