This column started out as “Girl News: Boys” Oh, FACE! Just kidding, jkjkjkjk. I love boys so much. Here is What Girls Hate, though.
"HATE IS A VERY STRONG WORD"
I think hearing this from the other summer camp junior-associate-bitches on the tennis court is what made me who I am today.
Everything that girls like (“everything”; “girls”) is both abbreviated and embellished. I’m not assigning a value to this, so calm down. Threat Level Green, just, relax. Tired of everyone except my cool friend Natasha being so mad at me for presumptive collective statements; do they feel like I’m telling them to like print out a column and stuff the crumply pages all up inside? I’m not. Just, do what you feel. Do you. Do it. Do. Anyyyyyywhoooo (that’s a Halloween word). Experience and expression has often been compressed by women into fashion, and I feel like we are at a place where long-form anything has been girl-universally abbreved into the most compact version of itself. Maybe not the “most,” maybe one day we will have Emoji-novels tweeted and bejewelled onto our fingernails.
According to my internets, girls want you to know where they are most of the time, who they are with, and what their stuff looks like. My totally lazy thesis about this is that it’s just advanced, preventative FOMO and remedial bragging and also re-re-re-re-re-claiming (there are soooo many internets to do and look at now) the safety and security of one’s place in the world, which gets more important the more tenuous an adult life feels, and to me, adult life feels pretty fucking tenuous. All of those things are just fine.
Why is everyone’s hair the same and also boring? Most girls hate diverging from whatever their genre’s stylistic norms are, which is fine because “most girls” = “most people” and it’s important that a majority exists to have something to respond to (the internet doesn’t work that fast), so fine. But why do professional fashion girls hate cool hair? This whole fashion month (ooooh that is too corny to even type in this Starbucks in my hometown, where I am for the retardedly scheduled Canadian Thanksgiving), I mean, sorry, during the multiple fashion weeks that together approximate a month, I was checking out these incredible, expensive, next-lev feats of proportion, color, and texture in the clothes and makeup. BUT, OK, so why is every fashion girl’s hair the same lank, formless, shiny (but not like Miranda Kerr shiny, so shiny and sparkling that it gets charged with obscenity) hair-colored non-Hunger Games-ed-anti-erotic-art-item? Why is the one pursuit of a reasonable semi-natural look-element happening in hair? Just go full retard.
THE WRONG WAYS OF FEELING FEELINGS
Basically the/any problem between two people is because everyone is totally desperate (dying, dyyyying) to be known (not understood necessarily, that’s another emotional battle and one you will lose, but To Be Known) and yet totally disinterested in the work it requires to know anyone else: All that Tempurpedic-give-and-take vulnerability is so, so hard. So anyway girls fucking hate it if you want to feel at them in a way that will exhaust or confuse or threaten them, and they hate it when they want to feel at you and you are exhausted or confused or threatened by it. Being comfortable with feelings as a theoretical is only the preamble to actually being good at them, which is only for… who? I think I’m too far up inside my own bag of candy-corns for this one, maybe. Let’s watch that new Xtina video together instead. I like the part where she fucks up on the baseball bat.
Telling a girl to smile is the very same as inelegantly and impossibly and enragingly trying to mediate her and her body’s entire experience of the world and like who wants to be that guy (#nodads)? I mean, lumber into a psychic dimension that is inhospitable to what you think and then tell it what to do instead of learning how to breathe, I guess, but that’s on you, and this shit is probably why nobody likes you. Also, there is not really a better example for dudes of the many and ever-demeaning ways in which misogyny works that are too subtle for their brain’s palate to detect. I hate being told to smile more than I hate a lot of the more explicit worst-isms.
Girls hate rationality because it would overturn so much of what we loooove, like, dating someone who is bad news, oooor, screaming, or driving awesome a.k.a. with the bass going so loud that it vibrates the car door so much that it enters in your knee and zags to your pussaaay and then guess what happens? OK not that but it feels great and is a good way to remember your power. I don’t know about you but my power has nothing to do with anything rational.
I mean, supposedly.
You know when you are getting a cold and the worst part is not even the sneezy stuff but how bad your teeth hurt? The worst part of a period is the acute grossiosity that just travels around your back and hips and general lowers and maybe even your heart, and is just unsolvable and no good. None of this stuff is the bloody stuff, and yet, outside of my little Brownie pack of cool-girls nobody talks about their period. I don’t mean in an aggressive socially outré "GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL MY AREA IS LEAKING" way, but in a wholly reasonable and relevant thing, like "I have agita" or "My blood sugar is low" normal, needs-oriented way. It is perfectly nice to say that you need a few to collect yourself because you are menstruating. Put your nose in the air a little and make sure your comportment is excellent when you say so and walk away because we are still fighting sexism in a way where you have to do it cute.
When I haven’t checked email in a while (which, realistically/lately, only ever happens after a movie, or when I lock my iPhone in the car for the purposes of stretching out in a dirty field), my inbox is like one of those streets or neighborhoods where everybody gets together to hang a million strings of Christmas lights and glowing lawn accessories, and I just ooooh and aaaaah about the many lined-up frissons and excitements. AND YET I hate text messages so hard. I can’t archive that shit. I never see it. I can’t operate it in the various stealthy PhD-level ways that I can work my Gmail. UNLESS you are texting me a perfect joke how about DON’T?
My friend Kat has claimed to find Danzig attractive but she is either lying or is the only girl ever, EVER, to think that. Nobody thinks that.
Haaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha. I’m all for words that don’t exist and signify something that literally cannot happen in reality, but this one is mostly just for fun.
