When I was growing up nothing irked me more than being called a “girly girl”. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this. I did not want to be called a girly girl, I did not have enough female friends. I just didn’t want to identify myself that way. In fact, I thought hanging out with boys made me cooler, I thought it meant i was one step ahead of girly girls.
I did not have meaningful female relationships maybe until highschool and university. Why? Because you lot have tainted “girly girl” that’s why. Being called a girly girl has never been a compliment, not to me. Being called a girly girl to me made it seem like I was a weakling. I didn’t want that, I wanted to be one of the guys, to have a voice, to be important. To sit with the big dogs. This robbed me of so much.
“When women act like like women, they are accused of being inferior. When women act like human beings, they are accused of behaving like men” – Simone de Beauvoir
I’ve spent the past year writing posts on feminism and supporting the cause but still explicitly saying I wasn’t a feminist. Why?? Why was I trying so hard to fight for women yet distance myself from the title? It felt a little familiar. Me identifying as a girl but not a girly girl. I self reflect a lot, i spend most of my time analyzing everything I’ve ever done, said, and how they connect. It’s a good thing because it makes me aware but its also a bad thing because its killing me in more ways than I can say.
I woke up one morning and a little something broke within me. The more I lived, the more i read, the more I interacted with other women and grasped the internalized systematic oppression and marginalization of women in society, it became really hard for me not to be a feminist. It made no sense for me not to be. It should have made no sense for me not to be a girly girl either. I shouldn’t have had to try and fit in with the boys to be heard. I shouldn’t had to try act less feminine to be heard. “Girly girl” shouldn’t have seemed like an insult. It really shouldn’t. I should have had more meaningful relationships with girls, if I wasn’t so busy being a pick me.
Yes, I was a pick me. In trying so hard to be like one of the guys & seem “cool” I was being a pick me. In undermining other women for being “girly girls” I was being a pick me. The whole idea of thinking I had to let go of my femininity to be heard was being a pick me. Every woman has pick me days, some of you are still pick me’s. I pray you liberate yourself, at your own time. When you finally grasp just how its harmful to you.
Pick me culture is trying to make yourself different amongst other women. Trying to seem better. Smarter. As one of the guys. Pick me culture makes you believe the more desirable and acceptable you are to men the better you are than other women. It makes you feel special as a woman not as an individual. It demeans you, pick me culture is cancer. Cancer that infects girls from an early age. Pick me culture is embedded in social, cultural, and religious views. Pick me culture is evil in every way. Say no to pick me culture.
To me, being a feminist has been about letting go of parts of myself that were defined by the patriarchy. Letting go of beliefs that undermine, marginalize, undervalue, and oppress women. Letting go of beliefs that uplift, favor, and patronize men. Letting go of all the “benefits” afforded by the patriarchy because when you say you are a feminist people want to ask you stupid questions to undermine you. These questions are always centered around paying for dates, doing heavy-duty work, and other things people assume you benefit from the patriarchy. I think it’s pretty pathetic to assume id bend over backward for the patriarchy just to be desirable to men.
Being a girly girl is by mens definition, the true femininity. The femininity they want you to subscribe to. The model of woman they can control. Same with feminism, you hear a lot of men talking about “true feminism”, like what exactly is that? In what world does the oppressor get to tell you how to obtain freedom? I read somewhere that said no matter what you do, there will never be any brand of feminism that will be suitable to men, not actual feminism anyway.
Same as femininity, there’s everything wrong with it. Femininity or in my case, girly girl, defines a way in which every woman is expected to act, to be, to exist. When a woman speaks out. Shes stripped of her femininity. Why? Are women not deserving of a voice? An outspoken woman will always receive backlash, either she’s less desirable, she’s “too much” or they bring in emotions.
Emotions is the foundation of the idea of femininity, girly girl, all of it. Emotions is what separates femininity from masculinity. Because if you’re a girl and you get angry, you speak up, you show a change in tone, someone (a man) will always let you know you’re bringing your emotions into the issue or make a snarky remark about being on your period.
Why must femininity be defined by men? Why must it be used to flatter you yet bring you down simultaneously? Why must girls try so hard to try and be “one of the boys” to be heard? Why?
There is no such thing as true femininity, let women be themselves. Every woman deserves to be herself without being labeled anything. Men have no business dictating what makes a woman anything. Every human being has the right to be heard, the right to speak out, to debate, to have a place in society, femininity and humanity are not mutually exclusive.
There is assertion in femininity.
“The point is not for women to simply take power out of men’s hands, since that wouldn’t change anything about the world. It’s a question precisely of destroying that notion of power”. Simone de Beauvoir