Happiness mapping and getting over gender mapping

When we look at the different societies in this world we notice that everywhere people are looking for the same answers and trying to find the best of luck and happiness.

Happy girl 5

Happy girl 5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We could have a look at those people around the world and see how much their ideas about happiness co-inside. We could use a scale from 1 to 10 to let them allow to give a rate for them feeling sad, happy, or somewhere in-between in their lives. Such scores could allow us to evaluate whether members were less or more happy as changes took place in their environment or surroundings.

An other way, certainly for places where people are not so literate or can not write, is to let them draw three faces – sad face, moderate face, and happy face. When present at the evaluation and the person is not quite sure what to draw or if he or she is hesitant, the evaluator can draw them based upon interviewing.

I also think it always would be best to compare situations: before, whilst and after. Participants can be asked where they are now in terms of their emotional well-being, and where they were during the period before the project/programme started. Are changes, if any, negative or positive? Are they gender specific or general?

It can be checked if women’s needs and interests both coincide with that of men (e.g. restoration of the coasts to coastal communities) and if women have gender specific needs and interests in that area (e.g. quotas for fisherwomen in markets).

The hunter of happiness

The hunter of happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By placing gender-roles expectations certain people are performing under their level. Myth Busters investigated the ‘walking like a girl” and the “throw like a girl’ myth, and argue that gender differences in throwing skill level are not innate but due to training.

Inside the ‘Run Like a Girl’ Myth and notices how a remark can  commonly be understood as an insult but for others it can mean something very positive. As such perceptions may change when getting older or depending on who says something. Performing more accurate, having more precision and others having more speed. The testers proofed that it is all about cultural formation and training.

Annika O’Brien wrote:

Telling someone that they do something “like a girl” is only meant to belittle them and is used as an accusation of weakness. I am a programmer and a maker, meticulous and very detail-oriented, both stereotypes of women. My college welding instructor was impressed at my abilities with a torch and many of the guys in my class said things like “Of course you’ve got great fine motor skills, you’re a girl!” and it made me feel more confident about myself in a male-dominated workplace. It didn’t matter that I was the only girl, my peers allowed my good qualities to speak for themselves.

The resulting squealing, coquettish giggling and substandard attempts at the task are very much in line with what the phrase ‘Run/throw/hit like a girl’  has come to mean in society.

However, the poignant moment comes when the same questions are posed to younger girls.

Rather than flapping their arms and making pathetic noises, those aged five to 13 instead launch into wholehearted, strong runs, punches and fearless karate kicks.

How Much for Happy

How Much for Happy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The reaction on such a remark gets more negative when getting older. It even can bring somebody not performing well at all or becoming very frustrated, and as such becoming not happy.

When asked to “run like a girl” a 20-year-old marathoner flailed her legs and mockingly expressed angst about her hair ; a 19-year-old with toned arms flapped her hands to demonstrate “fight like a girl”; and a 14-year-old volleyball player lamely flung her arm when asked to “throw like a girl”.

A new survey found the start of puberty and their first period mark the lowest moments in confidence for girls, and harmful words can add to that drop.

When challenged on their reaction to the phrase having seen how young girls responded, the older women seemed shocked.

People very fast know or get to see how they can touch or ‘harm’ somebody else psychologically. Fast people to use their words with the idea they may  insult and as such take the performance down. Hearing that they are doing something ‘like a girl’ can definitely drop a girls’ self-confidence and really put her down.

It is therefore important to know how a person interprets a saying or even better to avoid dubious talks or remarks, so that they do not have to figure themselves out when  somebody says to them ‘you hit like a girl’ e.g..

“They think they are a strong person, but it’s kind of telling them they’re weak and not as good as them.”

Another girl simply points out:

“Why can’t ‘run like a girl’ still mean ‘win the race’?”

Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield who conducted the social experiment into how people interpret the phrase: “like a girl” says:

“In my work as a documentarian, I have witnessed the confidence crisis among girls and the negative impact of stereotypes first-hand.

“When the words ‘like a girl’ are used to mean something bad, it is profoundly disempowering.

“I am excited to be a part of the movement to redefine ‘like a girl’ into a positive affirmation.”

With training people can overcome cultural bias. But hen we still have to take in account the emotional way of doing things, being more softly or more aggressive.

With training and good schooling men and women can come on the same level and find satisfaction in what they want to do.

Giving them opportunities to train in what they want to do they shall be able to find more happiness in their life.