BOYS, OR, THE GENERAL RETARDATION OF MANY
The general, diffuse retardation that does not so much “define” the boy experience as “color” it is something that I have noticed older ladies either do not talk about except in staccato bursts of disapproval and quick head-shakes or just completely forgive in a Women’s Wisdom-y way. It’s also the thing that girls will talk circles around until they could have raised a circus tent with all the effort. Like, the “boys are stupid” through-line of many gendered convos is so boring and unfair, of course, but ALSO, why do y’all do enough shit for us to talk about? As a for instance, and not to get too emotionally grubby (who am I kidding, my feelings-fingies are just covered in like melted-candy-goos for you to lick off and spit out if you want), but yesterday I had a rare, awful, embarrassing panic attack (in public!) and while I was curled up on a bench crying and wiping off my mascara and calling my dad, who comes over but a FUCKING GUY looking at me IN THE CRY-FACE and being like “Ooh let me just pick up this cup here” and swoops in like a perv-wave under my legs to get someone’s old, empty coffee cup as though there wasn't 80,000 square feet of public waystation he could have been occupying. GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM MEEEEEE. Who does this? Even the worst Somebody’s Mom doesn’t push it if you tell them you are just fine.
I totally get why this happens, but girls want to tell you their version of their lives through selective overshares, allusions, and suggestions without ever actually telling you very much. They haaaate specifics. And here when I say "girls" I really mean a certain, consistent subset. So, as a for instance, they’ll refer to something they did, will do, will not do, think, believe, want, hope, but only in these teasingly general terms without ever getting into it. Like once at brunch (BRUNNCCCCHHHHH) I told my friends Amy and Greg that I really liked this guy who had “moves,” like he had these “moves” that I couldn’t even understand or replicate or explain, but such, such moves. So obviously they were like “MORE” and I just didn’t know because when I encountered this guy’s moves I was unconscious in Sexylvania. So, I mean, I know that sometimes the abstract impressions of a girl experience will be more present and real than the specifics, but STILL don’t you think it’s kind of a jag move to point so much without real follow-through? I mean, I would climb a tall security fence in heels (not really, I’d take them off, toss them over, and climb barefoot) to get pure-vanilla two-scoops (sugar cone obvi) of deets about anything pretty much anyone has to say about their life. I mean, I am a professional. Like, WHAT? Like, WHAAAAT? Tell me all of your STUFF!
Guh, this should be a whole section but I lost my bone for it about a half hour ago when I was listing on a scrap of paper the bands that my guy friends have started (which number infinity) and the number of bands that my girl friends have started (two). I think I am just going to radicalize myself and my choices and stop assessing and advising on how a lot of women are too uncomfortable and too threatened by doing anything/having an opinion/saying anything to be creative or have a good time or whatever because there is too much to it and I feel like being a bitch about it makes me a “Smile!” guy but with reverse intentions. I do have this idea that instead of telling each other to “S a D” we should say “D some S.”
BEING LOOKED AT
When you’re not feeling it, the literal male gaze is entirely wretched. It’s like, the points at which your skin touches your clothes are already on fire (that’s how I explain it to my friends when I am having depressions and can’t hang out, I say “My skin is on fire”); those points are like little, inefficiently sparking camp fires, and every time a man’s eyeball becomes the third point of skin plus clothing plus eye-ball that fire pops, white-hot, and it hurts to be of the world in a way that implicates what you look like for better or worse or whatever, just because you are a girl-organism in a public environment.
NOT BEING LOOKED AT
Like, when you want to be? And need that that eye-ball to make the third point on your pre-existing dual YES-feelings and good-outfit situation? Like it’s enough to convince you into that fifth accessory and third layer of glitter shadow.
The best thing Chris Brown ever did for himself was continue to be a reliably self-serious violence marauder who has made some really good songs. If he had beat up a woman, brutally and at close range, and didn’t then toss a chair clear through the Ghost of Carson Daly’s Future a.k.a. Matt Lauer and out a window on Good Morning America (OK I know that isn’t Matt Lauer’s show but it’s truly all the same stuff anyway) or give Drake a wet willy or whatever he did, he’d just be creepy and horrible and the worst. BUT, going all-in on that shit has just recast him as a generally scary, fucked-up multi-millionaire superstar guy and now a lot of girls on Twitter would do a lot of dirt to get fucked by him. ☹(((((
Is it just meeeee or are girls jealous of girls with cosmetically better ethnicities? I’m not suggesting a racist element, just a racial one, like, how dare you be French and Japanese and Cuban? How dare you be so beautiful in this way that's unavailable to me? Or maybe only white-white-white girls feel this way because I can’t imagine anyone being interested in my Celtic skin tones, which are like Caspar's when he’s really mad or embarrassed about something. Then again, my English/Irish/Pepsi hair does literally anything I want it to except look cool (see above). Anyway, this doesn’t qualify as “hate” so I should take it out, but I just also want to posit that the move I’m noticing of women being WAY more about “Damn girl” and “She’s so hot” and inspired and impressed and openly attracted to other chixxx, which I’m POSITIVE has been encouraged by our various social media (mediaii?) is a really incredible direction for Girl Nation.
Note: I don’t give 0.0001 percent about you, insofar as when you are like “That’s not meeeee, that’s not about meeeeeee, I’m a girl, that’s not meeeeee” because the one thing I REALLY have going on is that I get to do whatever I want and if deciding that “girls hate sports” is what I want to do, it’s what I’m going to do. Anyway, don’t forget to say my favorite joke to your dad or whoevs is watching sports: “Ooh, is this the Game? I’ve seen this before.”
Follow Kate on Twitter @KateCarraway