“You’re not like other girls.”- the phrase that several men have said to me over the years, to purposefully make me feel unique. To make me feel special and to- let’s be real- get into my pants.
As a teenager- this is the kind of thing that I loved to hear. In fact, it was my absolute kryptonite.
I don’t know if the same can be said for everyone- but I wanted to so badly be ”that girl”- because honestly? Who doesn’t want to be the stand-out person?
If you’re ‘different’ to other girls- then classically, as movies, media and fiction would suggest you’re now; a girl who steers clear of drama, a girl who isn’t precious about her looks, a girl who doesn’t care about her appearance (but still looks drop dead hot). You’re now funny, quirky, interesting, talented… you’re friends with the guys, you play video games- and you don’t embody any of the ‘classically feminine traits’ that society has given us.
But how damaging is that kind of phrase?
How utterly women-bashing, girl-hating and seeping with internalized misogyny is saying something like that?
Telling you that you’re ‘not like other girls’ is teaching you that other girls are your competition. Other women, who choose to act in a more ‘feminine’ way, wearing short skirts, being ditsy or liking fashion and makeup? Yeah- you’re above those girls. You’re ‘different’.
It’s a phrase that as I’ve come to learn and understand more about ingrained sexism in society, I’m trying to stamp out as much as I possibly can.
Other women are not your competition. Hell- we have enough shit to deal with, without throwing each other under the bus as well, for the sake of attracting a guy.
If you’re a woman- think for a second about if someone has ever said this to you.
Did it make you feel unique? Attractive? Special?
It’s the kind of attitude that breeds bitchiness- and the thing is- NEWSFLASH- there is no such thing as “other girls”. There is no stereotype that can be placed on the majority of women in our society that will effectively satisfy every girl without offending them.
You can be drama-free and like doing your damn nails. You can be mates with boys and still enjoy fashion. You can wear a fucking short skirt and still be intelligent, creative and funny.
But I’m afraid- feminism isn’t just about changing male attitudes to this kind of thing- it’s also admitting that you’ve partaken in this kind of girl-hating and potentially recognizing your own shitty behaviors- in order to make a change.
Nowadays- I want to be like most girls! I want to be creative like some women, smart like others, kind and compassionate…
So, if anyone ever tries to give you this compliment. Stop them. Educate them.
Hey, even send them this blogpost!