2.9
September 7, 2017

I Will Not be the “Chill” Girl.

Warning: naughty language! 

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” ~ Audre Lorde ~

~

I refuse to be the “chill girl.”

If you interrupt me, I will not let it slide.
I will pull you up on it, to the awkwardness and embarrassment of everyone else in the conversation.
And say, “Can you tell me why what you have to say is more important than what I have to say?”
Even if my voice shakes, even if I don’t want to do it, I will.
Because I’d rather be called a bitch for standing firm in my boundaries.

I’d rather create that palpable riff of social friction
Than be hailed “chill” for always swallowing my tongue and putting others’ comfort and needs before mine.

If you tell me “I am not like other girls,”
That I am “easygoing,”
I will not take that as a compliment.
Other girls are funny and brilliant and loud and terrifying and intuitive and fierce and emotional and powerful.
Easygoing? No. I don’t go easy.
Not unless it’s a “yes” that rumbles in my bones.

If you make a throwaway, lighthearted joke that grates at my values
Against everything I stand for
That exemplifies your unconscious privilege
That downcasts the marginalized
I will not laugh.
Even if it’s one word, one joke you used without even thinking about it
I will call you in to re-evaluate.
And I won’t care that you’re in a rush or you’re embarrassed or you just want to get on with whatever it was you were doing
Because I’d expect people to do the same to me
Because we all have a long way to go and there is not time for complacency anymore.

“She’s cool. She’s chill. She’s a guy’s girl.”
God, how I used to crave that in my younger years.
How being seen as low-maintenance was a badge of honour.
What that says to me now?
She’s swallowing her tongue. She’s dimming her light. She is threatened by other women.

“You know those girls who, like, plaster themselves in make-up?”
Yes. What about them?
What does the amount of powder someone puts on their face in the morning have to do with who they are as a person?
Sweet fuck all.
Sometimes I come from the surf every morning and stay bare-faced all week.
Other times I can spend hours in front of the mirror, blending different shades of brown in the creases of my eyelids
Following my cupids bow with blood-red lipstick
Until there isn’t a square millimeter of bare skin left of my face.
Why? Because it’s fun. Because it makes me happy. Because I can.

“Guys prefer a more minimal look.”
Real men prefer whatever the fuck a woman wants to do to express herself and feel good.

“She’s high maintenance.”
Firstly, she’s not a high-performance car that needs constant tending to
Or a Bonsai tree.
She’s a human.
Sorry if you need clarification on what that means.
Sorry that she has an inner world just as rich and layered as yours
And ambitions that could swallow the sun.
Sorry she won’t fold seamlessly into your life, tight-fitting and flexible as lycra.

If you wanted someone who adored you
Who followed you wherever you wanted to go
Who came at every whistle and call
I hate to be the one to break this to you,
But I think what you are looking for is a puppy, not a girlfriend.

Women, when you perpetuate the cool girl myth
The easy-breezy woman who has no wants and needs of her own
Who just goes with “whatever”
When you bite your tongue for fear of not being accepted
Fear of being labelled a bitch or stuck-up or, my favourite, a “difficult woman”
You do a disservice to women everywhere.
Can we just abolish this “chill girl” fetish already?

She does not exist.
~

Author: Caitlin Creeper
Image: Pierre Willemin/Flickr 
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton
Social Editor: Nicole Cameron
 

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Jennifer Evangelista Nov 12, 2017 3:14pm

As I read this a piece of me wants to cheer and scream "yes!" Empowerment to an individual is inspirational no matter what the gender. What I don't understand (and perhaps I've misinterpreted something here) is the division between females that's exhibited here. Labels as an easy, chill, guy's girl (or one of the guys) versus an outspoken, know who you are at the risk of being viewed as a bitch. Characterizations based on whether a female wears make-up or prefers the natural look (depending upon her own style or mood), extended to her fashion choices. To assume that others are threatened by their own gender because they make choices that don't fit within your particular definitive box of what an empowered woman is doesn't strike me as being mindful (not that I know too much of things) or supportive of the female gender overall. There is a lack of unity, in my opinion, within, not only our gender, but mankind. Pre-judgments distract and build divisive walls based on what I consider superficial things and personal insecurities. To me, Empowerment isn't defined by social standards, it is discovered within ourselves, during our own journeys and the consideration of outside influences diminish the whole concept of individuality. None of us knows or can know the personal battles of another. What make look weak to another may take incredible inner strength to endure. Who are we to judge another's life or character or strength for that matter based on our own preconceived notions of what's right for us personally? If a female is a "one of the guys"type of girl what does it matter to anyone else if that's just who she is? If a female is in a situation no one can understand who is to say that she isn't incredibly strong to know what she has to do to survive? Strength I believe comes from acceptance and lack of judgment. There are many ways to stand one's ground and it is not always necessary to make a lot of noise doing so. There's a difference to me between a strong woman and being a bitch. Strong women exercise their power quietly at times and don't need anyone's approval for being who they are. They don't need to make sense to anyone but to themselves and they don't need to divide people, especially their female counterparts into what seems like a "right or wrong" comparison of insecure definitions. We are women. All tracks of life and all different ways of doing things. In my opinion if true "female empowerment" is going to succeed, the judgments and comparisons based on insecurities to justify ourselves need to stop.

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.

Caitlin Creeper

Caitlin Creeper is Australian-born, and she grew up in the ocean. She’s had sand in her undies and salt in her veins since day one. She’s a feminist, empath, traveler, writer, Scorpio, and professional feeler of feelings and observer of the world and people around her. She gets fired up about equality and women’s empowerment, and she is always down to learn more. Follow her heart-driven messages and sometimes angry rants on Instagram and Facebook.