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The VICE Guide to Girls

It's fun to be a girl. We get to giggle and cry and throw hissy fits and keep diaries and bleed out of our vaginas and care about stuff and we don't have to feel like a fag about it. We even get to vote, hooray! Sometimes we forget to though. Sorry...

by Lesley Arfin, Amy Kellner
Jan 3 2007, 12:00am

Illustration by Christy Karacas

It’s fun to be a girl. We get to giggle and cry and throw hissy fits and keep diaries and bleed out of our vaginas and care about stuff and we don’t have to feel like a fag about it. We even get to vote, hooray! Sometimes we forget to though. Sorry, Susan B. Anthony!

Now before you go calling us dumb sluts (we know you love to do that), you should know that we also understand the problems with making essentialist assumptions about gender. We know that biology doesn’t dictate who we are (society does!). We went to liberal arts colleges, thanks. So if you’re a girl and you love fixing cars and playing football, that’s aces. We can do whatever we wanna do, right ladies? And right now we wanna give you an A-to-Z list of some of the things we love (and hate) about being a girl. Girl Power! (Just kidding.)

Guys think we’re attracted to assholes because that’s their only defense for when we dump them. When girls are rejected we turn it inward and blame ourselves for not being prettier. That’s our bad, we know. But when dudes are rejected they makes grand statements like, “Women love guys that are assholes, they don’t care about us nice guys!” And then that grand statement spreads like the wave at a Yankees game and next thing you know it’s written in fucking stone because dudes are able to write stuff in stone! Yes, they have that much power.

We don’t want you to push our heads down to your crotch area when you want a blowjob, but we also don’t want you to cry and write shitty emo poetry and paint our portrait in pastels. It’s just that there’s only a teeny wading pool in between the lake of total assholes and the bay of fucking pussies, so sometimes when we’re horny we’ll take what we can get. Ultimately we all want the same things: Good sex ’n’ giggles. So learn how to eat pussy and start memorizing lines from Will Ferrell comedies like your sex life depends on it. Because it does.

Honorable mentions: Apple (the one that Eve ate), Andie from Pretty in Pink, Ally Sheedy

What’s the big whoop with these things? We’ve never been able to justify spending half our rent on a pair of shoes so we have no idea and guess what? We don’t care. Have you ever seen a foot come out of a high heel after several hours of wear? Not a pretty sight, no matter how expensive the shoe. It’s like you crammed five sweaty, naked, fat people into a phone booth. They are red, puffy, and pissed off. Don’t get us wrong, we like heels. Dress-up is fun. But we also like not having bunions and toes that will eventually look like Teen Wolf’s fingers. So save the heels for museum galas and dancing naked for your boyfriend and rethink the penny loafer. They’re sexier than you think!

Honorable mentions: Babies, birth-control pills, brides, biological determinism, Betty & Veronica, baking, Bring It On


C is for Chick Lit

In case you’ve been living on Lord of the Flies island, “Chick Lit” is book-speak for literature written by women, for women who act like girls. We try to love it but we don’t. Why? Because it’s usually written about normal girls who have normal jobs and try to get ahead in their boring, normal careers and we can’t understand why. They are filled with clichés and have stolen our lingo, like “totes” and, even more embarrassing, ancient terms like “hottie” (so ’96). Sometimes these books are about rich women who have nannies, and then maybe their nannies keep a diary and we’re supposed to care about that too. This just in: We don’t!

Honorable mentions: Cats, crafternoons, caring, cliques, Cookie Mueller, C.B. Barnes

We know it’s a cliché but goddammit, it just tastes better than regular soda. We swear. Isn’t it lame how Pepsi made Pepsi One to trick macho dudes into drinking diet soda? Seriously, whose manhood is threatened by diet soda? Probably someone with a very tiny manhood. Ha ha ha! (Small-dick jokes. Classic.)

Honorable mentions: Dildos, Darlene from Roseanne

Fun-fact time! Here are some statistics culled from The average American woman is 5'4" tall and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5'11" tall and weighs 117 pounds. Eighty percent of American women claim to be dissatisfied with their physical appearance and ten million women in the US have a full-on eating disorder. Depressed yet? Here, have some ice cream, it’ll make you feel better.

But come on, do you really want to let TV and fashion magazines tell you that you’re fat and worthless? You’re smarter than that. If you act like you’re awesome, people will think that you’re awesome. And if you have to, fake it. Fake it till it’s not fake anymore.

