a lighthearted look at traumatic abuse and its aftermath

big fat trauma queen

big fat trauma queen
Undercover in the Bay Area, California, U.S.A.
November 08
Defying Gravity
I, like millions of others, am a refugee from some fairly gruesome childhood happenings. I entered adulthood as a selectively mute, unwashed, suicidal, friendless, uneducated, delusional, and sick-fat (as opposed to healthy-fat) young woman. I have been homeless in the Tenderloin (I am prouder of that than I am of my master's degree), and I have spent years in self-imposed solitary confinement. No more. I have morphed over the years into an irritatingly chipper and hyper-friendly Trauma Queen. If you're having a bad day, don't even look at me; my happy little face will just piss you off. This blog is dedicated to all the other Trauma Queens and Kings out there - we of the shrunken hippocampus and the hair-trigger amygdala. We who, in D.H. Lawrence's words, have "passed through the waters of oblivion." But let's not just pass through. Let's make a TSUNAMI...


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MARCH 4, 2010 1:40PM

Killing Off The Girly-Girls

Rate: 41 Flag

By Girly-Girls, I mean both males and females who love to wear pink. And...

*who drive brightly colored cars with multi-colored ribbons tied to their antennae.

*who have bumper stickers that say things like "Expect A Miracle" or "Something Wonderful Is About To Happen."

*who squeal at the sight of babies and puppies.

*who love rainbows and unicorns and butterflies.

*who cry every time a commercial for the Humane Society comes on.

*who can't watch Animal Planet because it's too traumatizing.

*who hate spiders but can't bring themselves to kill one.

*who care soooo much more about support than competition.

*who believe the need to be right is just plain silly and the cause of most misery in the world.

*who will gladly give a hug to anybody who needs one.

*who would rather appear foolish than hurt someone's feelings.

*who think Kindness is a higher virtue than Truth (because what the heck is true, anyway?)

I'm not talking about superficial Girly-ness here. I'm talking about Deep Girly-ness.

A wise dear friend of mine said  the other day  "We all - women and men - have a little girl inside of us. And we are encouraged from a very early age to destroy her."

But why? 

And is that really true? Is there a frilly little princess in each of us  who's been murdered,  mutilated, and buried in broken pieces throughout our psyche?

Most little girls over the age of eight have learned (and learned well) a contempt for Girly-ness. And that's about the age when the meanness sets in.

Now, by Girly-ness I don't mean sexiness. There's no one more macho than a stiletto-heeled, silicone breasted, lipo-sculpted fashionista. Such women are celebrated all over our culture, and there's nothing Girly about them. They've just put lipstick and perfume on their balls (and on their pitbulls).

By Girly-ness  I mean vulnerable, silly, tender, open, weepy, giggly, love-drunk, love-lorn, "codependent", and wildly sensitive.

What happens to men (and boys) who exhibit these Girly-traits?  At best they are ostracized and ridiculed; at worst, they are beaten to death on the street, or dragged behind cars until they die.

Women have it easier. We don't get killed for being Girly.We just get the sneer and the eye roll. Everyone knows we can't be both intelligent and Girly. And we certainly can't be both strong and Girly.

Or can we?

Girly-girls (and Girly-boys) by definition are not tough. But does that mean they're not strong?

A piece of meat can be tough, but it can't be strong. Strong is something else entirely. 

Tough is kind of an external thing, like the loud bark of a little dog. It's mainly for show, and it's always rooted in fear.

Strength is more about essence. It's an internal thing, and can only be rooted in courage.

If you're going to reject toughness and embrace Girly-ness, you'd better be strong. And exceedingly brave. Being Girly is like waving a red flag in front of a bull: you will be charged. If you're not on a first-name basis with your intuition, you won't survive for long.

Fairies, rainbows, butterflies, princesses, unicorns, true love, smiley-faces, hearts, squeals of delight, rivers of tears, holding hands, skipping, frolicking, twirling, giggling - could we ever elect a president who embodies these things? And if not - Why not?

I am both an ardent feminist and a techni-colored Girly-girl. I make Minnie Mouse seem Butch by comparison.

And while I'm glad the feminist movement freed women from the requirement to be Girly, I'm disappointed that it did not free society from its contempt for Girlyness. Tomboys are still great, and Sissies (wimps, wussies)  are still disgusting. And the ultimate multi-purpose putdown these days  is "gay" - which is really just a pseudonym for Girly.

I'm tired of all the anti-Girly bullsh - I mean, puppy poop. Forget about getting your Cowboy on. Getcher Girly on instead! Trade in your Hummer for a hot pink Prius. Let your Snark and Sarcasm be devoured by Sweetness. Stop strutting, and start skipping!

