…because you’re a girl.

I hate that. I hate it with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. And of course I’ve heard it a lot. For as much as I hate it, it’s almost like I seek it out, considering how often it’s been said to me.

Today, December 16th, is #WearStarWarsShareStarWars Day, because a little girl named Katie was hassled for the clearly unforgivable sin of being a girl who likes Star Wars.

If you and I have ever met, you know I can sympathize.

I was the only girl who played in Little League in my hometown. I was the only girl who took the test to get my “computer license” so I could play with the computers in the library. I was the only girl who…a lot of things. And I lived in a VERY small town, so every single one of those things is amplified because there was no way for me to be written off as “one of the weird kids”. I was THE weird kid. And it sucked. It sucked rocks. It sucked out loud.

Instead of spending all my time feeling sorry for myself, I decided to use it to my advantage. I developed a thicker skin, and I realized there was a whole wide world outside that wide spot in the road, and who cares what these people think of me anyway? I’m not staying here! Did I cry because my feelings were hurt? Oh heavens yes. I was unhappy a lot, I mean, sometimes it would be really nice to just be a normal person and fit in.

It seems like fitting in would just be easier. I’m just not wired that way. So I had to have a sense of humor about it. I have a badge, and if I must wear it, then I choose to wear it proudly: The Exception To The Rule. I’m lefthanded. I’m a girl in tech. I’m much louder than my size would lead you to believe. I’m a reasonably fit American. Pick a rule, I’m violating it in some way. And I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I had shut up and listened to people who said I should go along to get along, just fit in, be like everyone else.

So today I’m wearing my Star Wars shirt, and my R2-D2 wrist cuff, and I’m off to go flaunt my Star Wars Girl-ness in public. Much like Katie, this isn’t exactly a special occasion for me, I’m pretty Star Wars-y most of the time anyway, and have been for virtually my entire life. (A childhood compromise: My mom bought me a 12″ Princess Leia. She thought it was good I was playing with dolls, and I got to play Star Wars. Everybody won.) And if you don’t like it, well, that’s too damned bad. Because if you liked me before, and now you know I like Star Wars and you don’t like me, well, the only thing that changed there was you.

May The Force Be With Katie.

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