Honorable mentions: Emma Goldman, estrogen, Eileen Myles, essentialism vs. constructivism

We get so mad when some nitwit says she’s not a feminist. I guess if you’re cool with being raped all the time and having no options in life other than being a baby machine or a prostitute, then yeah, you’re probably not a feminist. But if you enjoy birth-control pills and not being beaten up by your owner—I mean, husband—then you pretty much are one so you may as well stop shaving your legs right now. Just kidding. Somewhere along the way feminism got a bad rep, but it doesn’t mean you have to be a sourpuss or that you can’t write tongue-in-cheek articles riddled with silly gender stereotypes. All it means is that you don’t hate yourself.

Honorable mentions: Feelings, face cream, flirting, Foxes

Ooh, the G-spot. How do I find the G-spot? Where can I buy 500 books about finding the G-spot? Listen, for the millionth time: If you put your fingers in a lady’s vagina and tap up in a “come here” motion right behind the area that feels kinda spongy, that’s it. It usually feels pretty awesome for the lady and she might even cum on your face if you’re lucky. The end.

Honorable mentions: Ghost World, Grey Gardens, Golden Girls, getting fingered, Grandma Moses, gossiping


H is for Hitachi Magic Wand

I is for Ice Skating (especially the Kwanster)

Photo by AP

J is for Jenny Lewis

This machine, aka the Cadillac of vibrators, is the answer to your orgasm prayers. If you don’t have one, buy one. Now. And stop writing to Glamour about how to achieve an orgasm through intercourse because who are you kidding? Clits need vibes like diamond rings need fingers.

Honorable mentions: H&M, Heathers, Helen Love, horses, Hothead Paisan

The delicate twirling. The death-defying leaps. The sparkly outfits. Pitting preteen girls against each other and making them cry. Ice skating is as girly as it gets. It’s the only Olympic event we really care about. Well, and gymnastics, which is basically ice skating without the ice. Oh, and men’s swimming, which is just sexy.

Honorable mentions: Intimacy, I’m With The Band by Pamela Des Barres

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for giving us Jenny Lewis. She sings real purdy and has nice hair.


Honorable mentions: Judy Blume, Jerri Blank, Joni Mitchell, jumping up and down when we’re happy

Dear Satan,

Thank you for giving us Kathleen Hanna. She doesn’t care what you think, and we don’t either.


Honorable mentions: Knick-knacks, Kate Bush, Kimya Dawson, Kim Kelly from Freaks and Geeks

If you went to a liberal arts college you already know that LUG stands for Lesbian Until Graduation. Real lesbians get annoyed that straight girls experiment with lesbianism in college just to hopefully scare their parents when they mention it at Thanksgiving. And we can’t really blame the lesbos—LUGs are the leading number-one cause of lesbian heartbreak in America. Every dyke we know has been used then chucked by at least one “bi-curious” girl.

Honorable mentions: Lita Ford, Lynda Barry, leotards, Little Darlings, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains, Laurie Alpert (author of Growing Up Underground—read it)

“I don’t hate you because you’re fat, you’re fat because I hate you.” And there you have the best line from the best movie about teenage girls to come out since John Hughes dumped Molly for Macaulay (bad move, man). You would think that by starring in a movie about exactly how not to be a stupid teenage bitch, Lindsay Lohan would have learned a thing or two. Oh well. Tina Fey is the real hero of this one. We watch the DVD over and over and wish that we were the ones to have written the screenplay.

Honorable mentions: Maternal instincts, Mama Cass, Margaret Cho, Mo’Nique, Maureen Dowd, marriage, manipulating, martyrdom, Miss Hannigan

N is for Nice Tits

Photo by Yonathan Thiang

Everyone loves boobs. Boobs are the best. Except for our own. They’re way too small/big/pointy/droopy/lopsided/whatever. Girls never ever like their boobs. It’s like a curse. But here’s the thing to consider: Real men love real boobs. We mean, real ones—squishy tits that flop over when you lie on your back. No one likes hard, fake boob jobs except for porn fetishists and hair-gel frat jocks and do you really want those creeps touching your special areas anyway?

Honorable mentions: Nancy Drew, Nikki Corvette, Nomi Malone, not wanting to have butt sex

OMG, can you believe that girls invented slang and no one gives us props for it? In fact, we totally invented the following things: Saying “like” every two seconds, reducing “totally” to “totes,” “stupid” to “stoops,” and expanding “stoops” to “stoops du jour.” We changed “gnarly” to “gnarls” and then upped the ante with “Gnarly Lama,” “Gnarls in Charge,” and yes, even “Gnarls Barkley.” That one got stolen big-time! We put the “grody” in “Grodo Baggins” and the “jealousy” in “peanut butter and jelz” (we know you’re jelz of that one!).

