Just like any other group of people, there are tons of unfair stereotypes about girls out there. From ridiculous stereotypes about how girls act in relationships to super feminine “girly girls,” it’s hard to escape absurd assumptions about our gender. This is also true for college girls – a lot of people think some seriously unfair things about girls in college, and it’s time that stopped. I’m sure most of you are aware of this, you feminist “woke” readers, so I don’t to have to tell you about the destructive power of stereotypes and why they’re bad… but when they’re presented as facts and doled out like cautionary tales, it gets exhausting. You know the struggle. It feels like, in order to avoid these stereotypes, you have to walk around and say that you “aren’t like other girls.” So, one more time with feeling – nobody is like those girls. “Those girls” are imaginary and based on a weird idea of what college girls do,
A lot of you are headed off to college right now! That’s super exciting – you’re going to have the best time. Now, brace for some weird and specific sexism that’s about to get thrown your way from every which angle, including some you may never expect. A lot of them are jokes, but some are a little problematic, and by problematic I mean rape-y. We’ve heard all these stereotypes before, but when they’re being specifically applied to you and assumed to be true about your life, you kind of just want the world to shut up about it already. Hello! Not all college experiences are the same because not all colleges are the same and neither are all girls. Drop the mic on anyone who throws this bullshit your way and move on in your college career kicking ass and having the best time. We can all agree that these 13 sexist af stereotypes about college girls need to go away.
1) We’re all there for our “MRS.” degree.
For those of you who haven’t had an old timey relative make this joke about you going to college yet, it’s implying that you’re only in college to find a spouse. You made a funny, Grandma, now let me get back to studying for finals.
2) Girls who go to party schools don’t take college seriously.
Some parties school have awesome programs in the field you want to pursue. Parties are also fun, don’t get me wrong, but so is getting some bang for your (tuition) buck.
3) All sorority girls are dumb.
LOL NOPE. The sorority girls that are higher up in their organization have killer leadership skills. More than that, sororities do tons of philanthropy and are great for networking (re: job opportunities) for outside of college. So yeah, sounds like a bunch of dumb biddies doing keg stands, amiright?
4) If you don’t join a sorority, that means you’re a nerdy loser.
5) Every girl “experiments” in college.
AKA they hook up with girls as part of some fun phase. Girls can be comfortably queer and hook up with girls. It’s not a phase. Even if they wind up marrying men, being attracted to women doesn’t magically disappear at graduation.
6) Girls with strict parents rebel and become huge partiers.
It can happen! Freedom from mom and dad can inspire a lot of party behavior, but I’ve also come into contact with girls from conservative upbringings who quietly sip their soda at parties and behave nicely.
7) Religious girls stop going to church/temple/mosque.
This is part of the stereotype that all religious girls are conservative and conservative girls rebel the hardest. There’s local organizations on college campuses that make it easier in remote areas to access worship services and active religious groups in most universities. If being religious is important to you, that won’t miraculously go away once you start college.
8) Girls pretend to be into sports to be “one of the guys.”
Sports can be a huge part of campus life, and guess what? Girls can be sports fans! Showing up to the tailgate is not a ploy to get a boyfriend or to be Not Like Those Girls. What’s more, not every guy likes sports! Also, why are you shaming a girl if she wants to make friends with dudes? Guys are awesome.
9) Girls don’t major in math, engineering, or science.
Because it’s harrrrrrd. It can be hard – for some people. Have you seen the trailer for Hidden Figures? Women (in this case, black women) have low key been pioneers in math and science for years, they’ve just been discouraged from pursuing these fields because of what? Stereotypes and societal pressure. Lame.
10) Girls in relationships break up with their high school sweetheart before Thanksgiving.
This happens and it’s okay if you actually do break up before Thanksgiving. However, the stereotype that this happens so that girls can hook up with anything that moves is a little slut shame-y and gross.
11) Every girl gets drunk and wants to hook up.
Nope. If a girl is too intoxicated to revoke your consent, don’t have sex with her. Look, drinking in college happens, but pretending that all girls behave a certain way when they do is a dangerous thought that could lead to sexual assault.
12) If you don’t have sex in college, you’re a weird prude.
A ton of girls I know didn’t start having sex until after college… and they kind of like it better that way. If it doesn’t happen for you – full disclosure: it didn’t happen for me – don’t stress it. If it does, go at your own pace. Everyone else? Don’t pressure girls into doing things.
13) Dressing a certain way means you’re “asking for it.”
I hate to keep using air quotes, but I can’t think of any other punctuation that means THIS IS CODED LANGUAGE FOR F-CKED UP THINGS. You could show up to a party wearing pasties and bikini bottoms and still not be “asking for it” unless you literally and enthusiastically “ask for it” in which case we’ll call it “consent.”
What’s your least favorite stereotype about girls in college? Do you feel like people treat girls differently in college? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.