And as far as politics go: Screw the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and  Green Party. Let's throw our support behind the Pink Party! Big hugs and kisses for everyone! "Give Peace A Chance!"  "Make Love, Not War!" "Imagine!" Let's put a rhinestone tiara on the head of our next president, and a pink feather boa around his or her shoulders! Let's start invading countries with armies of baby-sitters and massage therapists, florists and hair dressers! Let's make the whole world comfy, cozy, and really really pretty!

Okay - so maybe we're not ready to let Girly-girls or Girly-boys take over the world. But can we at least stop dissing them? The last time I checked, it wasn't Girly-folk who were blowing up airplanes, bombing villages, or torturing prisoners of war.

Killing off the Girly-girls, in ourselves and  others, gives many of us a false sense of power. But that "power" comes at a terrible price.

In the past twenty years, the population of more than seventy percent of all butterfly species has declined rapidly; many species may become extinct altogether. If we keep on killing off the Girly-girls, will rainbows be next?

You've got to admit, it's something to think about...






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I have had a few pink shirts that I loved over the years. I used to wear holey levi's with cowboys boots and a pink shirt that looked great on the dance floor. If you're a man, you're a man, screw what others think!!
I always thought I had to be the president of the tough girls club. Now, nearing 50 years old, I have embraced the girly. I adore sparkles. I paint my toenails weird colors. I have a Hello Kitty alarm clock, and anyone who thinks it's foolish can bite themselves. :-) rated.
Here's the thing: this isn't girlyness you're describing. It's childishness, and rightly left to children.
Many have lost their humanity because of the PC culture. More than some feminists live under the delusion that feminism is about living forever and forcing others to live by bullshit boundaries, rather than freedom and truth. The result is so many bullshit organizations with bullshit causes--basically telling others how to live their lives--that should be collectively called WAE (Women Against Everything).

Civility, progress and knowledge will one day save us from evil and reveal the human universals of love, truth and kindness.

Well thought out, very observant and well said. Rated.
"And the ultimate multi-purpose putdown these days is "gay" - which is really just a pseudonym for Girly."

Ummmmm, no. No it's not. When people saw me kissing my wife they knew I was gay and I CERTAINLY have never been considered "girly".

Oh and Cardamom... *biting myself HARD!*
What SafeBet's Amy said.
I have noticed that the women of my daughters' generation are much more comfortable with girly-girl behavior than the humorless feminists of my generation. Certainly their baby and toddler daughters' dresses are adorably girly girly.
"Strength is more about essence. It's an internal thing, and can only be rooted in courage."

This says it all~

Awesomesauce! You said it so well
My daughters are sometimes girly-girl but they can also be tough as nails. Perfect combination.
Your article really convered all area of where women can put themselves, or not. You made me think , I like that. I worked with women in their early twenties and was amazed with their love of fake. Breast implants, fake tans, plumped lips were all they wanted and would go to extrodinary measure to get it done. A small majority of these women were more 'normal' in their endevors to look attractive, and were more focused. All human beings want to present their best selves to other people, but nowhere do we get the be-youself a person gets older they start to understand it's good to get to that 'comfortable with myself and my tastes' place.
Good write.
I think you can be both. I believe in things I cannot see because I chose to. I am also one tough bitch when push comes to shove...then I go cry my eyes out by myself. Is that considered girlygirl. I can dress up or dress down. It is just who I am. Why I wonder does it need a title? Left me thinking..
Girls of my daughter's generation foster their girly girls. They radiate something even better than power. I've always done it inside; adored being a girl even though I don't paint my nails or wear pink. Now I join them and do it on the outside. We, the men and the women in my family, relish the girlishness with a growing delight. Makes us feel free. Like a butterfly, like a rainbow. The thing is we don't have to give anything away. We're meant to have the girly energy. There is nothing to suggest that it isn't just as powerful as it needs to be. I'm off to celebrate, and skip and brandish this exotic polarity. And dance. And laugh. Yes, I'm not giving up my equal rights, and I'm also not giving up this delicious way of being.
Redstocking grandma said it right. No more humorless, dry, dusty old feminism. Ouch. I know someone is going to hunt me down and kill me and I don't blame them. There's no denying that much was gained from that. I'm just moving on.
I decide what's right or wrong for me, at any given moment, and that can change at any given moment.


End of story
Okay I'm with you on it, hot pink is good for me I love big colors. In me tough means endurance, I can hang in forever. Yesterday this tough old girlie broad buried a dead sparrow under the birch they all sit and chirp in. It was such a tiny soft thing, I couldn't put it in the garbage so I put it where I wanted it instead.
Legalizing the right to be a girly-girl would severely cut down on the trauma that children have to endure....male and female...who passed a "butch" law when I wasn't looking????
And one more note: that commercial for the Humane Society would make even the most hard hearted cry.
Good post.

