We often come across quotes that glorify girls with interests such as the one that goes like “date a girl who reads,” and this kind of mindset is actually downright toxic because it glorifies girls whose interests are (what the society perceives as) the sophisticated/intellectual ones such as reading and learning, as if they are the only girls that matter in the eyes of society. Indeed, having interest in reading and learning is a crucial thing, but with that kind of paradigm, we’re talking as if girls with other interests are shallow and they don’t matter.

This mindset indirectly dictates girls to fit into a socially constructed standard that revolves around how a “decent girl” only happens to be the one who takes interests in (what the society perceives as) sophisticated/intellectual stuffs. It also could emerge a special snowflake syndrome on the said girls who take interest in reading and stuff; it could lead them to feel superior as if their interests are on a degree above the others, meanwhile in fact actually all skills and interests equally matter.

This phenomenon also has hints of internalized misogyny, because that special snowflake syndrome also leads them to think that they “are not like most girls,” in which they subconsciously agree with the notion that “most girls” are third class, lowlife, shallow creatures in the eye of the society. Probably some of them merely have an intention to express themselves in an unique/whimsical way as a part of freedom of expression, but they don’t know how to convey it properly that they end up appearing with the mindset that revolves around conveying that they are “unique special snowflakes that are different from most girls.”

In the end, they’re nothing but pleasers of the oppressors. They subconsciously benefit from patriarchy since the compliments they receive from the society that they are “unique and different” might have fed their ego that they no longer care about how it induces internalized misogyny.

Saying stuffs like “I’m not like other girls because I read Dostoyevsky and I listen to new wave post-punk bands” or “I prefer to hang out with guys because there’s less drama” is an indirect way of saying that the majority of girls are shallow creatures who can’t have sophisticated interests and only talk about problematic drama and boys.

Glorifying girls with sophisticated interests is a downright toxic, problematic, and misogynistic thing to do because it only strengthens the stigma that the only girls who deserve to be respected are the “intelligent ones”. It’s no different from glorifying girls who dress up with long-sleeve clothes that are perceived as “more proper and well-mannered” by the society. Both of those mindsets give standards on “what kind of girl deserves to be respected”, and both are products of patriarchy. The sad thing is, many girls who claim to be progressive feminists still glorify the concept of “intellectual girls” like them because the culture of glorifying girls like them feeds their ego.