Naturally not only the ability to make the choice for going for a profession shall bring more happiness. Other factors have to be looked for and one needs to explore what interventions, including gender specific ones, are required to make those people happy.




Please do find the Myth Busters Video on Discovery Channel: Throw like a girl results


Additional reading:

  1. Equal?
  2. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  3. Poverty and conservative role patterns
  4. Milestones for women ordered
  5. Women their education and chances to become a parliamentary
  6. Gender connections
  7. A bird’s eye and reflecting from within
  8. Father and motherhood
  9. Father counterpart of the mother
  10. Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive
  11. Dignified role for the woman
  12. Cosmina Craciunescu looks on Positivism
  13. 30 things to start doing for yourself – #6 is vital.
  14. Subcutaneous power for humanity 4 Not crossing borders of friendship
  15. Thirst for happiness and meaning
  16. We all have to have dreams
  17. Happiness an inner state
  18. The business of this life
  19. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands


  • The Quiet Clash Between Transgender Women And Drag Queens (thinkprogress.org)
    In March, RuPaul’s Drag Race, a reality competition show in search of “America’s Next Drag Superstar,” featured a mini-game called “Female or She-male.” Contestants looked at pictures of bodies and tried to guess whether the person in the picture was a drag queen or a cisgender (not transgender) woman. This prompted a backlash from many transgender activists, who were upset by the nature of the segment and its use of the word “shemale,” which GLAAD explains is a term that “dehumanizes transgender people and should not be used.”
  • Gender Integration and The Gender 360 Summit (girlsglobe.org)
    Correct language also proved to be a popular topic of debate. Advocates admitted that gender analysis typically includes jargon that may not be exciting unless you are already interested in the field. Aparna Mehrotra, Senior Advisor on Coordination and Focal Point for Women at UN Women, suggested that we ask ourselves: How we can change the language to incite others to join the conversation? What language and terms will resonate the most with local communities? Mehrotra stressed the importance of having an exciting and easily digestible vocabulary for basic regulations to get people interested. Then, ‘once the door is cracked open,’ more technical gender jargon becomes appropriate.
  • Always Ad About ‘Like a Girl’ Taunt Will Make You Cry Like One (jezebel.com)
    Helmed by documentarian Lauren Greenfield, who did the excellent doc Queen of Versailles, it asks grown ups to demonstrate running, fighting, and throwing “like a girl.”

    Always Ad About 'Like a Girl' Taunt Will Make You Cry Like OneExpand

    The results are what you’d expect: A grown woman running like an idiot, a grown man pawing at the air like an idiot, a grown woman throwing a punch like an idiot.

    I say idiot, because this is really what we mean when we say someone does something “like a girl”: It means like someone who doesn’t know how to do it, or does it like someone without skill or self-control. Flailing arms, poor form, general stupidity. Weak sauce.

  • Girl Power: Playing Like a Girl (uga.uloop.com)
    One participant sent an important message: “If you’re still scoring, and you’re still getting to the ball in time, and you’re still being first, you’re doing it right.  It doesn’t matter what they say…that is not something that I should be ashamed of.”Women and girls like Jen Welter, the first female non-kicker to play professional football, are showing that they have impressive athletic abilities and should be applauded for them.
  • Hell Yeah I Run Like A Girl! (runnergirlrobin.wordpress.com)
    I came across this video on the runners world facebook page, and absolutely loved it. When did doing something “like a girl” become and insult? Take my blog title for example; “Runner Girl Robin”
    I identify myself as a runner, and a girl. And obviously i don’t use any of those terms in a derogatory fashion.
  • Debunking the ‘gender brain’ myth (abc.net.au)
    Pop science is playing up differences between girls’ and boys’ brains, with potentially damaging consequences in the classroom and beyond, says an Australian cognitive neuroscientist.Dr Cordelia Fine will present her argument today at the Australian Council for Educational Research Conference in Melbourne on the brain and learning.”This dialogue about ‘boy brains’ and ‘girl brains’ makes us overlook the important point that, although there are average differences, boys and girls are far more similar than they are different,” says Fine, from the University of Melbourne.Fine says many pop science presentations claim that neuroscience has shown important differences between boys’ and girls’ brains, and sometimes suggest the two should be taught differently, and possibly separately.

    “These commentators appear to be getting a lot of attention,” she says.

