The Problem With 'Not Like Other Girls'

The Problem With 'Not Like Other Girls'

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You’re out on a first date with a guy, and everything seems to be going perfectly. He’s sweet, polite, and lends you his jacket when it starts getting a little chilly out. You’re enamored, he’s enamored, and the night just keeps getting better. Just as it seems he can do no wrong, he says it. The one thing that makes you pause and think, “Wait, what?” He turns to you, smiling, and then he opens his mouth and lets loose those five little words that cast a shadow on the whole evening: “You’re not like other girls.”

At first you take it as a compliment. You laugh demurely and tell him thanks. It isn’t until you get home later and replay the evening several times in your head that you realize just how wrong those five little words really are. “You’re not like other girls.” Not like other girls? What does that even mean?

In my experience, "not like other girls" is the phrase that misguided men use to compliment a girl when they really don't want to go out of their way to find and compliment an actual quality of the girl they're seeing. "Not like other girls" is a thinly-veiled dig at every other girl but the one on the receiving end this so-called "compliment." So why is not being like other girls considered a good thing?

After doing some less-than-scientific research, or asking around and polling my Facebook friends, I found a trend in what people think "not like other girls" means. Though there were a few who were very self-aware and responded that "not like other girls" is a superficial compliment, most others found it to mean that someone isn't catty, dramatic, or "basic". To that notion, I offer this concept:

There is no wrong way of being a girl.

Personally, I'd be glad to receive the compliment that I'm "like other girls." Girls are amazing, and I'm proud to be one. There's not one specific, acceptable way of being a girl, and when people use the phrase "not like other girls," it puts us all in a box and implies that certain types of girls are better than others because maybe they don't shop at certain stores or wear a full face of makeup every day.

Something else that I noticed was that a lot of the negative definitions of the phrase were given by women, which I was disappointed to see. "Not like other girls" pits us all against one another, and creates the illusion among us that we don't want to be like that girl just because she looks or acts a certain way. But what's wrong with that? What's wrong with having similarities between us?

Accepting the phrase "not like other girls" into our vernacular is admitting that certain ways of expressing yourself as a woman are inherently wrong. So I challenge every single person to respond to the classic "You're not like other girls" with this simple question: Why?

Addressing the issue at the root of it is the only way to change people's thinking. Maybe that one "why?" will make someone reevaluate the way they think about what it means to be a girl, and who these "other girls" truly are, beyond a way to measure a woman's character.

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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