You probably know those movies and books where there's a female protagonist who is apparently "not like most girls." She actually likes sports and isn't catty. She doesn't cause drama or stress over her appearance. She is unlike every other female character, and she is unable to befriend most girls.
Movies and books would have us believe that the majority of women are catty and superficial, but just every once in a while, there comes along a girl who's real. Because most girls aren't unique at all; it is literally just this one. And, this then teaches young women that they should strive to be "not like most girls." They shouldn't even try to be friends with other girls because, you know, just think of all that cattiness and drama. Like, probably just assume that most girls are incapable of being good friends or good people, and live your life bragging about how you aren't like most girls.
Girls are taught that it's okay to automatically not like each other. We're taught that other girls are probably just boy-crazy and appearance-obsessed. We're taught that female friends probably won't stay loyal because we'll end up competing for the same guy or handbag (since you know, that's all other girls care about in life). We're taught that -- above all else -- we should aim to be "not like most girls."
And, while I know that there is a lot of progress being made in terms of gender equality and successful and powerful female role models, I think women are still being taught by quite a few books and movies to hate other women. Which, obviously, should stop.
Because, when it comes down to it, the phrase "I'm not like most girls" doesn't really even make sense. Some girls really enjoy sports, while others don't. Some girls love getting dressed up any chance they get, while others would rather have it be casual Friday every single day of the week. Some girls are very career-minded, while others want a family. And, I could never categorize all or most of the females I've ever met into a single archetype, let alone one with solely negative character traits.
When girls tell me that they can't be friends with other girls, I honestly think it's because they're walking into that friendship assuming that the other person fits these warped stereotypes of women that movies and books create. Meaning that they probably aren't even truly trying to be friends with other girls. I think any relationship -- regardless of the genders -- would fail under these circumstances.
Overall, while I do enjoy some cheesy rom-coms every once in a while, I think it's time for movies, books, etc. to stop playing the "not like most girls" card and portray women for what they are: real people who can't and shouldn't be contained to a single archetype.
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