OK, maybe inventing slang like this isn’t something to be proud of. It doesn’t make us sound particularly smart (unless you come up with a ’licious [delicious] word combo such as “God, this party is so Gnarlito’s Way!”) but boys around the globe have been ripping us off for years. We heard them use “douche chills” on a syndicated sitcom and we invented that! We know we’re just getting territorial and making it seem like girls invented all plays on words. But we did! We just wanted you to know. It’s not like we don’t want dudes to say stuff like, “OMG, it’s so chilly con carne out tonight!” We do, we just want you to admit that WE invented the way you talk, OK?

Honorable mentions: Orphan Annie, overthinking stuff

We heart Paula because she calls bullshit on fancy makeup and skin-/hair-care products. But she’s not anti-makeup—you can tell from her picture that she wears more than her share. She just calmly explains what the ingredients in the products actually mean (plant extracts are bullshit—thanks, Clarins), alerts you to the insane amount of irritants contained in most skin creams (screw you, Origins), and then rates the best and worst ones for you. And it’s all online for free.

PS: You know that Crème de la Mer stuff that is supposedly the best moisturizer ever and costs $160 for a teaspoonful? Well, according to Paula, it is “almost exclusively water, thickening agents, and some algae.” Suckers!

Honorable mentions: Pink, pink, PMS, Patti Smith, Poly Styrene, Pammy and Nicky from Times Square, people-pleasing, processing, Punky Brewster

Girls only do those stupid MySpace quizzes to send secret, subliminal messages to boys they have crushes on. Now you know.

Honorable mentions: Queen Latifah, quilting (we do that, right?), Queen Elizabeth, questioning everything!

Rom-coms are romantic comedies (When Harry Met Sally is the mother of all rom-coms), and oddly enough we know more boys who are into these movies than girls. Just ask our editor. Rom-coms are pretty good for a Sunday afternoon. Flip on 11-Alive (that’s what channel 11 was called in the 80s) and fold your laundry to You’ve Got Mail, Serendipity, Just Like Heaven, and The Truth About Cats and Dogs. It’s actually one of the only guilty pleasures we can honestly say we feel a little guilty about. It seems like these movies were made specifically for us single women to feel hopeful about finding our soulmate and it’s OK because all nice guys and chubby girls finish last and don’t worry, you will too, and damn you Hollywood bigwigs for making us fall into your devilish trap!

Honorable mentions: Rainbows, Regina Spektor, the Runaways, Rizzo, Ramona Quimby, Rollerderby magazine


S is for Sassy

Photo by Getty

T is for Thongs

If the cassingle of “Betty Boo: Doin’ the Do,” randomly showed up at your house, then you were a subscriber to Sassy magazine! Congratulations! You’ve just been awarded 25 cool points. Add an extra 1,000 if your riot-grrl band was ever featured in the “Cute Band Alert,” and, if you’re a boy, add 10 for being the boy of the month in “Dear Boy.” If you interned at the magazine, wore overalls, cut your hair short, had a pair of Chinese slippers or John Fluevog Mary Janes, made your own skirt out of neckties, submitted to “It Happened to Me” or that weird little poetry page, still own the issue with Kurt and Courtney on the cover AND the 7" single by Chia Pet on bubblegum-pink vinyl then you are the winner of being one of the coolest girls ever to exist on this planet. Yay!

PS: There’s a book about Sassy coming out in April. We’ll be buying our copies at the stroke of midnight.

Honorable mentions: Slutty Halloween costumes, self-help books, Sara Silverman, The Sweetest Thing, strap-ons, saying yes when we really mean no, the Sundays, the Shangri-las

One question: Why? I own one thong and the only time I wear it is on laundry day. And typical me, every laundry day I forget how fucking annoying they are and I find myself picking at invisible wedgies the whole time. But you can’t pick thong wedgies because a thong IS a wedgie. You are choosing to give yourself a wedgie. And why, because it looks hot to dudes when you lean over and they see the little stringy triangle sticking out? Where were you born, Asbury Park? Do your kids go to preschool in a casino? Thongs are fucking cheesy! If you don’t want your panty lines to show (reconsider, however, panty lines can be really hot) then why not just wear… nothing? What a shocker. And don’t be scared that people will be able to see your woo-woo like Paris and Lindsay. Those girls want to show off their vaginas. And why shouldn’t they? Vaginas are way prettier than thongs.

Honorable mentions: Tina Fey, Three Women, tomboys, thrifting, talking about other people, talking about relationships, talking on the phone

All girls love unicorns. And we all love the movie The Last Unicorn. And the theme song to that movie by the band America is our favorite song and we all have the lyrics written in calligraphy next to our poster of a bouquet of roses that have been strewn over a piano. And when we hear this song, we all put on our pointe shoes and one of those masquerade-type masks and dance around our bedrooms singing, “When the last eagle flies over the last crumbling mountain/ And the last lion roars at the last dusty fountain/ In the shadow of the forest/ Though she may be old and worn/ They will stare unbelieving/ At the last unicorn… I’m alive! I’m alii-iiive!”

