IMPORTANT THINKINGS

by sofiya alexandra

Posts tagged smart girls

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On Being a Stupid Bitch

I see a lot of Twitter bios that make me sad or angry or disappointed in people. There are gems like, “A simple Southern guy, love women, beer, rock, drinking, my truck, and my wife and family” (I’m being gracious with the spelling here, it is never that good), or the perfunctory warnings about what a dangerous and offensive pioneer you are, and how “I AM SO SHOCKING I WILL GIVE YOUR GRANDMA A HEART ATTACK I SWEAR TO GOD! THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HERE ARE MY OWN ONLY AND NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANYONE BECAUSE I’M SO CONTROVERSIAL THEY WOULD LITERALLY EXPLODE BY BEING AFFILIATED WITH ME DICK BOOBS FAGGOT BITCH.” Those just elicit resigned head shakes from me at this point, but the ones that sincerely upset me are where girls and women refer to themselves as stupid in their own bios.

I don’t even mean ones where girls say something like, “Real life Liz Lemon, photographer, cook, Cheeto-loving idiot.” I mean ones where girls self-identify as “A stupid bitch” or “a dumb broad” without any attempt at irony, humor, or fun. Where it’s the only descriptor of them, and their avatar is a regular photo where they try to look pretty. I don’t understand this. You are taking enough care to present yourself as someone who’s attractive by choosing a particular photo where you look nice, but you aren’t taking any care to present yourself as someone intelligent? What possible advantage could there be to this? That no matter what thoughts you tweet, we as your audience are supposed to never take you seriously? Or is this a way to safeguard yourself against unforeseen criticism? “Well, I don’t agree with this tweet, but that’s right, she did say she was a stupid bitch.”

It’s ridiculous to me, as a writer, comedian, and sane human being, than anyone would want to be considered dumber than they are. I have spent my whole life being ashamed of mispronouncing words I had only read before, terrified that someone would ask me to point out a country on a map and I wouldn’t be able to do it, in a cold sweat over the time I attributed a certain anecdote to Fugazi instead of The Teen Idles on a podcast. If anything, I value being perceived as intelligent too much, where I confuse many things I think I should be able to know for actual intelligence. I work on this. What are the girls who are calling themselves stupid IN THEIR BIOS trying to tell us? 

Sadly, I think it’s that they’re scared of being smart. They are not exposed to much pop culture where women are routinely shown being rewarded for being smart. Instead, there are many many shows that feature toddlers, teenagers, grown women all trying desperately to be as beautiful as possible. There is no America’s Smartest Woman, or Toddlers and Chess Trophies, or The Bachelor’s Doctor Wife. But a bunch of Snookis and housewives who rip into each other at every opportunity are so plentiful it’s like they’re all screwing each other without condoms.

So girls are understandably afraid of criticism. They think if they’re sincere about something in today’s culture of constant vicious internet mockery, they will pay a price. That someone will make them feel like crap for not being funny, or right, or a dude. A lot of them end up perpetuating the stereotype of women being stupid and catty by censoring themselves, and in turn eviscerating other women who do go out on a limb and present themselves sincerely.

So to any young girls reading this: no one will respect you if you don’t respect yourself. You can’t expect everyone to like you, no one can, but you can and should expect people to respect you. And that starts with being the best person you can be. The smartest, kindest, bravest you you’ve got. People respect that. And if in the process, your best gets people to like you, that’s great! It means they like you for you. And if they don’t, you have to be tough and still keep being you. If we all quit based on the input of trolls, there would be no art at all, good or bad. So tweet with impunity, without the “I’m a dumb broad” disclaimer in your bio. You deserve it.

I’ll leave you with something unsurprising, but still sad. This is what you get when you type “why are girls” into Google.

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And this is what you get when you type “why are boys” into Google.

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So we as a googling nation think our boys are mean, but at least they’re tall!! And we think our girls are stupid, insecure, AND mean.

We can do better.

P.S. Things like this wonderful Amy Poehler web series Smart Girls helps me from getting sad:

http://youtu.be/P5r7ZRCaWis

Filed under bios boys feminism girls google intelligence respect self-esteem smart girls stupid bitch twitter women amy poehler