The past couple of days, I’ve been watching youtube videos on writing, pet peeves in writing, and surprisingly many videos on “Not like other girls” and how annoying and internalised misogynistic this trope is.
I fall straight into the pit of “not like other girls”. Mainly because most of my childhood and adolesence, I was not part of the cool gang. I had my own little squad of outsiders and was mostly happy about that.
My best friend from the age of three ’till about thirteen, was my companion in everything from fishing, detecting and spying, climbing trees and racing on our bikes. And horses! Both real and makebelieve.
We did have quite a lot of girls our age around, and they came and went like waves, and the boys were mainly our little brothers. But we were the core. And we liked us.
When I started school, I somehow didn’t click with the girls who were popular. And by being popular, I really don’t know what was popular about them. This started from around the age of eight, I believe. I don’t think they were particularly popular with the boys in my class either. They just were the gang. I remember we (bestie and I) tried to break into the gang once we had a week long school trip, and failed miserably. I was not the one to take the brunt of it, but it ended with tears, a night in the teacher’s room, and finally back to our room and status quo. Which actually was nice and fun and just as it should be.
I couldn’t wait to get out of primary school, meet new people, shed my six year mantle I’d crafted.
I got new friends. And they still were mainly about horses and stuff. And still not in the cool gang.
We played cards in the recesses, and just hung around and enjoying ourselves. We did talk about boys and feelings and makeup and whatnot. What we didn’t do, was physical contact. Hardly ever a hug. And yes, the other girls were hugging, braiding eachother’s hair, sitting on laps, looking like that was the normal thing to do. I would get slapped if I ever tried. I had to get to thirty before I actually got with a group of females that did these things.
First year of highschool taught me that I still was part of an exclusive club. I didn’t know anybody initially, but within a week I had got a new friend. We were two slightly odd peas in a pod, surrounded by others.
Second year of highschool, I went to another school, and guess what. I still didn’t exactly group with the other girls. Somewhere along the way, I had learned to have great fun with the boys. Not in every way I wanted, but on a nice, platonic plane. I honestly don’t think any of my boy friends ever saw me as girlfriend material. And I didn’t fancy them that way. I did, however, fancy other boys quite a lot. And I was really peeved when people assumed I was a lesbian. Did I really fool myself into believing I was straight?
I did not. I am not sexually attracted to women. I am absolutely silly when it comes to men that tickles my fancy. Sorry. Not sorry.
You know, it is possible to be a tomboy, feel feminine but don’t feel the need to express it other than having a fancy pair of underwear under my black shirt and baggy camo trousers. I find it slightly odd when the most feminine women I know say they don’t feel feminine enough. I have had to surpress some of my more feminine traits because they interfer with other things I want done. It’s the eternal internal struggle.
I don’t like pastel pink and frilly-silly things. But I do love me a rainbow. Or holo. I’m a sucker for these things.
When I graduated highschool and went on to university, I was in heaven. I took a bachelor in civil engineering, and I believe about 10 % of the school’s population were female. We were three women in my class, and I clashed marvellously with one of them. I usually don’t dislike people on sight, but she put me off when I first saw her in the queue at the bookstore, even before I knew we were in the same class. I’m sorry. We never hit it off. Maybe that’s my fault. I don’t think she liked me either.
Three years later, I switched university again, to take my masters degree. And an entirely new world opended up to me. Females like me! I didn’t know they existed to that extent. I got lots of female friends, and some I still have contact with. One unfriended me on facebook because I disagreed with her on summer holidays for children vs paid holidays for working parents. Oh well, I would probably have put my foot in my mouth at another time if she hadn’t stopped me.
I work in a historically predominantly male company. I have worked with both men and women, and I will say that I prefer to work with men. Sorry. Still not sorry.
I don’t like women because they are women. I don’t like men because they are men. But I tend to dislike men less, because they hardly ever grind my gears like women do.
I still don’t like to be in an all girl group where I get strange looks when my nerdy stuff pours out of me. Or I go on about books. Or architecture. Or any other perfectly normal subject. It feels like we talk different languages, and they make me feel uncomfortable. And in that situation, which happens more often than I like, yet less often than when I was younger, I feel like I’m not like other girls. They are a unit, and I’m the odd one out.
If this makes me an internalised misogynist, so be it.
And sometimes, I suspect that authors and other writers come from some of the places I do. It can be damned hard to find one’s way through life, if you don’t feel you fit in.
I don’t feel like I’m better than others. At some things, I am. But not at everything. And that is the same for everybody. I assume. Maybe there are freaks out there who are experts at everything, including interaction with both men and women, but I don’t think they are more than a speck of dust in the big picture. But I am different. Like we all are different.
I also remember someone saying; “We don’t wear anything black. We aren’t emos!”, to which I reacted “What’s wrong with emos?”.
I’m too old to be considered an emo, but honestly, I have the soul of an emo, and has always had it. I will revert to that state every time I’m left to my own devices. And it’s considered different.
I’m not too fond of humans in general, men or women. What does that make me? Misanthrope? Probably.
I’m not going to apologise for who I am. And if you like me, I probably like you, and then there is no problem.