When I was growing up I often saw girls wearing Girl Power t-shirts. When I was a young adult women frequently said, “You go, girl” to each other.
Now that I am old we women have something new: Strong Women memes on social media. This is what my search looked like:
These harmless memes wash over me like cheap compliments - self-congratulatory, impersonal, and not rooted in reality. Perhaps you’ve seen one of them - there are many - and many of them end with “type YES if you agree.” Yeah, no. Not typing YES.
Today it really hit me how sexist many of these graphics are.
So I flipped a few of them on their heads, switching female and male words and adding my own images. Suddenly these don’t look so harmless.
Reversed, these feel ugly and even threatening. Sexism goes both ways, and I don’t think it’s cute or useful. And yes, that’s Thomas Jefferson’s face up there on Rosie the Riveter. My apologies to the man.