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Tutterrow: The general outlook on girls’ interests is unacceptable

Ken Scar // Clemson University
Three Clemson University horticulture students share a laugh while planting mango seeds, Dec. 1, 2016.

Growing up, and even still in 2024, there have always been certain niches of culture deemed just for girls or just for boys. The way society typically interacts with these concepts has created an issue beyond simply forcing people to conform to norms; it has also created a culture of hate surrounding the interests of girls within this sphere.

As a child, toys such as dolls or playing dress-up and experimenting with makeup are characterized as “for girls,” while playing sports or having an interest in cars is spotlighted as “for boys.” But, as children typically find, curiosity strikes, and kids begin blurring the lines between engaging in activities for boys or girls. 

While this does not in itself present an issue, the problem arises when girls are praised and revered for being into things that generally interest boys, while boys are chastised for taking a second glance at activities deemed for girls. 

This disparity, even from an early age, shines a light on the way society downplays the interests of girls, such as liking dolls or makeup, often ridiculing those who choose to participate in this trend. However, this inherent hate towards girls’ interests does not stop after elementary years. In fact, it ages with us. 

At a collegiate level, people love to pick on the image of a “basic girl,” often ridiculing the common interests of girls in the 18-24 age range. It is not uncommon to hear judgments placed on girls who join a sorority, wear common athleisure and drink water from a Stanley cup. Not to mention, some majors that contain a more significant proportion of female students than male students seem to be looked down upon for being easier or less important than those that men dominate. 

For example, women seem to make up a larger proportion of enrollment in social sciences and health sciences, while men tend to dominate in areas of math and technology, according to Gitnux Market Data.

Coming off of a year full of popular culture aimed toward girls of all ages, the general attitude toward these interests has been one short of welcoming. Two of the largest phenomena of 2023 aimed towards girls were inarguably the hit film “Barbie” and singer and songwriter Taylor Swift. 

Both of these pop culture phenomena have done little to disrupt order or ruffle feathers within the past year; however, they have been met with hate from audiences. In my opinion, these people seem to have no real reasons for genuine hatred and seem to be simply grasping at straws and missing the point of the art produced by both “Barbie” and Swift. 

There is no current equivalent of this phenomenon based on content aimed towards an audience of men or basic commonalities between boys that get ridiculed to the extent that we pick apart and hate on that of girls. 

The most common similarity between these things and the constant hate they receive is simply the fact that girls like them. As a society, it’s time to grow up and realize that we should stop hating things just because girls like them. It is too much of a coincidence that the things that society often picks on seem to be more widely appreciated by girls. 

While this is a step up from the misogyny that women have faced throughout history, it is proof that there are still subconscious remnants that we should be aware of. 

Kylie Tutterrow is a sophomore political science major from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Kylie can be reached at [email protected].

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Kylie Tutterrow
Kylie Tutterrow, Opinion Editor
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