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“Pick Me” Culture is Coming for You

The hot new way that society ridicules women

Before the term “pick me” was plastered all over the internet, I didn’t think much about how much time I was devoting to being favored by men.

What constitutes a “pick me”

According to the masterfully resourceful slang hub over at Urban Dictionary, a “pick me” is defined as “a woman who wants the attention of the opposite sex (or same sex) so badly, she’ll throw her fellow woman under the bus”. In short: it’s a term for women who are internalized misogynists.

Once women began scrutinizing each other for or for not displaying “pick me” characteristics, it added yet another reason to worry about how other people view us. Among all of the very serious things in life I have to worry about, I began to wonder: am I a “pick me”? Am I a disgruntled, slovenly “feminazi”? What does all of this name calling mean for an average person like me? What does it mean for you?

What does all of this mean?

While exploring the idea, I thought about some of my characteristics and decided that none of these terms applied to me because I show a pretty healthy mix of behaviors that the two opposing sides criticize. I consider myself to be a feminist. I love feminine, “girly” things. I love playing house and wooing my boyfriend day after day. Above all, I try to keep an eye on how much I am or am not ridiculing other women to make sure I’m not becoming either jealous or apologist.

I’d say I’m not a “pick me”, but that would probably make me sound like one. (The culture is so steeped in ridicule that simply saying you aren’t a “pick me” may open people up to the idea that you are one).

I never lived a life where I had to announce that I’ve beaten all of the Halo games to seem better than other girls or prove that I’m not like other girls, and I never thought that enjoying some things that are usually considered to be “for men” ever made me special. I don’t call other women females (and here’s a great list on why you should stop doing that) and I don’t think I’m any better or worse than the gal next to me because I choose to cake on cosmetics.

Is this just a new way of judging people for being judgmental?

That’s what I thought at first. But wait — there’s actually more to it than that.

Disrespect is everywhere

For a take on this that I knew would look nothing like my feminist meme pages and Facebook groups, I began paying closer attention to what people in my inner circle wrote and reposted.

Posts that I spied said things like “I bet none of you females can raise your hand and say you have real hair, nails, and no makeup” with dozens of girls desperately proving that they fit the criteria for this ridiculousness splattering the comments.

The memes that my boyfriend sent to me often centered on playing at stereotypes about “slutty” women.

After a while, I even began to notice that my mother was obsessed with posting content about why women aren’t “real” anymore. The captions of her selfies were vindictive.

If before I looked forward to one day raising daughters with John, you can bet that this made my drive even crazier. The thought that we as a society have collectively found new and resounding ways to criticize women is a challenge that I am up for. What’s sad to think about is how my father didn’t raise me to think like this, but my mother did. Women are so indoctrinated that they truly believe that they are the iconoclast in a world of bimbos just for skipping makeup and fancy lingerie.

The verdict

We need to be mindful of the way in which we speak to and about women. We don’t exist simply to be ridiculed.

Wear that dress, play those boyish video games, and live life with reckless abandon. Don’t worry about getting picked, and don’t go on a crusade to label other things and people as “pick me” for sport.

This is rhetoric that we don’t need. It only helps to put women down. If empathy is lacking, think about you grandmother being called a “pick me” or a “feminazi” and proceed accordingly.

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I write about all kinds of human experiences big and small.

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