Guest Post: I am Cool Girl

Last week I wrote a piece called Cool Girls and Faux Feminism that is well on its way to becoming one of my most-read pieces. It struck a chord in “kinky Twitter” and immediately got a blog response from farawayangel: I Am My Own Dirty Secret. In that piece, J echoes the piece I referenced from mellifluentm about having to hide her kink from the world.

It also led to this:

Which was followed by a dozen tweets that together seemed to be that blog entry she didn’t have time to write. So I pasted them all together into an email, sent them to her, and she added a bunch more exposition and sent it back.

And here is that blog entry by @Redtoes21, which I’m putting here because she doesn’t have a blog. Yet

I am Cool Girl.

I love sports, comic books, action movies, eating, drinking alcohol and sex. Lots of it. Every which way, all day long.

I, like my intelligent preschool friends, the “nerds”, am experiencing a renaissance of sorts. I’m finally represented in mainstream media. And while I empathize with women who aren’t “Cool Girl” and are fed my likeness as some sort of fantasy to live up to, I won’t apologize for existing.

As a kid, I was bombarded with messages that I should play tea party with baby dolls, wear pink, be a perfect, gorgeous chaste cheerleader. I love sparkles and Barbie as much as the next girl but that wasn’t all there was to me. I loved action, adventure, and more grownup themes like battling to save the world! I tried playing ponies and house for a while but I couldn’t keep it up as it bored me to tears. My invites to “come over and play” drying up, I resigned myself to knowing I’d never be “accepted” and went back to my X-Men, Fantastic Four, GI Joe, Thundercats, Voltron, G Force, and Robotech. I was lonely, rejected, but I wasn’t giving up what I loved for kids that didn’t get me. I drew. I read. I focused on school work and befriended the one or two misfits I found like me.

I was tortured for being Cool Girl in school. “She talks to boys, she must be loose”; “She’s weird”; “She just wants attention”. In 6th grade I had a boy BFF. We would stay on the phone for hours talking about comics and cartoons. He kept my secret of being a geek, gave me a safe place to be myself, and I made it less awkward for him to talk to girls. We were happy but socially unacceptable so we hardly acknowledged each other at school to forgo the teasing.

At the time, those girls giving me shit for not conforming were the ideal and had no problem rubbing your nose in it. They were popular, pretty, and were in a contest to see who get the most tan or get the best curl in their bangs or own the most pairs of jeans. They didn’t swear, went to church dutifully and talked about Jesus right before condemning an “undesirable” for being “gross”. They acted like their approval was the end all be all and had no qualms about ruining you for wearing the wrong socks. They grew up to be Facebook women (yes, yes, not all Facebook women, but admit it…you knew exactly who I was talking about when I said it.)

By high school, I had developed other interests. Action movies were an extension of cartoons for me so they were added to the mix. Being competitive, I found a love of sports. I discovered beer hanging out with my guy friends. You remember, those outcasts who couldn’t get the time of day from the popular girls? The ones who rule the world now? Yeah, them. As I was friends with mostly boys, I got to openly converse about subjects “girls” weren’t supposed to think about: sex, porn, kink. It was amazing and I was hooked! After being shunned for liking comic books, the fear of being outed as a “deviant” on top of that was crippling so I hid it for a later day.

I discovered and embraced my sexuality. Hell, why not blow the homecoming queen’s crush who preferred me instead? I think it’s important to specify here: I discovered it and I embraced it, but I also respected it. I had my fun, sure, but actually waited until meeting the man I married to have sex. Being an outcast before high school meant I didn’t have anything to prove upon arrival. I didn’t feel pressure to have sex with popular boys I didn’t like or to use my body as an alternative form of acceptance, as I know so many girls did. I didn’t attach negative connotations to sex and therefore am able to enjoy it free from guilt and judgement now. And oh, how I enjoy it. Mmmmmm…..where was I? Right…

It also meant I left my youth with my soul intact. There were none of those little compromises of self you make when trying to fit in with a peer group: I wasn’t mean to others to feel better about myself; I gave attention to and was respectful to everyone (unless they were horrible human beings), no matter what their “caste” designation was, because I wasn’t demonstrated differently; I wasn’t superficial; I didn’t feel the need to exaggerate or lie to make myself look more acceptable/important/worthy. My decency wasn’t beaten out of me.

I empathize with you, the women who find Cool Girl impossible to comprehend. I know what it’s like to not be “enough”; be judged against a standard you can’t meet; and ultimately hurt. I don’t feel sorry for you though, because the irony is through your own judgments, insecurities, and rejection, you created Cool Girl. And as the guy friends you relegated me to as a teen have grown up to be successful writers, artists, directors, producers, actors, now you get to see Me [Cool Girl] everywhere, be compared to Me, have to compete with Me and My ideal.

It’s so much easier to deny my existence than admit your hand in my making. But I’m here, with my Cool Girl friends who you also shaped. You hurt us as kids but ultimately made us a fucking goddess/muse/unicorn/grail/angel/myth so, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Cool Girl is here to not only stay but influence the next generation of Cool Girls. Get used to us. Better yet, embrace your inner CG! We’ll gladly help you find her. Or stay in your comfort zone and don’t. Just don’t complain about it when your husband wants to watch the game at my place with the rest of the guys.