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Random weird thought (yah, I know I never post but I'm trying to get back into by warming myself up over on Facebook):

Am I the only one who hates the phrase "screamed like a little girl?"  I know in some ways it is referring to a male shrieking and it being so high pitched that it sounds feminine.  But still...to me it wraps in connotations of someone being weak/a scaredy cat/etc...and links it with the concept of "girl."  I find it just as offensive as "pitches like a girl."  And I make sure I don't say it to my kids.

Pete said it today and I discussed it with him tonight.  He hadn't thought of it in that way.  I'm curious if I'm the only one who thinks of it in that way.

Comments

liminalia
Jun. 1st, 2009 12:26 pm (UTC)
How is the way a little girl screams different from a little boy? Does "screams like a little boy" sound like it could be used in exactly the same way?
reverendspork
Jun. 1st, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
I believe I made the comparison clear. In my opinion, a little girl's scream is distinct from a little boy's. "Screams like a little boy" would not work because as loud as a little boy's scream is, it generally cannot top a little girl's scream in terms of pitch. And I noted that *I* do not consider the gender in the simile when I use it, just the sound. That does not mean others do not consider the gender of the simile when using it, only I don't. And I'm not saying this as if I'm some sensitive-type male; I've just always thought it's the sound of the scream itself that invites the comparison. And a little girl's scream is, in my opinion, distinct from a little boy's. Thus, in my opinion, the simile as I use it is not sexist.
liminalia
Jun. 1st, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC)
However, research shows that there is no significant difference in vocal range or pitch between boys and girls pre-puberty.
(Apfelstadt, 1983, 1984; Cooper, 1992; Rutkowski, 1989; Smale, 1987; Tatem, 1990; Wassum, 1979)Source

Therefore, it is my opinion that your opinion and the use of the phrase in question are colored by unconscious sexism.
elmegil
Jun. 1st, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
I can guarantee you that G's scream is just as high pitched as any girl I've heard.

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