I believe in warning signs. Where there is smoke, fire is ablaze. Where there’s a siren in Kansas, tornado approaches. And where there’s a broad generalization about how all girls are bitches, there’s…a bitch.
“I just don’t get along with girls.”
You’ve heard that statement. I know you have. How do I know this? Because it is a much beloved catchphrase among a certain set. Often said with smugness, this statement is fraught with hidden meaning. It intimates that girls are catty, or that other girls have always been jealous of the speaker, or that this girl was done A Great and Terrible Wrong by female friends.The person saying this doesn’t mean she doesn’t get along with girls, she means she doesn’t like girls. She doesn’t care for half the people walking around on Earth. If you have a vagina, she’s out.
What a load of crap. This infuriates me. I wish to find a radioactive spider, if only so I could be bitten, gain superpowers, and trap people who say this in a prison of feminist rage web. While I am not the type to insist we all love each other, simply because we have matching chromosomes, I am the type to insist we not actively bash our gender. Saying you don’t get along with girls is saying you believe gender stereotypes. Awesome. Here are just some of the opinions you have aligned yourself with:
- Women are catty.
- Women will do anything to land a man.
- Women’s favorite topic of conversation: shoes. Preferably pink ones.
- Women’s second favorite topic of conversation: men. Preferably rich ones.
- Women are irrational, when on their period.
- Women are dramatic.
- Women aren’t as good at math and science.
The list goes on. I think we can all agree, these stereotypes are ridiculous. People are people. Not every woman likes shoes, just like not every man likes football. These are just traditional gender norms handed down to us by society. There’s not a single generalization you can make about the sexes that holds true. Even the ones presented by evolutionary biology don’t hold up from person to person. Not every man wants to spread his seed far and wide, nor does every woman hear a “biological clock.” So, saying that you don’t get along with a whole gender is not only awful, but ill-informed.
People, the rational ones, take others on a case-by-case basis. They don’t throw a hand out and say: “I don’t get along with people from Texas!” Even if they hate barbeque and cowboy boots, they know not everyone in Texas likes those things either. (Though, seriously, why wouldn’t you like barbeque? The mind boggles.) It must be miserable, not looking at others this way. If I seriously thought every girl was out to talk about me behind my back or steal my boyfriend, I’d probably throw myself off the nearest cliff. That’s just a lot of malice to see in the world.
Of course, I have a theory. I don’t think the women saying this believe it either. What they do believe is that saying they don’t get along with girls sets them apart from their gender. Doesn’t saying you don’t have girlfriends, because they’re catty, mean you’re implicitly not catty? They wear their gender discrimination like a badge of honor. Hating other girls means you’re above all that “drama” the rest of us supposedly live for. Well, I think it doesn’t. Saying you dislike your own gender tells me just one thing: you’re a bitch…and not in a good way.
Strewn behind this girl are the carrion of past friendships: other girls. They’re the ones who thought she was their friend, only to have her ditch them when she got a boyfriend. (“They were just jealous!”) They’re the ones who told her who they liked, only to have her go after that person the next week. (“It’s not my fault we fell in love!”) They’re the ones who suffered snide remarks over and over, until one day they couldn’t take it anymore. (“They were too sensitive!”) All too often the women saying this are the ones who actually do love female competition, as long as they win.
For most of my life, I didn’t see this. I had friends who said this all the time and I wouldn’t get it – they seemed so awesome, why did other girls mistreat them so? Each time, it took awhile, but I figured it out. Those friendships ended, because hate always furrows its way out. Thinking that all girls are evil, means you’re all too quick to throw another one of us under the bus. Now, whenever I hear those words, I hear what they really mean. I hear: Run, Grace! Run far away, as fast as your fancy red espadrilles can carry you! Because while I do love shoes, I hate drama.