Wednesday 27 March 2019

Rant: "Not Like All the Other Girls" Trope

Oh boy, this is going to be a truly angry rant right here. There are a lot of tropes out there that piss me off, but most of the time they don't piss me off to the extent that this trope does. I haven't posted one of these in a while because I haven't been particularly angry about anything in a while that had to do specifically with books. There are just so many other things in real life that I'm pissed off about but finally one just really translated onto paper and that is the ever-present "Not like other girls" trope that is ever so present in YA and generally the romance genre.

The trope is usually in books with romance as a reason why the love interest likes the girl. Because she is "different" from all those other girls she is somehow better. No. Just no. Everyone has their differences. You might find people who are similar but never exactly the same. Even if you did meet two people who were exactly the same, why would that be a reason to not like them?

What this trope is really getting at is these love interests don't like certain features of women and want them to feel like shit for having them. These women in books are trying to shape themselves away from this "basic" stature to try and become something they are not because being seen as one of a billion others is hard to deal with.

I feel like in a way when books have this trope they are saying that it isn't okay to like girly things, to want to do your make up or like to dress up because you enjoy it. Being "different" is what determines your value in this world. I think it's a really shitty thing to preach to young girls. That they need to not like the conventional things and to judge other girls for liking them. That's not to say going against the grain is a bad thing, on the contrary, it's a great thing. But girls should not have their "worthiness" judged on whether or not they enjoy girly things.

A lot of these books preach about being yourself and everything will work out. Well sure, except when you are one of those millions of girls who are supposedly all alike. *eye roll*

It's like how people instantly think girls are "hoes" for wearing makeup and form-fitting clothes or a girl must be a lesbian if she has short hair and wears flannel. This is a generalization on a large scale. I don't mean to get political with this, but this is what it comes down to a lot. Let girls enjoy the things that they want.

Can we just stop telling girls that they have to be one way or the other in order to catch the eyes of a man? There is no reason to pit girls against each other like this and I hate that I see this so much in romances and especially YA. You should be equally as valid if you enjoy girly things and if you have decided you don't really enjoy girly things. Being deemed "not like other girls" just because you don't enjoy being 'on trend' is dumb. There is this underlying misogyny to this and it needs to find a new home because it isn't wanted here.

Anyway, thoughts?

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1 comment:

  1. You're absolutely right. It's a mix of at least two things I dislike immensely: 1) you need to be special and different, or else you don't matter (can't like popular music, can't do 'boring' things, can't do what's expected) + 2) girls have to seek validation from boys (whether it's to be considered one of the guys, or the perfect girlfriend).

    Ugh, just let girls be girls (whatever that means for each of them!) and stop making everything into a competition/popularity contest! Mysogyny really is an insidious beast, you spend your whole life trying to shake off all the nonsense you've absorbed from society...