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October 7, 2013 | by  | in Features |
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Girls Don’t Like Boys, Girls Aren’t Allowed to Like Anything

Girls like boy bands. They scream and get hysterical over things they like. Girls don’t have good taste in music, books or movies. Girls are the worst kind of fans. Just check out the comment section on any YouTube video ever (especially if it’s a Justin Bieber video “what the fuck is this gay ass shit/?”), and there’s leagues of support for the notion that girls are shitty fans of shitty things. Girls just don’t make worthy fans; they only like things for superficial reasons. As a guy, being a fan of things is pretty easy. For a girl, it’s all about having to justify why you like something (are you worthy?) or why the thing you like is good at all.

There are a lot of problematic things going on around girls and judgment of what they’re fans of. The notion that they can’t like something without an ulterior motive (most commonly related to trying to get guys, see: fake geek girl) for example, or the view that when a girl is a fan of something, that thing is automatically devalued or written off by a lot of other people. It’s not even just guys who write off interests because they’re stereotypically feminine: girls are guilty of it too (spoiler alert: you’re not better than other girls just because you’re not into make-up and boy bands). It’s so easy to hate on things because they’re ‘feminine’; it’s encouraged from a young age that being compared to a girl or liking girly things makes you lesser. Girls who step out of the stereotypes and are into ‘cool’ things are praised. You’re only allowed to like uncool things if it’s in an ironic way or an exception to your otherwise flawless taste.

What is with this intense hatred of anything that could be related back to anything championed by women or girl fans? There’s the common view of teenage girls being way too easily excited and losing their shit over their favourite bands, and the idea is to laugh at them and look on in disdain, because look how stupid they’re getting over this thing that really isn’t worth it! Meanwhile, football fans start actual riots over lost games, and this doesn’t have any kind of stigma attached to it. The message you get from this is that the things that women typically get excited about are shameful and uncool, while masculine interests are a winner. This is absolute bullshit. No one should be shamed for the things that interest or excite them. I’ve been made to feel horrible in the past about all sorts of things I love, dating back to when I was in love with the Spice Girls when I was seven. Since then, my interests have become a lot more varied, but I still have come up against people challenging why I’d like something, as if it’s any of their business. Because, as a girl, I shouldn’t really have interest in things like comics or games or whatever else that I’ve taken an interest in. Mentioning casually in a conversation that I really loved the latest Iron Man film always has the potential to turn into a defence of how I’m a true Marvel fan when talking to a guy. Have I read the comics? Did I even know who the Mandarin was before this movie? The answer to both is yes, also with a side of fuck you, I shouldn’t have to justify myself to you.

Justifying any of your actions isn’t really something that a lot of guys have to deal with often, but something that women as a whole have to deal with a lot. I once had to defend my degree to a guy who did Industrial Design who seemed to deem Graphic Design as a more feminine (unworthy) pursuit, and like, what do I even do? Never mind that the industry is still male-dominated (don’t worry, I’m still scratching my head over that one too). It got to the point in my late teenage years where I just wouldn’t share with anyone I wasn’t really close to what my favourite band was, what movies I was into, what I did in my spare time, because I was so sick of having to feel like I had to justify any of it to others. It starts to ruin it a bit for you when you mention your favourite band, and then someone spends ten minutes ragging on them and how their music isn’t even that good.

Eventually though, I’ve gotten to the point I’m at now where I just don’t give a fuck whether you approve of any of the things I like. I’ve stopped letting it affect what I like and my enjoyment of things. Why let some dickhead’s opinion affect how you enjoy the things that make you happy? Next time you wear a Batman tee and some guy asks if you’ve even actually read the comics, light him on fire with the lasers shooting out of your rage eyes.

Being a fangirl doesn’t make you lesser, liking the bands you like (whatever they may be) is awesome, and everyone should be able to feel okay liking whatever the hell it is that makes them happy. If someone makes you feel bad about the shit you like, either make them realise that’s not on, or move along, because they’re probably not worth it if they make you feel crappy about something that makes you happy. Wouldn’t it be great if women felt they could be fans of whatever music, book, games or sport freely, without judgment or justification?

Fangirls, I salute you.


Laura is the designer for Salient 2013. She has been dead for ten years #ghostfacts @lrrra

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