The Curse of the Good Girl Blogger

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.

Sakura of Fate/Stay Night is the perfect example of a girl suffering from "The Curse of the 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.

23 Comments

Filed under Pointless Rant

23 responses to “The Curse of the Good Girl Blogger

  1. The solution is much more simpler, stop being a victim and kick back.

  2. There’s nothing wrong with kicking back, it’s actually the right emotional response.

    What’s wrong with being labeled a bitch is when someone considered you a bitch, he calls you all sorts of thing, then goes and tells five of his closest friends how this girl is being a total bitch to him who also come and hurl insults at you, and while you stood up for yourself, at the end of the day, you’ve been told that you suck as a women and feel pretty crappy.

    When BBS was smaller, it didn’t happen very often, so I could put up with the drama. For the brief time that BBS was getting more pageviews however, I started dealing with this on a regular basis, and while I tried to keep ‘kicking back’ it got worse until my mental breakdown. Although yes, I have a thin skin. Yes, you can block them, but the hurtful comments still remain.

    But a person should be able to stand up for themselves without being insulted or told they’re bad for doing it, but for that to happen, people need to be willing to change their mindsets about girls in anime blogging. If they don’t, even if every single girl started fighting back, people would just decide girls who have anime blogs are a bunch of bitches rather then acknowledge that not all girls are 100% good.

  3. If someone says something rude, feel free to delete their comment. I do it all the time. Just the other day I was called a terrorist. That comment never saw the light of day. There’s always a price for being yourself on the internet. It’s true for everyone.

    Two of my favorite blogs are run by girls with attitude: GAR GAR Stegosaurus and Conspicuous Klux. They never hold back and seem to doing just fine.

    • It’s true for everyone, but I tired of being told that because of my gender, I should be nicer and all that…

      I didn’t know GAR GAR Stegosaurus was run by a girl.

      I can’t count Conspicuous Kluk though, as even if she doesn’t hold back, she expects other girls to fit into the idea of a Good Girl, or attacks them for them. I see her as one of the people who are part of the problem.

    • Also, that’s too bad you got called a terrorist. I’m sorry.

  4. Oh this sure is funny lol.

    Anyway with people like that just think of them as bots and kick them away.

    “If they don’t, even if every single girl started fighting back, people would just decide girls who have anime blogs are a bunch of bitches rather then acknowledge that not all girls are 100% good.”
    Nah only people who don’t read anything else than anime blogs think so.

    You’re thinking too much on the negative side, it’s not like you’re alone (this is too cheesy). They have their friends and you also have your friends. There are many sexist people but there are also many feminist people.
    On changing people’s view, the best thing you can do is becoming stronger and helping other girls to become stronger imo.

    To be honest, I don’t understand this good girl blogger burden at all. All fangirls I know in my country’s community don’t take a crap, they don’t use blog as the place to hang out but I saw them fighting on a blog when they were insulted and it was really fiery. And I’m an Asian. I guess American don’t have as much confidence as I thought.

    • Well, it’s not fair to stereotype people of any country.

      I think you’re still too idealistic about the internet, and it’s good that you haven’t had any bad experiences to make you think otherwise. I’m glad.

      The theory of “The Good Girl” seems to apply to American Culture anyway, so that may have to do why you don’t understand it. This is basically an extension of the theory.

  5. Well, as I will always say to people who call people names, just smile and say, “thank you for your interesting views, I think that’s funny. :)”. Trolls generally eat at others who they deem to be a good victim. As Hein said, don’t be a victim. You either bite back with the ferocity of a raptor, ignore them or smile at them condescendingly like they are the idiots of the world (I do the last one, notice how THAT is almost devoid of trolls except a few select ones that are generally good online friends trolling for lulz?)

    Why do you even bother to fight back, as I remember mentioning to you before, when they don’t even deserve to be fought back against. By fighting back, you are stooping down to their levels, and trying to show that they are actually right, you are a bitch and that you are clearly acting like one.

    I personally am offended at the good girl anime blog label. I write just like how you describe, and I AM NOT A GIRL. RAWR!

