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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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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That One Time I May Have Shot An Ex-Police Officer

Yeah, you heard me.

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In England, we don't really have guns, maybe hunting guns but I think it's pretty rare. Anyway, point is, barely any guns. I have never seen a gun, shot a gun, I don't even know anybody that owns a gun so as an exchange student in Oklahoma it's a novelty to visit a gun range.

I was pretty nervous about shooting but the instructor was super nice and told us how to hold the gun and load it before we went into the range. He also let us ask any questions we had about guns and explained the process of getting a gun in Oklahoma and he said he had visited Europe and was talking about England, and how he used to be a cop and opened his own gun shop. Basically a really really nice guy, which honestly makes harming him ten times worse.

We went into the range and we were shooting a 22 caliber and another guy at the range, I'm assuming a regular, asked if we wanted to fire his revolver so of course, we said yes.

This gun was definitely heavier and the trigger was super hard to pull but he kept his hand on the gun whilst I struggled with the trigger and then I fired it.

I heard a bang and I heard a yell.

I turned around and he was holding his thumb and there was blood dripping onto the floor. At this point, I thought I had shot him, so you can imagine the sheer level of panic that I was feeling.

The color drained from my face and I was frozen solid and all I could say was, "are you okay?" which was answered with a "Ma'am, put the gun down."

Basically, I'm freaking out and I look over at the lads for some form of reassurance, which was met with them looking equally as freaked out as me. So I asked,

"Do we need to call someone?"

"Yep. We are definitely gonna have to call someone"

So at this point, my nerves were shattered and I had no idea what was going on or what the procedure is for this sort of thing. I mean, the guy also took it like a champ and barely even winced and kept repeating "little lady, you're fine" – safe to say I did not feel fine nor did the situation, in my eyes, look at all fine.

Luckily the regulars knew what to do and took him to the ER so we were left in the store with another regular shooter.

Everyone else went back out to shoot but I didn't feel like assaulting/ shooting/ potentially murdering anyone else so I decided to sit this round out and talk to the woman that stayed with us and he called and said it wasn't me, something came off the bullet or gun and went into his hand- so no I didn't actually shoot him and he was going to be okay.

The point of this now very funny story is that whilst guns are cool they're also pretty dangerous.

I have no idea how someone can participate in these mass shootings because I didn't even shoot someone, only thought I did, and it was probably the most terrifying moment of my life.

So, if you are around guns, have fun, be safe and try not to send your instructor to the ER.

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