Friday, February 26, 2010

The Dyke: The "good girl" meme

Sometimes I talk to people online. Much of the time they're straight men who come across my profile on a kink personals site. Most of them don't read enough of my profile to realize I really mean it when I say I'm gay and unavailable. These get thoroughly mocked and then blocked. On the other hand, some of them are interesting and polite enough to be worth talking to for a while, and as with any conversation between a dyke and a straight man, as the length of the conversation goes to infinity, the probability that they will say something that irks me approaches one.

This time, somebody invoked the "good girl" meme. (I say "meme" because it's something I've often encountered as a disciplining tool in some form. I don't know if it's been articulated as a meme in the academic sense, and Google is failing me on this point.) Specifically, he invoked it (albeit jokingly) in support of this odd idea he had that I should tell him my bra size.

The good girl meme makes me angry. In my experience, it's used to discipline non-gender-conforming women and girls and as a result devalue queer femininity and gender fluidity. Especially coming from straight men, it often carries the implication of a certain flavor of availability to... you guessed it, straight men. For me personally, it recalls childhood feuds with female relatives who thought I should be more "ladylike" -- i.e. buy gardening sandals from the women's section; wear form-fitting sweaters as opposed to the baggy hoodies I favored; date boys; simultaneously hang out with and and distrust girls; eat less than I actually wanted to; shave my legs and pits; wear makeup.

Fuck that shit.

(P.S.: Hi! I'm Information Dyke! Pleasure to meet you, and I'll be one of your friendly bloggers 'round these parts!)


  1. Awesome post! loved your perspective. Ttly hadn't thought of it like that.