We’ve heard it all before. Whether it was from the Manic Pixie Dream Girl in another John Green novel or from an anonymous Typical Girl Twitter account. We’ve also potentially been guilty of using this sentiment. A way out. An excuse. A validation. A plea. A retort. When, yes, when did it become so wrong to “be like other girls”? An accusation thrown at half the population, a harsh, stringent sentence to the generalization of a crowd. Why has the simple act of existing as a gender pushed us against a wall and thrown us into a pigeonhole? When a female oh-so-non-chalantly echoes this “I’m not like OTHER girls” what does she really mean? Who are these other girls we’re so desperately fighting off?
When did the word girl become synonymous with catty, gossiping, high-maintenance, mean, crazy, etc. etc. etc.? All these stereotypes when we’ve proven again and again as a gender, as a group, as a complex pile of beings we are not so simply put. Because that’s not how humans work. We are not easily categorized. We are not a list of our likes, dislikes, hobbies, beliefs, habits, pastimes, favorites, in a mathematical equation all adding up to the answer to a question. We are not one dimension, not much in life is. We are complicated creatures, good, bad and ugly. We all exist as so. As human beings, sometimes we are often many of those bad things and sometimes we are worse. Man, woman, other. Imperfect. And also everything. And we’re tired, exhausted, of fighting off the assumptions of our genders.
We can like sports or hate sports or have one-night stands or not have one-night stands or watch Star Wars or not watch Star Wars or wear makeup or not wear make up and live a lot.
This is not a political statement. This is not a defamation of a singular thought group. This is a truth I would want my future daughter to know. Please don’t be afraid to “be like other girls“. Don’t be afraid to not. There is no right answer and there is no one type. Don’t attempt to validate your choices to others. Don’t fight your teammates. This is not a competition, you can’t win like this. We can all be good.
Rewrite the synonyms. Change the antonyms. Make sense of the words.
It’s okay to be “like other girls”. Ambitious. Excited. Confused. Powerful. Brave. Intelligent. Bold. Growing. Changing. Learning. Human.