I felt special when potential romantic partners said, “You’re not like other girls.”It was a compliment because it was better to have more “masculine” personality traits rather than “feminine” traits. When I became older, I realized how that statement is a backhanded compliment that is misogynistic and a contradiction.
The comment is misogynistic because its implied that the speaker has a disdain for femininity and generalizes girls rather than sees them as individuals. When I was younger, I disliked the idea of being a “typical” female. Typical as in one who wears make up, loves shopping, and has a group mentality. I fought against that by not wearing makeup, rarely going shopping, and being a lone wolf for the most part. I thought I was special that I had these quirks. I learned that wearing make up is one way people express themselves, going shopping is quite fun, and that there are safety reasons why girls go in groups rather by themselves. If girls like these things, don’t admonish them for doing these things, its just what they like.
The comment is a contradiction because there are 12930428039457293847 girls who have heard that compliment before. As much as its nice to hear that you’re special and you have a unique personality, your personality is only special to the person who said it. To others, you may have a common personality that they’ve experienced before. It’s not bad. In addition, people often get attracted to those who are very similar.
Let girls, be girls. Don’t put them down because they’re the “typical” female and don’t put them on pedestal when they’re not. Both are individuals that deserve equal respect and recognition.
Photo Courtesy: Scarleth Maria via Flickr.