I can’t remember the context to save my soul, but I’ve yet to forget that one time some boy at karate camp said of me, “Typical girl.” In hindsight, I don’t know why that didn’t make me mad. Call me “typical anything”, these days, and I’ll take ten kinds of offense. The girl part? Whatever. I do happen to be a girl, for whatever that’s worth.
What is it worth, I wonder? How many of my traits might one chalk up to my gender, and how many might appear to fly in the face of it?
*cue the “It’s Time for a List!” song*
…There is no such song? Boo. Well, I compiled a list anyway.
Positive (+) “Of, Relating To, Or Having the Characteristics of a Girl or Girlhood” Points:
1) I like Disney Princesses. That is, I don’t hate them, and I’ll tend to like their movies. A fairy tale where the whole world might break into a song number at any time (including, potentially, the “It’s Time for a List!” song): What’s not to love?
Do I think Disney Princess should count as a “girly” thing? If we’re talking about the characters or their stories, no reason any-old-body shouldn’t enjoy them. Fairy tales for everyone, says I! If we’re talking about the glittery merchandising, um, if that’s your aesthetic preference, go for it, I guess. I personally can only take so much pink fluff.
2) I have a hard time getting into Sci-Fi. Not counting, say, superhero films, which I will dislike or love, depending on my assessment of the production values. Technology and I are bitter enemies, and I don’t enjoy the idea of big, dark, empty, don’t-breathe-wrong-or-you’ll-die outer space.
Do I think Sci-Fi should count as a boy thing? Certainly not. More power to anyone of either gender who has a higher tolerance for it than I. And don’t think I’m not about to give “Fortune’s Pawn” by Rachel [Aaron] Bach a fair try, because, hello, she wrote Eli Monpress.
3) I squeal for puppies and babies. Shamelessly.
Do I think puppy/baby love should count as a “girly” thing? Not at all. Guys loving puppies and babies is adorable. (Just one reason of a thousand I love Edgwyn Wyle.)
4) I went through a boy band phase. And when I say “boy band”, I mean the Backstreet Boys. And when I say “phase”, I mean they’ll always be my favorite, even while my obsessions move elsewhere.
Do I think boy band fandom should count as a “girly” thing? That depends. Do you have a sticker of your band favorite’s face in your journal which you proceeded to draw little hearts around and sigh over? Because that sounds pretty girly to me. *Past Danielle hangs her head*
Negative (–) “Of, Relating To”… Okay, You Know the Definition, By Now, We Can Just Say “Girly” Points:
1) I didn’t join the “Lord of the Rings” train for Orlando Bloom. It was the Balrog scene.
Do I think fascination with monsters should count as a boy thing? Rubbish. Monsters are epic. Frequently terrifying, but epic. And EPIC knows no gender.
2) My time spent on my hair and makeup is statistically zero. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Do I think a time-consuming hair/makeup routine should count as a “girly” thing? Sounds like an actor thing, to me.
3) Shoes and handbags do nothing for me. Unless we’re talking really epic boots that remind me of, say, Robin Hood. Still doesn’t make me want to lug a purse around, though.
Do I think a shoe/handbag obsession should count as a “girly” thing? I lump it all in the “fashion” category, which anyone is welcome to care about so long as I don’t have to. Edgwyn and Will Scarlet, go mall crawling without me.
4) I am largely indifferent toward chocolate. I don’t dislike it. It’s a nice now-and-then treat, if I’ve got a taste for it. By and large, though? I’d rather have fresh fruit.
Do I think chocoholism should count as a “girly” thing? No way, man. Chocolate is tasty stuff. That I can’t work up much enthusiasm about food, more often than not, is my problem. Have a slice of cake for me, somebody.
(+4) Points + (-4) Points = 0 Gender Arguments Validated
Those are just the attributes I could easily categorize based on what I gather to be female norms/stereotypes/expectations. I don’t think most of who I am is a gender thing, or a race thing, or an age-group thing. On the whole, I’m pretty much a Danielle thing – which is so far from typical, thank you very much, Karate Camp Boy.
How ‘bout you, readers? Where you do feel you fall on the “girly/boyish” spectrum?