Honorable mentions: “Uptown Top Ranking” by Althea & Donna, Ugly Betty, Uggs (why won’t they die???)

Who wants to be pounded for five hours? What modern woman has the time? Hey, ever wonder what would happen if a girl took Viagra? We know a lesbian who took some with her girlfriend and here’s what she said: “It was the worst sex we ever had. Clits are sort of like little penises, so they got all swollen and hard and it took FOREVER for us to come. But I guess technically that’s what Viagra’s supposed to do so I don’t know what we were expecting.” Fascinating!

Honorable mentions: Viola Swamp (the mean teacher from Miss Nelson is Missing!), vaginas (doye), Valerie, V.C. Andrews

Waxing hurts. It hurts a lot. God forbid you should choke on a pubic hair while you’re eating us out. Thank you, Larry David. What’s with girls waxing everything though? We can understand a bikini wax, and even a betweeny wax (only Jewish and Italian girls need apply), but getting a Brazilian and having absolutely no hair down there is a little weird. Looking like a five-year-old when you get naked is just gross. If men like it, if they’re the ones that specifically request it, you might want to take into consideration that they’re pedophiles. Sorry but it’s true. We understand that not everyone wants to embrace their inner Andrea Dworkin, and we agree that personal grooming is important. But it doesn’t mean you have to look like a porn star. No one looks like that. Sex is supposed to be awkward and weird and dirty, with stray hairs and stinky pits. Those are the things that sometimes make it the sexiest.

Honorable mentions: Witchcraft, women’s studies, Wendy Williams, Wendy O. Williams, Wanda Sykes, wanting more than he’s willing to give, Weetzie Bat


V is for Viagra

Are we the only ones who find the popularity of $10,000 handbags with WASPy names like “The Clive” or “The Eliza” disturbing? Seriously, it’s a place to put your tampons. I mean, true, girls love a cute purse. It’s because a purse is a metaphor for a vagina—it’s small and velvety and pretty and you want to put things in it again and again and again. Still, our criteria for a good bag are: a) lots of zippered pockets, and b) big enough to fit all our crap inside because, like Alison in The Breakfast Club says, “You never know when you may have to jam.” If it happens to have a cute heart pattern on it and lots of shiny things hanging off it, then yay, bonus. But really, like they always say, it’s what’s inside that counts—carry useful things in your purse and lend them freely. People will be impressed by your generosity and resourcefulness! Much more so than they would be by a price tag anyway.

Honorable mentions: Xanadu, Xena: Warrior Princess (we miss that show every day)

You are a girl! You are a gift, a rainbow, a ray of sunlight and a fresh summer breeze. You give life and eat forbidden apples with pride and determination. You are beautiful and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. As a girl there are a few simple commandments. One of them is that jealousy kills girl-love, so the next time you and a bunch of your girlfriends gang up against another girl and make her cry because she hooked up with your ex, just remember that it’s really not cool to do that! You don’t even care about Kevin anyway, YOU dumped HIM! Another thing to remember is, “Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.” Sitting on the sidewalk while Mandy holds your hair back while you puke is not a good look!

In all seriousness though, you are a girl so you should be siked. Give your man a great idea and don’t be surprised when he turns to his friends and says, “Hey man, why don’t you listen to my great idea?” Since you’re a girl you won’t mind because that’s how we roll. Do you think Yoko cared when she told John Lennon about peace and he acted like he invented the damn thing? No, she didn’t. You’re smart. You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone. You know the truth, so stop acting like you don’t already. It’s giving the rest of us a bad rep.

Honorable mentions: Yoko Ono, yeast infections, yogurt

“Oh my gosh, you are SUCH a Libra!” Sandra said after she showed me where the frozen-yogurt machine was in the caff. It was my first day working for Mr. Spencer, the top dog at the law firm were I had landed my first real secretarial job. Oops, I mean “executive assistant.” Gosh, I’m so forgetful, I guess I truly am a Libra after all! Sandra was so sweet. After she offered me a Diet Coke she told me where I could hide my Reeboks. “Mr. Spencer makes sure all his girls wear pumps but I know it’s only natch to wear ’boks, just don’t let him see you.” Thank gosh Sandra was a Gemini. We were compatible as lifelong friends. I just knew I was going to make it in Big Apple city!

Honorable mentions: Zines, zero (the number of girls who think Fletch is funny)