Girls are naturally passive and submissive

The passive girl or #flirting afterBravo

I usually don't get upset quickly when it comes to the alleged conspiracy against women, I get quite annoyed with all this fuss that removes adult women from the authority and responsibility for their own lives, and that's why I miss most of the yelling about the bad, bad pressure that unjust society naturally exerts only and exclusively on the poor, small, defenseless woman. This time it won't work, this time I can't, this time I'm incredibly angry. So angry that at first I couldn't speak and was only able to do an incoherent tweet staccato.

The youth magazine BRAVO already published an article on July 6th under the title “This is how you get guys noticed: 100 tips for a great broadcast!” (BRAVO has now taken the text offline). For some reason it's only now getting passed around on social media and getting the attention I think it deserves. The tips that the magazine gives young girls predominantly suggest that the right way to deal with boys is to make yourself weaker, more vulnerable, “less” than you actually are and, overall, to become so sweet that boys even do girls can no longer take it seriously.

Dear Bravo team,

what did you think?
Your newspaper is read by young girls who are almost children.
What value system do you convey to these girls when you recommend them across the board to be passive and conformist? Quieter than the boy, smaller than him, clumsy and always "cute"?

First and foremost, it should be beautiful and smell good. Almost half of your advice deals with questions of clothing, gait, makeup and hairstyle. (A few episodes of "Germany’s Next Top Model" will certainly help her.)

Furthermore, it should:
... look up to him and act clumsily (tips no. 20 + 38). So she should pretend that she is smaller and more helpless than him.
... be passive and / or welcoming (15, 17, 21, 24, 25, 26, 40). And thereby lower the inhibition threshold for male access?
... imitate him in gestures, clothing and taste in music (18, 57, 65). She should put her own interests aside and adapt to his.
... stand alone as often as possible (27, 28, 36). Separation from the herd, or what is it?
... don't dress too sexy because guys might find them slutty (56).

The rest of the time she is supposed to put on some graceful theater, she should speak differently, walk, stand and laugh. You should - I'll shorten it a bit, okay? - be different from what it is all the time. So that the cute boy will notice you. It seems like sheer mockery to write “Be yourself” at the end of the list. Seriously: everything in me hurts when I read this. You are creating a society in which children learn that they have to pretend from the start in order to be liked. And in which girls believe that they need to care less than they are - quieter, more passive, more chaste. Your "tips" limit the girls' sexuality to curling and waiting. Instead of encouraging them to get to know their own body with its whims, needs, its small and large miracles, alone or in pairs and regardless of what anyone might think of them, the female physicality is pressed into a template tailored to the male point of view, hardly that the girls have their first period. The girl has to wait with his sexuality until the boy brings it to life. That sucks.

“Don't speak out loud, don't dress sloppily, but please learn to look as seductive as possible at the age of 12, with bare shoulders, stretched mini-breasts and at least half-high heels, be easy-care and inviting all the time. And alone as much as possible. "

This is the quintessence of your list and it is no triviality. You are addressing young people and thus the future generation. It decides what human interaction will look like in the future. Today's world is more normative than it was 40 years ago, when girls in blue dungarees advertised self-made Lego houses made of gray bricks. It is regrettable that 40 years of women's movement has created not less pressure between the sexes, but more, that the fronts are more hardened than ever before, and we have to accept this interim result, as bitter as it tastes. But that you actively help to prevent change and rethinking by doing your part to keep girls complacent and submissive, that makes me angry. Really angry. A 30-year-old can be expected to be mature enough not to put on every normative shoe. But not from an 11-year-old or a 14-year-old. She is exposed to your infamous whispers about what “guys like so much” without having the experience to realize that this is complete nonsense.

As a youth magazine, you should not only understand the concerns and problems of young people, but also help to solve them. With such small-minded, narrow-minded and normative contributions you do not solve any problems, but make children and young people unfree because you put them under a pressure that does not have to exist. The passivity you advise is the poison of our society because it is the reason women and girls become victims. Someone who learns from an early age that they shouldn't be strenuous, loud and not aggressive in the first place, lets themselves be dealt with a lot in life. Too much. And that is the reason why your contribution pisses me off so much: You give the girls this poison to drink, which works far beyond the moment. Because these girls, who with your energetic help learn that optics is almost everything and passive coquetry is the rest, also live it as adults and at some point pass it on to their children.

You know yourself that the article was disgusting, otherwise you wouldn't have taken it off the network without a word in the meantime. It is of course disappointing that you do not comment on it, but it may come. I only ask you one thing: no empty phrases. Please understand what such an article triggers. Adults laugh at him, they understand him, they stand above him, but adults are not your target audience. These are 10 to 17 year olds. What is going on in them when they read the list? Are you laughing too? Or maybe you look in the mirror and see a repulsive monster? Don't you dare to discover your own body and your own lust because it might come across as "slut-like"? Do you practice standing cross-legged to look slimmer?

We do not know it. And that alone should be reason enough for you never again to write relentlessly shit to such a young person in a corner. Not only do young people become freer as a result, society also becomes freer. Thanks.

Your
Meike