9 Tweets Show the Daily Struggle of ‘Growing Up a Girl’

Hundreds of thousands of girls and women took to social media to share their experiences of gender discrimination.

(Photo: Sam Diephuis/Getty Images)

Jul 23, 2015· 1 MIN READ
Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.

The mysterious disappearance of bobby pins. The eternal struggle to find a pair of jeans that fit. Being told a dissenting opinion means it must be “that time of the month.” The fear of walking home alone at night.

Those are just some of the relatable experiences being shared by women of all ages on Twitter, thanks to the hashtag #GrowingUpAGirl. In the past week, the hashtag has garnered close to 900,000 tweets discussing the joys and perils of being female.

The hashtag started out with mostly fond memories of childhood—from wearing puffy socks with patent-leather shoes to owning every Barbie accessory. While tweets about the plentitude of hair products abound, the tag has also showcased the gendered social issues girls face, including the stigma surrounding menstruation, expenses, being shamed for clothing choices, and fear of sexual assault.

Bad Mood? Must Be That Time of the Month

Assuming moodiness or anger must be due to menstruation not only insinuates that a woman only disagrees or gets angry because of hormones but also questions a woman’s decision-making abilities. As the U.S. gears up for a potential female president, an op-ed published in Time hypothesized that Hillary Clinton was the perfect age to be president because she’s postmenopausal and therefore not swayed by hormones. However, Nicole Wallace, the former communications director for George W. Bush, recently confirmed that women are indeed capable of working while menstruating. “Yes, I worked in the White House, and yes, every 28 days I bled,” Wallace said during a panel discussion about women and their periods. “The country went on.”

Pink Tax

One of the most liked and retweeted posts simply stated, “#GrowingUpAGirl is expensive as hell.” A quick comparison of products, as evidenced by YouTube’s The Daily Share, proves nearly identical items such as razors, moisturizer, and perfume of the same brand and style are more expensive when tagged as a “for her” item.

Dress Code Double Standards

Summer months are often especially fraught for girls, who are repeatedly told to cover their shoulders, thighs, and cleavage for fear of “distracting” their male peers and, in some cases, male parents. Forcing teenage girls to cover up because their outfit might send the wrong message sexualizes girls instead of teaching their classmates that female bodies are not for male consumption.

Straight-Up Fear

With one in six American women experiencing attempted or completed rape in her lifetime, fear of sexual assault often polices how women and girls live, whether they're clutching their keys like a weapon, watching their drink like a hawk, or making nice with catcallers.