Why I hate the word “GIRLY”

Dear Daniel,

We had a conversation (argument) the other day. I ended up crying. Not because I was angry, but because I was sad. Sad that you didn’t understand.

It started off with you calling a song you didn’t like, “girly”. I hate that word. You know I hate that word. But maybe you don’t know why?

“Girly” has become a mean, derogatory word. It has become an insult, it has bad connotations.

What I want you to see is why I don’t want to use that word in our house, in front of our children.

When people use the word “girly” in that horrible demeaning way (even when “it wasn’t meant like that!”) they subconsciously start making assumptions about all girls. Things like “you run like a girl” or “you throw like a girl” (the list goes on…) make people think being a girl makes you weak and stupid.


It does nothing good for boys either. Showing emotion is “girly”. Being “girly” is weak.


I want to bring my children up in a world where they can do anything they put their mind to. I want them to grow up knowing they are equal.

I want Connie to be a mechanic, or a firefighter or a fucking rocket scientist if that’s her dream. I don’t want her gender to hold her back.

I want Angus to know it’s okay to cry if he’s sad and jump for joy when he’s happy. And if he wants to be a dancer or a nurse or an air hostess, he can.


It all starts with us. The language we use to them, to each other, to everyone else makes a difference to how our children see themselves and who they grow to be.

If we teach them, they will teach others. And that’s how the big changes begin, with a few little words.

As a son, a father, a fiance (urgh I HATE that word too) and one day maybe even a grandfather – surely that’s what you want? An equal chance for you loved ones. Free of assumptions and gender bias.


Lots of love

Beth x

About Beth Mackintosh

Mum of two, well, three if you count the man child. Weddings, skating competitions and the smell of a new book 👌🏼
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