Hey, guess what? I love a good Starbucks latte. I also love me some rum and Coke. I love watching rom coms like You’ve Got Mail and silly movies like Mean Girls, but I also love a solid action movie, even if the storyline kind of sucks. I can change a tire if I need to, but I’d rather just call roadside assistance. And I have a burning passion for avocado and a budding love for sriracha.
Why? Why am I telling you this? What does it have to do with anything?
I am like other girls. I am a complex, intelligent human being with diverse interests that are a mix of things both popular and obscure. If you tried to shove me into a box of other women with similar interests, you’d see bits of me and them that fit into other boxes. We, as women, are a massive venn diagram of traits and culture that sometimes overlap.
The statement “You’re not like other girls” is a thinly veiled attempt at complimenting a woman without actually putting any effort into getting to know anything about her. It’s also such an insult to other women. And to her. The “complimenter” (generally a guy) is segregating her from her fellow women while simultaneously managing to shove every other woman on this planet into a box labeled “boring” or “uninteresting” or “not worth my time”.
And the only thing worse than when a guy says it, is when a girl says it as if it’s something about which to brag. Because here’s the deal, y’all: regardless of what you think, or how you act, women are already pitted against each other on the daily. No joke, even something as serious and well-meaning as tips on keeping yourself safe from sexual assault are generally just a way of saying, “Assault her, not me” in that the everything they suggest you do, it implies that the girl doing the opposite somehow is a better candidate and the assaulter should choose her.
When someone tries to tell you that you’re not like other girls, question them. What makes them think that? Because you didn’t order something they typically expect a girl to order? Because you have an interest in something traditionally associated with masculinity or men? Guess what? Other girls do, too. And other girls aren’t just one massive mindless, interest-less group who can’t think for themselves or like anything that’s not pre-approved by some douche trying to get laid by delivering a back-handed compliment in hopes that you’ll fall for it.
So, yes, I am like other girls. Because I am a girl. And I’m proud of that. And maybe you’ll start seeing the value in lifting up other girls in love and sisterhood if you don’t already. We could all use it.
P.S. Stop with the “Me vs. Other Girls” memes. Even if they’re self-deprecating, it still adds to the “us vs. them” mentality.