I:Mwomen, feminism, stereotype, student

There Are Two Types of Women

I:Mwomen, feminism, stereotype, student
There Are Two Types of Women

‘There are two types of girls this Halloween’, my newsfeed reliably informs me. Curious, I delve further. Do tell me internet, knower of all things, what are these two types? Well, according to Facebook, one type is a girl who enjoys dressing as a slinky cat, and the other is a girl who enjoys dressing as a hotdog. I think this is meant to mean something? This polarised depiction of girls has an implicit sense of competition - so, who’s the winner? Comments under the photo seem to suggest that the ‘cat’ is seeking attention, taking herself too seriously, and, even worse, only wearing what she is for male attention. The ‘hotdog’ by comparison - wow, what a woman. A breath of fresh air, shrugging off the manacles of a patriarchal society telling her to be sexy. This girl, this hotdog, she is fun and free. A clear winner.

I hate this. I do not understand it. In this warped binary system, burdened by falsely formed connotations, the insult towards one ‘type’ of women is thinly veiled. I am not naively suggesting this is the biggest problem facing women today but it does bother me, and mostly because, women are at the helm of this issue. In a misconstrued bid for equality, a lot of women today choose to denounce their own gender, insulting femininity, whilst placing the ‘tom-girl’ female on a pedestal. 

For example, hearing girls openly state, ‘I prefer hanging out with guys, girls are so much drama’, makes me want to sit them down and explain, in detail, all the reasons why they should never say this.

Firstly, it’s hypocritical - you are a girl, are you drama? You’re openly insulting yourself. Good one. Secondly, that is one huge generalisation. Yes, girls can cause drama, and yes gossip is a thing, but this isn’t exclusive to the female gender. I’ve seen some of my male friends gossip over a cup of tea as if they were recently cast in a reality TV show. Thirdly, and lastly, you are perpetuating sexism. You are both implying that men are better and that you are better for rejecting female friends, without even blinking an eye. 

In a poll this year, it was discovered that only 7% of Britons would class themselves as ‘Feminist’. And, get this, despite two thirds of 8,000 people stating they support gender equality, only 560 of them said they were Feminists. Immediately, I want to throw a dictionary at their face. A dictionary that has a page folded over where they will find the definition of Feminism - ‘the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.’ If you support gender equality, you’re a Feminist. Sorry about that one. 

The compulsion for people to distance themselves from Feminism goes hand in hand with women mindlessly convincing themselves of an inherent inferiority, judging their own gender for being too ‘girly’, equating femininity with a vulnerability and seriousness. Just look at the pejoration of the word ‘girly’ - this word is an insult now and why? Does wearing a floral dress make a girl any less capable? No. Know why? Because I can’t find out someone’s strength of character based on their outfit. These are the kind of assumption that give gravitas to the sickening suggestions that a girl can ‘ask for it’ because of what she wears. This is relevant to everyone, but, if, as a girl, you have ever called someone a ‘slut’ or painted her as weak because of her femininity - you are restricting yourself and you are delaying equality.

And so, I return to, the ‘two types’ of women. Sorry, but you’re speaking crap. And to those who are sat there, commenting underneath the photo, warmed by your pride at the fact you wear layers and trainers at parties, you’re speaking crap too. The truth is, in this weird cat versus hot dog competition, they’ll probably both dance the whole night through.

Jess Blackwell