The Danger of Weaponized Language Towards Girls

The Danger of Weaponized Language Towards Girls

As a child growing up in the ’90s, I often struggled to fit in with societal norms surrounding what it meant to be a girl. Being labeled as a “tomboy” often left me feeling like an outsider, and I was constantly bombarded with messages that suggested I wasn’t feminine enough.

But then I discovered the movie “Little Giants,” and suddenly I felt seen.

The film follows the story of a young girl named Becky, nicknamed “The Icebox,” who defies gender norms by playing on an all-boys football team. As a fellow tomboy, seeing a character like Becky on screen was a revelation. Finally, someone was celebrating the idea that girls could be tough and athletic too, instead of shaming them for not conforming to traditional gender roles.

Watching Becky dominate on the football field sent a powerful message to me and other tomboys like me: it was okay to be different, and our interests and abilities were just as valid as anyone else’s.

But “Little Giants” did more than just inspire a sense of camaraderie among tomboys. It also challenged gender stereotypes in a larger sense. Throughout the film, characters grapple with the idea that girls are somehow weaker or less skilled than their male counterparts. But when the boys and girls face off in a football game, it becomes abundantly clear that gender has nothing to do with athletic ability.

In fact, the film goes even further to subvert traditional gender roles. When Becky’s father sees his daughter’s football skills, instead of being proud or supportive, he’s disappointed that she’s not more demure and feminine. But over the course of the film, he learns to accept his daughter for who she is and recognize that her abilities deserve to be celebrated, not suppressed.

“Little Giants” was far from a perfect movie, but it had a powerful impact on me and many other girls growing up in the ’90s. Seeing a character like Becky–strong, confident, and unapologetically herself–was a game-changer. It taught us that we didn’t have to fit into narrow gender roles, and that embracing who we were could be our greatest strength.

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Written by Dustin Gandof

Dustin Gandof is a writer for BeGitty, a website about news and entertainment. He is interested in a lot of things including the production of music. In college, he studied at North Carolina State University.

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