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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Islam Is Not A Religion Of Peace, But Neither Is Christianity

Let's have in honest converation about the relgious doctrine of Islam

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Islam is not a religion of peace.

Christianity is also not a religion of peace.

But, most people in both religions are generally peaceful.

More specifically, bringing up the doctrine of Christianity is a terrible rebuttal to justify the doctrine of Islam.

That is like saying, "Fascism is not a good political ideology. Well, Communism isn't any good either. So, Fascism is not that bad after all."

One evil does not justify another evil. Christianity's sins do not justify Islam's.

The reason why this article is focused on Islam and not Christianity is the modern prevalence of religious violence in the Islamic world. Christianity is not without its evil but there is far less international terrorist attacks and mass killing perpetrated by Christians today than by those of Islam.

First, let's define "religious killings," which is much more specific than a practicer of a religion committing a murder.

A religious killings are directly correlated with the doctrines of the faith. That is different a human acting on some type of natural impulse killing someone.

For example, an Islamic father honor killing his daughter who was raped is a religious killing. But an Islamic man who catches his wife cheating and kills her on the spot is a murder, not a religious killing. The second man may be Islamic but the doctrine of Islam cannot be rationally held at fault for that killing. Many men with many different religions or experience would make the same heinous mistake of taking a life.

Second, criticizing a doctrine or a religion is not a criticism of everyone that practices the religion.

It is not even a criticism of everyone who make mistake while inspired by the religions. Human are willing to do heinous things when governed by a bad cause. Not every World War 2 Nazis was a homicidal maniac but human nature tells them to act this way in order to survive in their environment. It is hard to fault a person from traits that comes from evolutionary biology and natural selection.

However, commenting on a philosophy, ideology or a religion is not off limits. Every doctrine that inspires human action should be open for review. The religion may be part of a person's identity and it holds a special place in its heart but that does not mean it should be immune to criticism.

Finally, before going into a deconstruction of the myth that Islam is a religion of peace, there needs to be a note about the silencing of talking about Islam.

There is a notion in Western Society that if a person criticizes Islam, then that person hates all Muslims and the person suffers from Islamophobia. That is not the case, a person to criticize religion without becoming Donald Trump. In Western Society criticizing fundamental Christians is never seen as an attack on all Christians because there is a lot of bad ideas in the Bible that Christians act on. Therefore, criticizing Islam should have the same benefit of the doubt because the Quran has many bad ideas in it.

The Quran advocates for war on unbelievers a multitude of times. No these verses are not a misreading or bad interpretation the text. Here are two explicit verses from the Quran that directly tell Followers to engage in violence:

Quran 2: 191-193:

"And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah (disbelief or unrest) is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists and wrong-doers)"

Quran 2: 216:

"Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."

There is no rational way to interrupt these passages in a peaceful way. The whole premise of both passages is to inspire followers that war against the unbeliever is justified.

The first verse advocates for genocide against non-believers for the mere transgression that a society worships a different god or worships another god along with Allah.

The second passage is arguable more dangerous because the first passage just advocate that fighting may be a necessity, while the second passage encourages it. The second passage claims that war on the unbeliever is a good thing under the eyes of Allah.

The reason why these passages are dangerous is because they directly incite religious violence. For most followers of Allah, these passages are ignored or they convince themselves the passages means something they do not. However, for a large numbers of followers that view the text of the Quran as the unedited words of Allah, these texts become extremely dangerous. These passages become all the rational they need to wage war on non-believers.

This is dangerous because there are millions of followers of Islam worldwide that believe every statement in the Quran is true.

Therefore, the Quran becomes a direct motivation and cause for its followers to attack non-followers. Rationally one can understand where the Islam follower comes from, if a person truly believes that Allah or God himself wrote these words then why would you not comply.

Especially when there is verses in the Quran that says the Follower who does not fight the infidel is not as worthy of a Follower that does wage war against the non-believer (Quran 4:95). Finally, when male Followers are told that their martyrdom fighting for the faith will be rewarded with an eternity in paradise with 72 virgins for personal pleasure. If a Follower truly believes all of this is the spoken word of Allah then there is more rational why a person would commit these atrocities then why they would not.

Men and women are radicalized by these passages on a daily basis.

No, it is not just the poor kid in Iraq that lost his family to an American bombing run that indiscriminately kills civilians but also the middle classed Saudi Arabian child or some Western white kid that finds the Quran appealing. If radicalization were just poor people, then society would not have much to be worried about. However, Heads of States, college educated people and wealthy Islamic Followers are all being radicalized and the common dominator is the doctrine of Islam.