  • Study says highlighting gender leads to stereotypes (pinkisforboys.wordpress.com)
    Parents with gender-fluid kids often work with schools, churches, and other institutions to use alternatives to gender for organizing kids in the classroom. Rather than dividing kids by boys and girls, use birth months or sneakers vs. sandals, or some other arbitrary distinction or characteristic. Sometimes schools are willing (and even grateful for the tip, which had often never occurred to well-meaning teachers to be problematic). Other times, schools are really uncomfortable with any implied ambiguity of gender.
  • It’s not, “You’re Acting Like a Girl,” … It’s, “You’re Not Doing It Right.” (katvela02.wordpress.com)
    These days kids are being taught that if you fail to do something or aren’t very good at it you are depicted and made fun of for acting too much like a girl, especially young boys. Why is it that young boys are being taught that? Why do young girls have to be downgraded and be considered an insult to our community when it comes to certain things?Now as an athlete I always heard that I should always be tough and don’t act like such a girl when it comes to getting hurt or failing at something, tough it out. What I didn’t realize was that my gender was being insulted. Who cares if I got a little upset because I failed at something or wasn’t good a certain things. I wasn’t acting like a girl because of it. One, I am a girl. Two, any one on this planet would be upset if they failed or wasn’t good at something like other people are.For those mom and dad’s out there, athletic or not, would you want your precious little girl to be insulted and teased for performing like a girl? No. You want what’s best for them and to always perform 110%, because They Are Girls.
  • Like a Girl? (carlyjcollins.wordpress.com)
    Say we transform the negative stigma attached to “like a girl” into a positive message and then someone tells me I kick like a girl. It’s meant as a compliment, but what will that compliment mean? That I kick with strength, skill, and confidence? What if I genuinely suck at kicking a ball? Or running? Or catching? Do I no longer qualify to do those things “like” a girl?I understand that breaking the stigma and encouraging girls to embrace the strength in their gender is important, it’s crucial. But I think as long as the conversation stays on gender, it will impede progress.
  • Throw Like A Girl. Or What Tampons Have To Do With Masculinity (newafricanmen.wordpress.com)
    When I watched the video I was reminded of an exhibition I saw a while ago by Zanele Muholi. It might have been her first solo show at Michael Stevenson. The exhibition had images of pads with menstrual blood. That’s not pretty art, no way. However, as a statement on the womanhood and sexuality and reality of black lesbian lives it was no doubt powerful. I don’t think queer black girls and women’s menstrual blood is what Always wanted to get me thinking of with the ad, but the art of black queer women and girls is where my mind went to even while I saw the ad had to with boys and masculinity.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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6 Responses to Happiness mapping and getting over gender mapping

  1. Marcus Ampe says:

    Reblogged this on From guestwriters and commented:

    For years people did believe that it was important to mark the differences between boys’ and girls’ because they would have different brains, and therefore the two should be taught differently, and possibly separately.

    Developping back to such a trend may be dangerous, enabling again creating a trend, which can have damaging consequences – not only in classrooms, but at home and work.

    Such claims may often be made on the basis of isolated brain imaging studies that have not been replicated, and in some cases have found to be wrong.

    Studies have shown that the differences between the sexes are either non-existent or they are so small so as to be of no practical importance in, for example, an educational setting.
    Dr Cordelia Fine presented also such an argument in 2013 at the Australian Council for Educational Research Conference in Melbourne on the brain and learning, where she said that males, for example, are often described as having a “spotlight brain” that processes information such as language in one hemisphere, while girls are supposed to have a “floodlight brain”, using both sides of the brain.

    Fine says everyone is a mix of masculine and feminine qualities and there’s no fixed way in which the qualities line up.

    “So being good at maths doesn’t make it more likely that you’ll be more aggressive, for example,” she says.

    “That’s not to say that biological sex doesn’t make a difference in terms of the brain, brain development, or brain responsiveness, but it does undermine the idea of the male brain and the female brain.”
    As part of this idea of a more interconnected female brain, females are supposed to have a larger corpus callosum, the thick band of neurones that connect the two hemispheres.

    She says while older smaller studies support these differences, the bulk of more recent data has found otherwise.


  2. carolburbank says:

    Reblogged this on Lead Me On and commented:
    Anyone ever tell you that you lead “like a girl?” Don’t let that stop you from leading forward, leaning in, making a difference, because of and despite myths and truths about gender differences. There is no one (boyish) way to lead! Great post…


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