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The post was simple. It shouldn’t have bothered me. The graphic was about women and our code language. The 5 Deadly Terms Used By A Woman were “fine, nothing, go ahead, whatever, and that’s okay.” It’s the type of image that you’re supposed to laugh about. You joke on the times you’ve heard or said those words, knowing there was another meaning and then you keep it moving. I would have been fine with the post, but the commentary had me aggy. Women making statements about how females never say what they mean and how they just like to argue bothered me. I tried to figure out why I was so irritated and then I realized it: I was annoyed because I used to play the separation game.

I was taught that women were messy. I learned that women were competitive and would tear another woman down as soon as she had the chance. I learned that women, except for a few good ones, were not to be trusted. These “facts” led me to befriend women who shared the same beliefs. These facts also caused me to do everything in my power to separate myself from the negative attributes I associated with women. The quest for my like-minded homies and I was to prove that we were different. We talked about other women as if we weren’t women. “Well, you know how females are,” rolled off our tongues frequently.

It took years for me to even question my thoughts and actions. But, after developing a few key relationships with women who’d grown up with amazing sister circles and empowering lesions on womanhood, I had to reconsider. These days I try my best to avoid talking about female traits and how they act. I’m also hyper-aware when such language is used around me. I’ve been forced to think about how we are socialized to view one another and ourselves and why. I’m also wondering how we can make some changes.

What are some of the negative generalizations you’ve learned or stated about women? Do you ever feel the need to make the distinction between yourself and “most women?”

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  • Sparkle

    Ugh my comment posted twice. Sorry guys!

  • Women are either
    –Jezebels (Sluts),
    –Mother Teresas (prudes),
    –feminists (outspoken/have a brain), or
    –Xena the Warrior princess (superwoman–This is women’s fault in response to the other negative ones. If they are not superwoman they are likely one of the other three).
    –There is a fifth one–that women are ugly on the inside and/or outside.

    Sometimes, woman play into these negative generalizations willingly.

    I most especially hate the idea that women have to reach this holy trifecta of perfection: visually/sexually appealing, submissive, and a younger version of a boy’s mama.

  • Fox

    There is truth in stereotypes. At my job, there are more women I know who fall under negative categories (manipulative, nosy, gossipy, stuck-up (but broke), and fake churchy. After a while in one’s personal & professional life, you just get tired of silly women and choose to only deal with a few true ones.
    I make the distinction to keep my sanity and to stay positive at my job. Negative people don’t get much of my time in my personal life anymore.

  • Cree

    Well, the trend thing. I don’t do trends any longer, and for a while I took it very personally when men would say “Women don’t dress up for men. They dress up for other women” because it hit close to home. I think I used to do this, on the competitive tip. Then I hit college, made and spent my own money, and became ghost at the malls. Stepping away from the trends, I got to see how fierce it actually is sometimes among my peers. Girls loving to claim that their shit is exclusive, or they got the best price for it. I am not like this anymore, but by realizing that I don’t partake in it, I don’t mean to say I’m better than other women. I just escaped one exhausting route on the matrix of trying to meet people’s standards of young women.

    The girls on my facebook….so much pressure to be preachy, fashionable, sexy, smart…all contrived ideas today. I am not like them. But I understand.