Osama Bin Laden, one of the most infamous terrorist in history, was not a poor lad that was screwed by the United States military industrial complex. Bin Laden was the son of a billionaire, that received an education through college from great schools. There is no other just cause for Bin Laden to orchestrate such grievous attacks on humanity besides religious inspirations. A person can rationally tie Islam Followers gravitation towards terrorism to a specific verse. Quran 3: 51 tells readers,

"Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers."

Any rational person can tie Islamic passages like this directly to terrorism. It is not a complicated correlation to like Nazism and Jewish persecution to Christianity. The Holy Book of Islam directly encourages the Followers of Islam to inflict terrorism unto the non-believer.

So why do some many people deny these obvious truths about Islam and violence?

Political Correctness and the want to not be viewed as a bigot. The correlations here are as direct as the terrors of the Spanish Inquisitions and Catholicism and no one is afraid to retrospect and say, "Yes Christianity caused the direct murder of thousands of people". A person would not even be controversial if one stated that both World Wars has significant religious undertones. However if anyone states that terrorism and violence has a direct link with Islam then there is an outcry.

Even President Obama refused to use the terms Islam and Muslim when publicly talking about the War on Terrorism. I am a hypocrite also because I used the term Islamic Follower instead of Muslim in an attempt to sound more political correct.

That is a problem when society refuse to use terms that are correct in an attempt to not offend anyone. Imagine if scientist could not report their findings because the underlying politics. Society needs to be able to have open dialogue about this problem or else it will never heal. Society needs to throw away the worrisome about being politically correct and focus on identifying the problems and solving them.

The world of Islam needs to open themselves up to this criticism.

There can no longer be a closing of dialogue where the West cannot speak on the doctrines of Islam because they are not partakers (That applies to all organized religion too, especially the Catholic Church). People who draw Muhammed must no longer be threatened with attacks on their life.

When Islamic women and men speak up about the sins of Islam, they must stop being silenced. If humanity is going to take steps into the future with better technology and more dangerous weaponry, then we need to solve this problem with Islam and gradually to organized religion at all.

If not it will doom us way before we get there…

Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this article follow my podcast on Twitter @MccrayMassMedia for more likewise discussions.

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Is "Reverse Racism" real?

Controversial? Yes, but that won't stop me. Here's my take.

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In this interconnected age, we are becoming increasingly aware of the injustices carried out on the oppressed. Racism, sexism, and homophobia are still running rampant in every corner of the globe. However, our perspective on one thing has changed dramatically through the years: whether or not it's possible to racist against Caucasians. As far as I know, in the past, the answer to this question was typically "yes." Nowadays, though, I find more and more people are answering "no." What exactly has shifted our perspective?

I used to think that it was only a minute amount of people who believed white people were immune to racism. However, I did a poll on my Instagram a few weeks ago, and about 16% of the people who responded agreed with this sentiment. For context, I typically only receive answers from people I know personally, so the fact that a lot of the people who answered "no" were personal friends was a bit disquieting, although of course I will continue to be friends with them-a difference of opinion is no reason to discontinue a friendship. In order to understand their perspective more, I interviewed someone who responded "no." (This person will obviously remain unnamed.)

Me: "How do you define racism?"

Person: "It's a continued prejudice against a race based either on historical issues or simply the belief the other race is better."

M: "How long constitutes continued prejudice?"

P: "Well my wording is a bit wrong with continued but I really meant from before slavery until now. Even in history Europeans have tried to find ways to 'prove' themselves superior which inevitably led to generational racism."

M: "Ok, I see what you're saying. Let's say a black man refuses to be seated next to a white man on a plane. Would this be racism?"

P: "It depends on the reason...it could be fear or preference to sit somewhere else but we don't see a united front of white people in America. We see white people refuse to even get medical help just because they aren't the same hue as them. And I'm in no way saying that's truly universal but tell me do you really see poc refusing to sit by a white man? Or using a word that has oppressed people for hundred o[f] years against someone who's white?"

From my interview, I gathered that the general perspective is that racism takes into account the historical context of an act and is typically carried out by one large group, whereas prejudice is generally carried out on an individual basis and may not be a continual situation.

As a person of mixed race, I often find myself being somewhat "shut out" whenever I go to China. The society and people are generally homogenous (they are all the same race,) and so to them I stick out like a sore thumb. I often get strange looks, and I know for a fact that when my white dad visits China, prices are hiked for him because he is a "foreigner" and is perceived to be richer (which may not be the case.) Obviously this isn't the same as slavery, but I still believe that this is a form of racism, not simply prejudice. However, this issue isn't something for me to decide alone. Do you believe this is racism or prejudice? Is it all a misunderstanding? Are they the same thing? Or do they have completely different contexts?

I leave you with a Martin Luther King Jr. quote that I think should be applied to everyone. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

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