Monday, May 5, 2014

Dissociating From My Gender

Everywhere I go, no matter what I'm doing or who I'm around I hear some variation of the phrase "I'm not like most girls". And most people don't think anything of it. But that phrase really bothers me. Like, REALLY bothers me.


To me saying "I'm not like most girls" is an attempt at separating oneself from the female gender as a whole in order to be looked at in a more positive light, as if being a woman is bad. I mean, there are many reasons why we could be led to believe that, but it is really hard to choose which example to go with here, considering women get paid less than men simply because they are women, rape victims are blamed for getting raped because there is this weird belief that a woman is an object of sexual pleasure not an actual human being, we are seen as weak, fussy, needy, high maintenance, and countless other negative things. So I can see the need to make a statement and say "hey, I'm not all those bad things you think women are". But repeating the tired "not like most" cliche statement isn't the way to do it. Because saying that phrase implies that you believe that those are negative traits that a woman has. And that isn't true. Also, saying you're not like most girls kind of makes you just like most girls, reader. You're defeating yourself.

If you want to prove that you truly are a special snowflake, prove it by the way you act, show that women aren't these negative things to be used and thrown away or disrespected. Prove that you're just as worthy as a man and unique and wonderful in your own special way. Because like it or not, you are a woman/girl, and to make yourself different you needn't do anything but be proud of your crooked smile and less than perfect hair. Be proud of you for being you. But don't throw the rest of our gender under the bus in an attempt to make yourself look cooler in front of guys and/or other girls.

Here's the thing reader: if you're a girl, chances are, you're probably like most girls. Sorry. Humans are humans are humans and there are things that are just part of the human condition. But there are things that you do and character traits that you have that make you unique. And so no, you don't have to confine yourself to the box members of the patriarchy would have you huddle in, but remember just because one person thinks it bad to be a female doesn't mean it actually is.

Alexis Olmstead is a 20something living in Okanogan County, WA. She is a part time waitress and a full time diva who is currently playing Dorothy in Okanogan Valley Orchastra and Chorus's production of Wizard of Oz. For more rants and reflections on life, check back often. 


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