You're girly girls sound like another definition for "caring human beings (with some style)."
Avoiding hurting people is not a is kindness.

I have always said that "being civil with one another is how we as humans get along. Being kind to one other is how humans lift each other up."
I'll take all the kindness in the world it can offer..and if we want to call it girly girl..I am still in.

Nice thinking

"Strength is more about essence. It's an internal thing, and can only be rooted in courage." - and I'm with Thoth. Excellent piece. Rated.
Totally what Thoth said and rated again.
I'm with cardamom. Was a strong willed tough gal in tight black jeans and Doc Martens til my forties. Then surprisingly, I became addicted to skirts, really floofy ones, vintage circle skirts, tutu skirts, painted skirts, all manner of odd fashion statement skirts. I've worn pants maybe ten times since January. No make up though. Nothing that grrly :-)
I tie a pink ribbon into my ponytail sometimes ... it helps me attract and nail some girly-goils

: )~
I'm no girly girl. but this was a great perspective that made me rethink by discomfort with girly girlness. Very interesting and well written. Hmmm.... Hmmm.... Hmmm.

Loved Toth's comment. So true, Toth.
I don't like pink very much but I love animals, babies, butterflies and rainbows. I believe in miracles because I have experienced miracles (but don't "expect" them. If they were not rare they would not be miraculous).
I am strong, physically and intellectually. I lift weights and give orders. I have founded and directed three theater companies and been the Director of two church schools. I am a leader of men and women.
I wear skirts and dresses, literally, every day. The only pants I own are gym shorts. wear makeup, nail polish and long hair.
I am bisexual. I have been married to men and involved, romantically, with both men and women. My present Lady Love is...a lady.
I'm good at writing and bad at math. So, sue me.
Disparage "girly" women (or men) at your peril. We'll kick your ass into next week and do it with pretty, pointed, polished toes.
I think those who are out to kill girly-girls (and boys) are just afraid of being killed for the same reason.
I true to me, if that makes me girly, then fuck it. :)
I hate pink and squealing of any kind, for any reason. I'm probably not a girly-girl, but I embrace my femininity - revel in it, even.

Whatever that makes me, I'm comfortable with it.
I don't know of anyone that wouldn't want a hot pink prius. (what's a prius?)
Squealing, floods of tears, unwarranted hugging and other "girly" traits irritate the hell out of me...but pry the OPI and LashBlast out of my cold, dead hands.

I guess that makes me a moderate.
I like rainbows, unicorns, and butterflies. I am also 6' 1" tall and weigh 275 pounds.

rated for fun
The only item on your list that I agree with is "who believe the need to be right is just plain silly and the cause of most misery in the world."
The problem I have with the people you are calling "girly-girls" is that they treat me as if I'm defective because I don't love pink and lace and unicorns, and the only reason I love rainbows is scientific. The popular girls, the mean girls I've dealt with, are girly-girls. I'm quite willing to live and let live. I wish girly-girls would grant me the same.
"Let's start invading countries with armies of baby-sitters and massage therapists, florists and hair dressers!" That's laugh-out-loud worthy, and I did, as soon as I hit "baby-sitters and massage therapists!"

That "power" is actually fear enlarged, the bogey-man shadow cast against the wall. And no one ever knows true strength encased in and fighting a shadow... More Light to us all, cuz the strength is truly within us!! Thanks for this!!
I love this post. I am a girly girl in and out. I cry easily, I laugh just as easily. My face simply cannot not reflect my emotions.

I love a hug when I am down but I know I can stand alone when I have to. I am not tough but I have been strong when it has been demanded of me.

Thank you for making me feel good in the morning.
They say hot pink is the best color to paint walls in mental wards. It sooths people somehow. I was a live in house director in a big sorority for two years. The tough and the trivial intertwined there. Wonderful writing. Thanks again!
Thanks for this!

I'm occasionally girly, but mostly just a goofball of neutral sorts. I lived in the Deep South for half my life, and I found that they PREFER girly girls...

Playing hockey in the Deep South, they HATED me if I tried to be gender neutral...and were much nicer to my big-boobed, giggly, locker-room primping counter-part ("I got a new phone today! They had one in hot pink!")
Just to make my life easier, I started trying to be giggly and girly and it helped the boys be OK with me playing hockey with them.
(and kept be from getting punched just for being a girl that could play hockey better than them).

Maybe you've missed your calling of being a politician down in the Deep South?

But, yep, being girly everywhere else is not really preferred.