‘Rude girls’ are the new norm

‘Rude girls’ are the new norm

‘Rude girls’ are the new norm
September 08
10:00 2018

Women’s mannerisms and clothing have been historically governed and regulated by standards of society, usually meaning that ladies were to be polite, well mannered and modestly dressed. The modern women of today are redefining what it means to be a woman, and everyone has their own definition. Many women today exude confidence and aspire to be unapologetic about their identity.

But with love and assurance in oneself comes others who feel the need to share their discontent.

The seeds of female rebellion were planted long ago, by women like Joan of Arc, Frida Kahlo, Ida B. Wells and many others. Women’s fashion evolved from immobilizing clothes to shorter dresses, hairdos and eventually pants. These women paved the way for comfortable clothing, a better job market, and alleviation of gender role restrictions. Despite our modern gratitude for the change, in their respective periods, these rebels were referred to as outrageous, disgraceful and rude.

It should not come as a surprise the more liberal-leaning women of today receive so much hate. The immediacy of social media may be convenient, but unwarranted comments are just as instantaneous. And though hate can be directed at anyone, certain groups like fat women, women of color, and trans women seem to receive an even greater deal of negativity.

But in the face of online harassment, some women use the negativity to fuel their own empowerment. One of the most popular and powerful ways of reversing the effects of belittling insults is to reclaim them. When former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton was regarded as a “nasty woman” by fellow candidate Donald Trump, her female supporters proudly wore the words on their clothing and posters like some version of “The Scarlet Letter.”

Another example lies in the Latinx community, where Chicanas are proudly reclaiming the word, “chingona,” a word with previous negative connotations. The word has reemerged with a second definition, meaning a woman who has strength, intelligence and perseverance.

From Amber Rose’s SlutWalk to the women of LGBT communities reclaiming slurs, women of all shapes and sizes are showing pride in their identities and lifestyles. But why do they continue to garner so much hate?

For one, change can be uncomfortable for people set in their ways. Some still believe in embracing gender norms of the past. Others point out the negative effects of enforcing these stereotypes.

Another reason may fall directly on the perpetrator. Insecurity and jealousy drive people to act with some strange need to humble others.

Not to mention, people hate to be rejected — I know I’m not the only girl with a handful of stories about having a difficult time rejecting a persistent person at the bar. Especially as a brown, plus-sized girl, some men act like I should feel grateful for the opportunity, like some sort of business deal. After not taking the hint from the first polite “no,” I’ve learned to be blunt with undesired invitations, only to be met with insults.

Like many others, I have learned to just stop caring.

Let women embrace their bodies, let them wear their makeup or live without it. Let them wear what they want and do what they want as long as it doesn’t affect you. I have no advice for those who want to know how to better deal with “rude” women. Looks like you’re just going to have to deal with it.

Featured Illustration: Chelsea Tolin

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Christina Palomo

Christina Palomo

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