Words matter

This morning I overheard a little debate between a couple of young people, both were between 22 and 30. 

Women: “don’t call it that”
Man: ” what? That’s what they are; girl’s push-ups.”
Women: “no, they are modified push-ups, not girl push-ups” 
Man: “what are you so upset about, girls can do things men can’t, like have babies, and men can do push-ups.” 
Women: “I can do push-ups.” 
-the young women, then gets up, takes off her sweater and does 15 push-ups

Yes, this happened. I am not surprised that a young woman stood up for herself, I am not surprised that this young woman did push-ups, what I am so surprised by is that this didn’t seem to enlighten this young man. He was still dead-set on calling modified push-ups, girl push-ups. 

MEN, STOP! There are plenty of men who can’t do a single push-up, and a modified (lesser push-up) should not be defined as a “girl push-up”. Words matter. Women are not automatically lesser or weaker than men.  This young woman should not have had to DO a single push-up to prove her point.

There is so much meaning in the words we use.  I am often encouraged by the wisdom of the younger generations, but today, this young man’s response was defeating. There is STILL so much work to do!! 

If you still use this kind of language, I challenge you to re-think and re-frame your words. And if you are raising young boys or have influence with young people, please do your part in changing your language. IT MATTERS.