Before the article begins, let me just tell you all that I am not like other girls! I hate the colour pink and oh I actually have opinions too! I play sports instead of gossiping in the corner and if that isn’t enough to differentiate my personality from that of the other girls, I have short hair and pick clothes from the male section. Now please, give me some attention and think of me as cool!
How are we doing there ladies? Fuming already? Well you must, because the phrase “I am not like other girls” really needs to be called out now. Remember that phase in our lives when we were growing up and no matter what we thought of the colour pink, we blatantly said that we hated it because it was too ‘girly’? First of all, what does ‘too girly’ even mean? How many societally approved feminine traits do you have to exhibit to be ‘too girly’ and why is the expression of being a girl, used as an insult? The question that arises here is that who are these ‘other’ girls that we don’t want to be like? The use of the phrase, “ I am not like other girls” if broken down into simple terms, means that “ Hey I know that the gender I come from is a waste, however, I am best out of the worst. I am as close to being a boy a girl can be.” Do you see what patriarchy has done to us? It has not only made us feel suppressed but also made us loathe our collective selves.
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What is more upsetting is not the phrase, but who uses it the most. Yes, it is us, women. We have often been guilty of using this phrase to make ourselves more acceptable in society, to make ourselves seem smart because girls are not naturally deemed to be intelligent beings. We have been conditioned to think that the entire gender of females are weaklings and we have to dissociate from them in order to appear to be strong. We as grown women, and even young girls today, force ourselves into being tomboys. Have you ever wondered how massively our gender is demeaned because if a girl is told that she plays like a boy, she takes it as a compliment however, if a boy is told he runs like a girl, it is disgrace. Our pride PT Usha would make and break track records only for us to mock those who run ‘like a girl’.
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These ideologies have been very well portrayed in movies as well. In the movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kajol(Anjali) is seen to be a sporty girl who loves to wear hoodies and shirts. In a fight with Shahrukh Khan(Rahul), she says, “Mujhe ladki mat bolo”(don’t call me a girl). She takes the word ‘girl’ as an insult. We have watched these movies, we have been in love with these movies, we have never even questioned the wrong here because we are conditioned to think that ‘like a girl’ is an insult. For all we know, a girl might like to wear hoodies and still jam in her mini skirts! These superficial aspects in no way define a person or their interests.
Then comes the most famous line that men use to flirt, “I love you because you are not like other girls.” Let’s face it, we have taken this as a compliment instead of an insult to our entire gender. Being told we are not like other girls, has made us feel special. Instead, it should make us furious. Just because one wears glasses and prefers shoes over stilettos, in noway determines that she is any different from someone who prefers the opposite. Yes, we are not like other girls because every girl is unique in her own way. No one can be like another girl because we are busy being the best version of ourselves, and no, this does not mean we are trying to be like men.
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At times like these when everyone is trying to pull each other down, we women must stand for each other. Next time when someone tells that “you are not like other girls”, say, “Oh no, such a shame! I wish I was as strong, bold, and smart as the other girls that I am aware of!” If we can’t stop people from using this phrase, then let’s change what it indicates! Let us feel proud when we are compared to other girls, let us encourage every young girl to be the person she wants to be and not live her entire childhood trying to be someone she isn’t for her acceptance.
Read What Else We Must Stop Calling Women- Ever Been Called A Feminazi? Here Is Why The Term Is Offensive!
It is high time to stop pitting women against each other in a desperate attempt to grow the ‘loathe women’ army. Aren’t we beyond that now ladies? Stay tuned to Her Zindagi for more such content.