    • While a good approach, the problem comes with biting back the emotions how trolls or other angry commenters are making you feel and having to pretend everything is a-okay, they haven’t bothered you at all.

      I did mention that some people just happen to have that as their blogging style, but I’m sorry that I offended you.

      • I am not really offended. It’s how I lulz every of my comments. Heh. I generally just consider the Internet as another persona, one that is left in the Internet. It’s impossible to detach your feelings, but I think it is good to always remind yourself not to care that much and have a positive reinforcement on things. Tends to work well.

  6. nice web blog … great to you. thanks

  7. You sure it’s not just more commonality to competitive strong-arming mindedness amongst the male bloggers vs. more girls prefer to stay out of internet dorama? [shrug] But you’re definitely right that guys don’t seem to mind being called jerks as much as girls cannot tolerate being called bitches.

    There’s also the matter that it’s more work to praise a series than a flame it. Personally I also find it more enjoyable and worth my time. I mean, what’s the point of raging excessively about something you didn’t like within a form of entertainment? Life has enough crap already without anime piling on… but then, we already spend enough effort sugarcoating life events, putting extra effort into sugarcoating anime is also troublesome. Heh, depends on what you see blogging as I guess. Venting box vs. recommendations box.

    [shrug] I have no clue where I’d stand on this bar of ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ bloggers anyhow. For as much as I love lecturing personal thoughts, I always look back on my posts and wonder if, as a blogger, my writing just lacks personality =\

    • Just from what I’ve observed, when girls try to get competitive along with the guys, there’s a lot of cases where they’re not accepted, but instead just get rejected.

      You shouldn’t worry about that! I know a lot of people have spoken very highly about your blog.

  8. Mommy

    The last paragraph and some of the reponses do make it seem that you are complaining about the responses that you get when expressing an opinion. From years of knocking about newsgroups, I’ve found that gender really doesn’t make a difference in whether or not people express their opinions clearly. Rather, it depends on whether or not they are bothered by the responses that their opinions bring.

    Men to fight directly, which is why when they fight, they tend to posture more and do little harm. Like a pair of battling rams, they puff up and wave their armaments about. They hurl insults and taunts, and show how tough they are by how well they can take it. Men strive for conflict.

    Women, on the other hand, tend to fight socially. They use the bestowment of respect and the withholding of the same to establish dominance. Fighting is a way to lose respect. So women tend not to put their opinions out, since they don’t want to start fights. Instead, they try to impress each other with compliments, cooperation, and support.

    Thus, if you act like a man, expressing opinions boldly, then expect to be responded to as a man, with the challengers also puffing and bellowing and beating their breasts. There’s nothing personal here, just standard dominance behavior.

  9. I thought you made your points clearly but I have given some thought about society treats the different genders differently.

    I think what you where trying to say is that for girls they are either a “good girl” or a “bitch” and the two are completely separate and treated completely different with almost no levels in-between but with guys there’s so many gradations between the two extremes and there’s much less social stigma attached to guys when they behaving badly.

    I think one of the reasons why guys can get away with more stuff is because no one expects much from guys. Anything short of acting like a barbarian is considered good enough for them.

    Though maybe it’s more accurate to say that what guys can get away with is different then what women can get away with. When the gender-swapped Haruhi fade was in full gear, I remember someone writing a post that mentioned that if Haruhi was a guy then he couldn’t get away with a lot of what Haruhi, the girl, was able to get away with.

  10. I would definitely have to agree with the last paragraph, though I can’t put my finger on why that is. Girls seem to get away with not following the rules more then guys in a school setting, I don’t know in other setting as I haven’t seen the world outside of high school. I always felt bad for guys getting scolded when the girls were doing the exact same things. :/

  11. You raised an interesting point there. I agree that most of the people expect girls to be nice. What’s more, many girls expect themselves to be accepted and consequently trying too hard to be a nice girl. Thus, putting pressure on themselves.

    The solution? You can’t change them but you can change yourself by liberating yourself from self expectation. Then if someone does not like you, you don’t care and you move on 🙂

  12. Pingback: Happy New Year, Blog Updates, and 2011 Resolutions - [Major Arcana]

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