Throughout childhood and adolescence we all heard it. Most of us still hear it.
“I’m a guy’s girl.”
“Girls are too much drama.”
“I’m not like most girls.”
These are seemingly silly offhand comments that I never took much to heart until recently. Then, I sat and thought about what these women were actually saying.
In the worst case they are actually buying into the stereotype that the media has for us that we are all one-dimensional, catty, drama-adoring, celebrity-obsessed Barbie dolls—in the best case they are still disregarding an entire gender’s worth and friendship value.
Maybe it’s just because I’ve been blessed enough to be surrounded by strong, amazing women, but I haven’t a bloody clue what any of these ladies are talking about.
Most of the women I’ve encountered are not these crazy characters we see in movies or TV. They’re much more the Michelle Obamas of the world than the Regina Georges.
When speaking with my female colleagues and roommates and best friends, I don’t see drama-inducing witches; I see my role models, I see future leaders, and I see compassion. I see the women who have held my hand through tough breakups and have laughed with me when I’ve mercilessly burnt brownies.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being friends with men; hell, some of my dearest friends are men or identify as male. But, I don’t choose them as friends because of some perceived notion that I must feel entitled by choosing friends who are men. I choose them as I would anyone else—for who they are. I don’t understand where this idea even came from that being friends with solely men was some badge of honor.
Why in the world would you want to distance yourself from a subsection of people that have made amazing strides? If you’re not like most women, I’m sorry, because most women are the absolute bee’s knees.
If we’re not there to support each other, the world is going to be a pretty sad place. I think that’s why when women attack other women, whether in the media or in my own personal experience, I get really sad. We have enough forces working against us and our success, why add to it?
If you don’t see how amazing a bond with other women is, and you aren’t a friend to women, I feel sad for you. Perhaps think twice before writing off a gender of “drama hoarders,” because you may make the best friends you’ve ever had.[divider] [/divider]
Thoughts? Tell us in the comments section or tweet us @litdarling.
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I LOVE this – was just talking about this with some friends about how women should work together more. PS I hope you have read “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg
Maybe part of that ‘badge’ is a bragging in this heteronormative world that the girl is close with a BUNCH of guys, so other supposedly heterosexual and desperate single women should feel jealous. If this is the case, it’s still women competing against other women, and it’s silly. Thanks for the article; it is well-written and I agree with your argument. :)
Ah, I love this, too! I HATE when people say “I’m not like other girls” “I’m a guy’s girl” like, WHAT? I hate when women perpetuate their own horrible stereotypes. We’re in this together!
Nice piece! A couple summers ago, the Internet was all aflutter with reviews of Sheila Heti’s “How Should A Person Be?”, which is a lovely book if you haven’t come across it. One of my favorite reviews was from Slate, and it addressed the fact that many of the reviews of Heti’s book were incredibly polarized: most of the negative critics were men, and they were often quick to deride and trivialize the subject matter of Heti’s book, which is at its core a meditation on being a human being, but thematically works around the close friendship between two of the central (female) characters. Anyways, just another take on the issue you’re aptly identifying – and a reminder that this kind of discourse isn’t just propagated by women, but also in the dominant culture. The review can be found here:
Thank you all for your kind words! Kate, I loved that piece, thanks so much for sharing!