Let’s talk about the way we write “like a girl.”
Because it’s everywhere, you guys. It’s in shitty, terrible badfic and it’s in really amazing fic, and apparently this is a thing we need to talk about.
So. Let’s talk about the way that when a male character feels insecure, or overwhelmed, or vulnerable, apparently he’s acting like a girl. If he’s obsessing over the person he loves, he’s acting like a girl.
No, you know what? I’m done giving this a pass. Eames isn’t acting like a teenage girl if he’s obsessing over Arthur’s hair, okay? He’s acting “lovesick” or “ridiculous” or he’s embarrassed to know himself, but you know what? Saying “like a girl” or “like a [adj] girl” isn’t necessary.
Find a better phrase. Find a better word. Your fic is not going to be made worse by eliminating that phrase.
Because you know what? Being a teenage girl isn’t the worst thing a person can be. I was one, and you know what I did as a teenage girl? I read a shitton of fic. So there I was, in a female-dominated space, reading over and over that what I was was something to be embarrassed about. And it’s such a casual turn of phrase, isn’t it? You barely notice it while it tears you down.
Language is so fundamentally important. The words we use fucking matter. The way we put them together matters.
So knock it off.
Hey, I agree with you, and I think the use of “guys” as a form of address is also something we need to talk about. “Guys” gets used (even in progressive internet spaces) as a plural form of “you” because it’s casual and conversational, but it’s not gender-neutral. Language matters, and when our “neutrals” are masculine, that also tells women we aren’t worthy of inclusion.
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