“I’m not like other girls” I would whisper to myself while blasting indie music, wearing docs and buttoning my shirt all the way to the top. Like many American teenagers, I was plagued with what many call “special snowflake syndrome.” Due to insecurities that I was not yet mature enough to conquer, I constantly wanted to be the center of attention while simultaneously being the odd one out. This strange desire began to morph my views about other women. Most of the people in my circle of my friends were cis males, and in my head, the few women I socialized with were somehow less intelligent and interesting than my other friends. I always identified as a feminist, however, I internalized the strange notion that other women were inferior to me in a way.
Often finding it difficult to choke up a simple conversation with other women, I blamed other women for the lack of my female friendships. I would constantly tell myself that women were competitive, they were simply jealous, and other toxic stereotypes implemented mostly by men. When it was simply my sour attitude that was for the lack of a better word “cock blocking” me from finding female friends.
My dear mother, who received most of her education in “all-girl” private school, felt that my attitude was blasphemy and encouraged me to go through sorority recruitment. I expected to find recruitment to be bombarded by the stereotypes that I believed for so long. That most women, especially sorority women were superficial. Fortunately, being surrounded by a plethora of driven, intelligent, and fascinating women changed my outlook on my idea of female friendships. I realized that my distaste for women came from having low self-esteem and mostly from the false ideologies that I had absorbed from my environment.
Due to my new friendships, I am now realizing that other women are not my competition. Another person’s success does not undermine my accomplishments. I am special even though other people are special too. The “I’m not like other girls” mindset is toxic and sexist. It perpetuates the harmful idea that women are not complex individuals capable of independent thought. It gives the impression that being a woman is inherently bad, and that one should shy away from femininity.
Looking back at my previous mindset, I have concluded that I was indeed a female misogynist. I encourage every woman in university to find their girl gang whether it’s a sorority, sports team, book club, etc. Part of being a feminist is building other women up, because we are so much stronger together.