I often hear women using the term “The Guy’s Girl” as an all-encompassing descriptor of who they are as an individual. This frustrates me. If you enter “Guy’s Girl” into your handy dandy Google search engine, you’re likely to find various blogs and magazine articles revealing tips on how to be a “Guy’s Girl” and still maintain your “Girl’s Girl” identity. What does that even mean? First off, we shouldn’t be boiling ourselves down to one word, let alone describing ourselves in reference to someone else. This includes you too, gentlemen. You are more than just “The Nice Guy” or “The Bad Boy.” You are a complex and layered being with interests that spread all across the gender spectrum. At least I hope you are.
What is “The Guy’s Girl?”
Urbandictionary.com defines “The Guy’s Girl” as, “That great girl who can just chill and be ‘one of the guys’. She’s into sports, beer, action flicks and doesn’t give a damn what others think.” The pseudo-definition then goes on to assure, “However, unlike the tomboy, she has her gang of girl mates who she shops with and does girly stuff.”
For some women, the identification might be, in part, due to an alleged inability to get along with other women who are all characteristically vicious, catty, dramatic, and stupid. They feel unique because of this. For others, I think they might identify with this persona because they feel alienated by other women. Some might say they just genuinely find that their interests align more closely with those of their male counterparts. I’ve heard an array of definitions, but I think Urban Dictionary captures at least the jist of most variations and makes it sound awesome to be a “Guy’s Girl” at that.
The Problem with “The Guy’s Girl”
My biggest problem with “The Guy’s Girl” is that there is an inherent woman-hating quality that this term bears. The so-called definition assumes that “The Guy’s Girl” is better than other women because she is interested in traditionally male activities. She is tougher than other women because she can “hang.” She is all other women’s cooler sister because she enjoys watching the game and throwing back a couple cold ones with the boys. Being interested in these things and being incredibly cool are two separate entities. You are “that great girl” whether or not you’re into “sports, beer, and action flicks.”
My frustration extends to the feeling that the term is detrimental to both men and women. It confines personalities and interests to a gender binary that, in itself, is incredibly restrictive. This kind of language creates ugly inside-the-box ideas of who people are based on the things they’re interested in or not interested in and a few characteristics that might define them at the most basic level. This is both unfair and debasing.
I ask that we make an effort to rid our vocabularies of these terrible descriptors. We’re better than them. Why be a “Guy’s Girl” when you can be a woman who often enjoys the company of her best guy friends while watching a football game and drinking a wide variety of hand-crafted beers?
Today’s encounter occurred in my apartment living room with my wonderful and intelligent roommate. It pertains to issues regarding male-centered vocabulary and breaking down woman-hating habits.
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