The Challenges of Having Interests as a Woman


Sarah Conroy, Writer, Web Manager

No matter who you are, you have something that you love to work at or something that really fascinates you. Whether it’s a type of music, a sport, a movie, or anything else, everyone has something that they are interested in. These activities should allow people to decompress and bring joy when they are partaken in. But for about half the population, it isn’t that simple. Society seems to find a way to shame women for everything, and how they spend their free time is no exception. Now, this may seem like a bold claim at first, but once you hear a little bit more about it, you may realize that you’ve seen someone be, or have been, sexist to a woman who was just trying to do something that they enjoy. 

For example, we’ve all seen posts on social media about video games. In fact, due to their popularity, games are almost inescapable. There are posts about many different aspects of gaming by people of all genders, but the comments on those posted by women tend to be much different than those on people who do not identify as women. You generally see many comments about how her setup is probably pink, or that she just plays for her boyfriend – this is wrong for a number of reasons. There’s nothing inherently wrong with liking the color pink, but many people make fun of girls who do because it is ‘girly’. 

This is an example of the long-running tradition of considering something to be bad because you associate it with being feminine. This behavior is misogynistic because it implies there is something wrong with femininity and it should be subdued or hidden while more masculine things are okay, which contributes to the patriarchal idea that women should stay quiet about what they want. 

There are examples of this in every hobby or interest, such as seeing a woman listening to a certain type of music and immediately testing her knowledge of the band or singer because it is ‘for men’ when in reality women can enjoy any type of music – even the ones that have a largely male demographic. Or bashing a woman for being interested in romantic comedies or dramas because they are ‘too girly’; this is another prime example of putting down feminine things.

 It is beyond unfair to discredit a woman’s hobby or make her prove herself when you wouldn’t do the same to a Man or Non-Binary person. So, if you see a woman doing a hobby or interest that you think to question – don’t – and ask yourself why it is you are questioning it. Is it actually an unusual hobby, or is it one of the many things that society has been conditioned to believe isn’t ‘for women’?