girls are not the enemy.

| Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Today’s Tune – 32 Flavors

I have a rant for you today! AREN'T YOU LUCKY!!!

For some reason, the past few days have left me feeling inundated with a certain phrase that I hate hate hate. Real life, internet life, in the stuff I read… it feels like it’s everywhere, and it makes me sadpants.

The worst part is I understand the mentality behind the phrase. I used to subscribe to the mentality for a short time when I was in my teens. I know it’s extremely common for so many reasons. And still, it makes me so sadpants.

I imagine if you are female, you have probably heard this phrase said by another female. Perhaps you have even uttered it yourself at some point. It has some variations, but the gist is as follows:

“I can’t relate to girls. I get along much better with guys. Guys ____________.”

The blank can be filled many ways. Aren’t catty. Are more fun. Are more laid back. Aren’t into stupid things like makeup and doing their nails. Don’t do drama. Are just better.

Like I said, when I was around 17-18, I bought into this. I was going through a rough transition period from high school to college - my roommate and I didn’t get along, she and her friends didn’t like me (nor I them), and my three best friends at the time happened to be male. And I happened to have a huge crush on one of them, but that’s beside the point. Later that year, I managed to find some female friends who were awesome and not jerks, and my whole “guys are soooooo much better to hang out with than girls because girls totally suck” mentality went by the wayside.

Anyway. I bring this up because I’ve been reading YA shorts and such around the internet, and I’ve seen this theme pop up more than once. I’m sure it seems vaguely familiar to you: quirky tomboy has male best friend(s), can’t get along with girls because they’re jealous of her/hate her for being so BOYISH and/or COOL WITH THE GUYS, and she’s super unique among the vapid girls of her school because she likes BOY THINGS! Like cars and video games and kung fu movies. And she’s bored by GIRL THINGS! Like chick flicks and makeup and shoes.

This mentality is so damaging, and I really hate that I was part of it for a while, but it happens. There are a lot of reasons for it. The immense pressure on girls/women to compete with one another, the desire to fit in, the quest for male attention (whether friendship or romantic), distancing oneself from the feminine because girly = weak/stupid/lame, trying to achieve more validity as a person by being more “like a guy,” because guys like guys and girls like guys, so everyone should like a girl that’s LIKE a guy, yes?

I don’t know about you, but I have NEVER heard a guy say anything resembling, “I just prefer the company of girls, you know? Guys kind of suck.” Know why? Because guys don’t think guys suck. They don’t try to distance themselves from their own gender by convincing themselves and others that they’re the one member of their sex that “gets it.”

Truth: none of us are that special. None of us (women) are the one special unique snowflake girl that is above the rest of the female population and just can’t relate. We absolutely can relate. There are girls out there that get us, that are like us, that will be our friend. But only if we let them. Reducing your entire gender to one stupid/silly/lame caricature reduces YOU to that caricature. It hurts us all whenever we’re lobbed into the “all girls are catty/backstabby/bitchy/boring/stupid and only care about looking pretty and gossiping” category. It’s not true. All it does is devalue the feminine by making “male” activities (which are not actually male activities, btw) the “cool” thing.

For crap’s sake, there’s nothing wrong with liking makeup. There’s nothing wrong with liking video games AND makeup. I know it’s hard when you feel like the females in your life are hurting you, or you’re looking to be accepted by a group of guys. Or one particular guy, let’s be honest. But I promise you, women aren’t your enemy. You have friends without penises out there. You just have to let down your walls.


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