“I can’t be friends with girls.”
“I only have guy friends.”
“Girls just don’t like me.”
We have all heard the above statement a million times. And every time, it’s increasingly obnoxious. It’s almost always for the same stupid reasons, too: women don’t like me, women are jealous of me, women are full of drama. Some will say they only have one female friend because that particular woman is “different” and “not like other girls,” but are otherwise opposed to lady friends.
Literally every woman I have ever met who says this is full of shit. How do I know? I was one of them once. As a teenager, I was an insecure brat who felt competitive about other women because I was (A) terrified they wouldn’t like me if they got to know me, which was probably correct since I was a competitive insecure brat, and (B) so negative about myself that I assumed being next to other women would mean men wouldn’t see me as being of value (yes, really).
Then, I made a discovery that shocked nobody but me. Hey! Other women are actually just fine and it’s me who’s driving them away! So yeah, I recognized that I was being an immature dolt and that any guy who judged me based exclusively (or partially) on how they felt about the women around me was worthless, and then I started being nice. I also apologized to the women I had been rude toward and explained myself; they went on to become my closest friends and now we laugh about the past.
But where do these thoughts originate? Where does this notion of “women just don’t like me” spewing from?
There is this bizarre value placed on having “guy friends.” I have met so, so many women who call themselves “guys’ girls” or “one of the guys,” as though that is inherently more positive than being “just a woman.” No, you are not “one of the guys.” You are a female who hangs out with males. If you consider habits like enjoying athletics, knowing about whiskey, playing video games, watching Breaking Bad or anything else along those lines to make you “one of the guys,” then sorry, but that means you still define your favorite activities as being gendered, and that’s fucking depressing.
I grew up playing more computer RPGs than anyone I knew, played on a few soccer and tennis teams, and did. I drink a lot. I cook decently well. I wear a ton of makeup, get mani/pedis (that I do, indeed, refer to as “mani/pedis”), I don’t shave my legs, I like Breaking Bad, I own too many skincare products. I scream when I see cockroaches and love playing with rats. I feel insecure about my body, I feel confident in myself. I like avocado. I like cats. I like many of you. These are all things about me that have nothing to do with my gender; they’re just facts.
But still, people see men as being easy friends and women being difficult friends. It’s often based on stereotypes that are offensive and toward both men and women — sweeping statements that are inexplicably perpetuated by, again, both men and women. Guys are easygoing, guys don’t judge you, guys are straightforward, guys just wanna drink beer and watch football and all women wanna do is paint their nails and dabble in wearing sexy jerseys with short shorts.
And so many figures in pop culture influence this. Let’s start with How I Met Your Mother, shall we?