“This might be the most sexist thing I’ll ever say … Do girls have hobbies? There’s a select few but it’s rare [to have] a camaraderie hobby like us, we go to the skate park … but they don’t choose the hobby.”
Yep, that is what I heard while scrolling through TikTok. It was a soundbite taken from a random podcast, where two guys wondered if women had hobbies. Like women aren’t just normal human beings with their own interests. Luckily, plenty of women on TikTok went to prove them wrong, using the soundbite to show off their hobbies. From woodworking to rollerskating to art and sports, women showed off that yes, we do have hobbies. But this made me think about women and their hobbies… and the way they’re perceived.
Think about the hobbies or topics that women would stereotypically be interested in, things like makeup or knitting. Or think about “types” of teenage girls that people make fun of. You know them, the “hot Cheeto girl,” or the “VSCO girl.” No matter what women choose to be interested in they’re immediately demonized, weaponized, and made to seem vapid.
And god forbid a woman to be interested in something that’s dominated by men. If a woman is interested in a “guy hobby” like video games, or skateboarding, everyone thinks she’s either doing it for male attention or is completely incompetent. Women already have to deal with mansplaining but let her be interested in a male-dominated hobby she’ll have every guy within a 5-foot radius trying to explain something that she already knows about.
Part of the issue is that hobbies that are dominated by women aren’t taken seriously… because they are dominated by women. Knitting isn’t seen as a hobby, it’s seen as something “old women” do. Doing makeup isn’t seen as a hobby, it’s something that women are expected to do. Cooking or baking isn’t seen as a hobby, it’s something that women are again, expected to do. Hobbies aren’t seen as legitimate by our patriarchal society unless men are involved. And if women enter a male-dominated hobby, men believe the only reason a woman could be interested in something like skateboarding would be to get their attention.
I think this honestly all boils down to not seeing women as… human. Women aren’t seen as whole people, capable of having hobbies, interests, and dreams. We’re seen as sex objects or maybe housewives. We’re seen as one-dimensional objects catering to every man’s whim. Women are expected to give up any interest they have for themselves to cater to the needs of everyone else. And these issues compound as identities intersect. Able-bodied people don’t care about disabled people’s interests or dreams, they just want to use them as “inspiration.” White people don’t care about hobbies that people of color do, they just want to pick and choose what culture they get to appropriate. The oppressor will always dehumanize the oppressed. If they didn’t, then they would have to face the damage that they’ve inflicted.
So enjoy your hobbies, whatever they are. Every day you live your life to the fullest, you’re proving a lot of people wrong. We’re all just human after all, and we all just want to have fun.