She’s not a pick me, you’re a misogynist

Why are we so obsessed with constantly placing harmful labels on women?

(Diya Srivastava / Daily Trojan)

Women can’t do anything. 

Well, women can do anything — be a CEO, an astronaut, a mother. What I mean to say is, women can’t do anything without experiencing constant scrutiny at every turn. I know, I know, hold your applause, I’ve just said something profound that no one’s ever talked about before. Though the topic is somewhat cliched, every day I’m reminded how much our world hates us. There are impossible standards to meet and a million mistakes to make — but that’s just the reality of womanhood. 

The criticism is inescapable, even from other women.

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The title “pick-me girl” has been popularized by TikTok and X, formerly known as Twitter, over the past few years in response to women you wouldn’t consider a “girl’s girl.” According to those who use the phrase, pick-me girls view other women as competition, doing anything in their power to set themselves apart. These women tailor their appearance, interests and personalities to a more unique category — they want nothing more than to be “not like other girls.” Some of these girls even spew extreme anti-feminist rhetoric, mostly for men’s attention. 

To be honest, I think the rise of the term was well-intentioned at first. Many of these so-called “pick-me” girls actively put down and criticize other women just to elevate themselves in the eyes of men. Likely stemming from internalized misogyny, pick-me girls are constantly out to make fun of anything “girly” or “basic.” Calling out these women as pick-me girls was meant to minimize this behavior, painting their actions in a new, embarrassing light.

However, these criticisms have morphed into an entirely different meaning. Ironically, I would call the term a new agent of misogyny, the exact thing the phrase set out to destroy. Both men and women alike have begun using the term far more liberally and loosely than necessary, preying on insecure young women rather than self-important, misogynistic girls. Calling a woman a pick-me girl is now a socially acceptable conduit of misogyny.

So once again, women are back to walking on eggshells. You don’t need to be a blatant anti-feminist to get called a pick-me girl, you can simply play video games! Rock climb! Prefer a bare-faced look — do literally anything that falls outside of the standard social view of womanhood. The term is just a new avenue for hate perpetuated by both men and women. As said by Ariana Greenblatt in “Barbie,” “Everyone hates women. Men hate women and women hate women. It’s the one thing we can agree on.”

Thanks to the anti-pick-me wave, denying the feminine has become a social faux pas. As a girl you must like the things historically associated with the basic woman, like pink and Taylor Swift, otherwise you are a pick-me girl. It’s interesting that we’ve just roundabout-ly created another way to put women in a box from a term that was originally coined to call out internalized misogyny.

At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team, fighting a common evil: patriarchy. Instead of bashing other women with terms made up in the name of harm, we should be educating misogynistic women with kindness. Through education, we can reach an understanding of why they’re so obsessed with putting down other women and setting themselves apart from classic femininity. 

We’re all in the desperate pursuit of respect in this world, and unfortunately, these women took a wrong turn in their journey to find it. If we can socially abolish the term, perhaps it will cease the terrorization of other women for simply existing.

The world loves limiting the power and potential of women. We shouldn’t tolerate being placed in these fictional archetypes crafted from negativity. Putting other women down is never cute, but neither is doing so in retaliation. We’re capable of fighting back — but not if people continue contributing to the problem.

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