Currently, I have been reading “The Curse of the Good Girl” written by Rachel Simmons who wrote “Odd Girl Out” where she talks about her theory that society pressures girls to take up this ideal of the ideal of the good girl and denying their true selves, doing so hurting their development as a person. I could definitely identify with the pressure to be a good girl, although my environment, the people I hang with, and my age makes it more acceptable for a girl to be assertive. It’s on the internet that I feel the pressure to be a good girl.
Of course, before I continue, it would be the best to establish what a Good Girl is. According to the book, “The Good Girl was socially and academically successful, smart and driven, pretty and kind. But she was also an individual who aimed to please (people pleaser), toed the line (no opinions on things), and didn’t take risks (follow the rules). She repressed what she really thought (doesn’t get mad) and did not handle her mistake with humor (has to do everything right.) The Good Girl walked a treacherous line, balancing mixed messages on how far she should go and how smart she should be: she was to be enthusiastic whole being quiet; smart with no opinions on things; intelligent but a follower; popular but quiet. She would be something but not too much.” (2) “Told to be “quiet” “perfect” “shy” and “enthusiastic” to have “no opinion on things” and never “get mad,” Good Girl pressure places girls on strict emotional diets, telling them certain feelings are better then others. (6).
To write this essay, I’m going to look at two things. The first is the female anime blog. Before I continue, I also will mention that not all females bloggers are stuck with The Curse of the Good Girl Blogger. There are exceptions. I mean, just look at Hinano of JP and Hinano. Also, some female bloggers may fit into being a “Good Girl blogger”, but rather this repressing their true stuff to blog, that’s just who they are. That doesn’t stop me from feeling that the pressure to be a good girl is really heavy to be on the internet.
When looking at girl’s anime blogs on the internet, the best way to sum up in one world is nice. There may be editorials to pick your brain, something interesting. Maybe a post about an anime they recently watched and enjoyed. Even if they’re talking about an anime they didn’t enjoy, the female blogger still tries to emphasis the good points they saw despite them disliking the show. If strong opinion’s are present, they’re positive ones. The language used on the blog is offensive-free, and often takes a passive tone. Usually you come out of a girl’s anime blog having enjoyed a fluffy experience. Sometimes though, the sweetness is overwhelming. But that’s the price a girl has to pay to be a blogger, and drama-free, as I will further explain.
Let’s not forget the boys. Boy’s blogs, while not always, tend to by edgier, and contain more profanity and otherwise insulting language. They openly mock anime series they’re watching, even the series they like. If there’s a troll blog, or a satirical post, a guy is most likely to make it.
Why is that? Well, if a guy acts out, even if he annoys his readers, they’re likely to amused by his behavior, labeling his at worst, a jerk. A word that could be said with a smile on one’s face. A guy can be a jerk, and you can still be amused by him, still enjoy his writing and find him cute. A jerk can still be a guy that’s fun to be around.
However, a girl that acts out and upsets her readers is labeled as a bitch, something most girls wish to avoid. A bitch is an ugly thing, a word inappropriate enough to be a curse word. A bitch isn’t someone you want to be around, or someone you want to associate yourself with. A bitch is someone you hate. It’s also a title that so easy to earn, for being too outspoken, too opinionated, or too critical, a girl can find herself labeled as a bitch. She doesn’t even have to be mean to end up as a bitch. A bitch is a heavy burden to bear. It’s not worth it. It really isn’t. The end result is a slew of nice fluffy blogs.
The pressure to be a good girl continues when interacting with other people online. Emotions must be repressed. A girl must never be angry, no matter the person they’re dealing with online. If they express finding a commenter or another person they’re interacting with rude, upset with them, or any inkling of the truth of the true emotion they’re feeling, the results could be disastrous. For merely expressing their feelings, without any malicious intent, a single flame war might start between the commenter. Sometimes things go out of control, and the girl finds herself overwhelmed as large numbers of strangers come into to judge her. Suddenly a girl is told that for doing something natural and unhealthy she’s “showing her true colors as an awful person”, “full of herself”, “needs to stop being a bitch” and well, we all know how it goes.
When a girl does speak her feelings, she often does is under a mask of anonymity.
In the end, if one wants to survive on the internet as a female anime blogger, the best way to do it is to be a “Good Girl”.
The only thing I can say to end the trend is to end an overall trend on the internet. The internet is not an excuse to be a jerk on the internet. Stop using the fact that you’re hiding behind a computer to be mean and nasty. Furthermore, let people express their feelings. Just because a girl isn’t a 100% sweetie doesn’t mean she’s a bitch, and the fact that all girls are expected to be nice and polite is being detrimental to the group as a whole. If you’re a jerk to her, and she’s pissy back, she’s not horrible, rather, reacting naturally. All girls are different, and let them be. We’re not like the girls of anime, to be your ‘waifus’ and so ‘moe’, but rather, real human beings
To learn more about Rachel Simmons, you can visit http://www.rachelsimmons.com.
Edit: I’m wondering if I failed to accurately make my point. I’m not trying to talk about dealing with trolls and angry commenters so much as the constant repression of emotions, and how even with angry commenters and trolls, you can’t be anything but nice and have to hide how you really feel.