Guest Youth Post by Ruby
“You can bind my body, tie my hands, govern my actions: you are the strongest, and society adds to your power; but with my will, sir, you can do nothing.” -George Sand
There are so many women in this world to look up too. Look at the courage of Malala Yousafzai, at Anne Frank’s overwhelming positivity despite what humanity did to her. Look at George Sand, who was advocating for women’s rights with fiery passion all the way back in the 1800s. Look at your own mothers, sisters – all the women who inspire you. I have so much admiration for the females of this world. I feel proud to be in their company.
That is why it is positively heartbreaking to me that today, “you’re not like other girls” is considered a compliment. Not just a compliment, practically an ideal. You’ve seen this “ideal” girl represented in the media a thousand times. The one who hangs out with the guys and hates “girl drama.” The one who claims not to place importance on her appearance, and yet always has perfectly done makeup and a blowout. Repeat after me: that girl is NOT REAL! She does not exist. The fact that she has become the perfect girl all guys are supposed to want is hurting sisterhoods everywhere.
If there is going to be any significant movement towards equality, than relationships between women need to be the bedrock. This is why phenomena like this “ideal” girl are so toxic. It actively promotes the idea that to be valued you must turn on your sisters and sadly, it happens. Girls are encouraged to trash each other in the hope it will get them even a sliver of approval. Slut shaming is a prime example of this – girls think if they can prove they aren’t like “those girls,” they will be more desirable (and less of a target). It divides us. It’s not “those girls” and others that are above them – it’s all of us, facing the same thing. We need to band together and throw this social construct of the perfect girl in the trash. She may not be real, but the competition to be her still hurts all of us. The women we should be aspiring to be have thousands of faces, each one unique.
So next time a guy tells you you’re “not like other girls,” call him the hell out.