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The Student News Site of Prospect High School


The Student News Site of Prospect High School



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Basic is Bull…

By Bridgette Jasinski
Staff Writer
I find it interesting how frequently I hear the term “basic white girl” being whipped around, and I mean extra whip! The way all us “white girls” order on our Starbucks frappuccinos while we wear our “PINK” leggings, and brand new Ugg boots, as we converse about the only thing we know…”Mean Girls”! As mean-girl-plastic, Gretchen Wieners would say, it’s just like so fetch, I
can’t even! Though to be quite frank I can’t, I can’t even fathom what makes this label acceptable.
The modern term “basic white girl” according to is, “A female who
conforms to her surroundings and claims she is unique. She often drinks Starbucks, wears Ugg boots in August, and posts selfies on social networking sites every. Single. Day.”
But based on these standards, to be considered “basic”, one must simply have similar clothing, interests, appearance, and tastes as another group of people.
Admittedly, I adore coffee including Starbucks. I enjoy “Mean Girls”, I mean why wouldn’t I? Tina Fey created comedic gold with that film! I do, in fact, wear leggings! Pardon my desire to be moderately comfortable! At least I don’t appear in public always wearing the same dingy hoodie, sweats, and zombie-apocalypse-disaster worthy hair.
Now of course, I would hate to insult anyone who does wear sweats, with a wrinkled t-shirt daily, or Nike elite socks to match their Nike shoes…or perhaps basketball shorts when it’s below freezing outside.
Of course this is entirely hypothetical. Guys never wear the same type of clothing or share the same interests as one another! Only girls do that, that’s why we’re “basic”!
But wait, it seems as though I have just implied that a majority of teen males (not only Prospect), dress practically the same as one another. I would have never guessed that girls are not exclusively the ones who dress similarly, this is truly a revelation.
But teen guys aren’t only “basic” because of their cultish appreciation for Nike clothing. They also obsess over the same sports (fantasy football, college basketball, basically anything on ESPN), and video games (Call of Duty, Skyrim, Halo). How odd, teen boys, sharing the same interests? They get excited over things? I believe in modern context there’s a specific term for that…but darn, I had forgotten! Males don’t get stamped with labels like girls.
But, where’s the fairness in that? These are the qualifications of what it takes to fit the standards of being considered “basic”. Thus, is it not sensible for the same qualifications to apply to, “basic white guys”? Why just girls?
But, what if the guys had to trade in their Nike gear, and take a walk in someone else’s
Uggs? What if guys experienced the constant criticisms from modern society like girls?
“Guys are more easily able to dish things out, but more so than not, they don’t handle things as well,” said Sociology teacher Jason Cohen. “Women are able to see perspective, and a lot of different views, and often times guys are much more narrow-minded. They would probably have more problems with the issues going on today.”
Society undeniably places women at the center of the insult dart-board, it has been as
such for ages, and it is doubtful this miserable way of thinking will diminish anytime soon.
“It’s slowly changing, and there are definite people that say ‘I don’t want you to view me that way anymore”,” said Cohen. “But overall, like everything else, it takes a really long time for change to happen.”
In a society where bullying has become a dominant issue, it is difficult to ignore demeaning terms that are aimed at women. Words like “slut,” “whore” and even “basic” are constantly being passed around; just like the jumbo Nutella jar during a “basic white girl” movie night, #MeanGirls!
It is clear that among today’s youth, being verbally asinine is the norm, especially when it comes to bullying. As opposed to the stereotypical physical type, the insufferable, ignorant insults of those who bully verbally can have a mental effect on the vulnerable victim. Words at times, seem to cause mass pain, the kind of pain where one may prefer physically rolling about in barbed wire, as opposed to being verbally jabbed with insults.
Senior, Anna Brumm truly believes in the impact that words can have.
“So many people have been affected by what people say, or do to them,” said Brumm. “Words definitely hurt!”
When people casually throw around terms such as “whore”, “slut” and “basic”, they are indirectly insulted by these obscene labels. Especially considering the pain that words can have, after all, words hurt…right?
In 1955, Albert Ellis, a renowned psychologist developed his Rational Emotive Behavior theory, which explains how we respond to words.
“People, and things do not upset us,” according to Ellis. “Rather we upset ourselves by
believing that they can upset us.”
In the words of Psychology teacher Daria Schaffeld, “you are giving something else in
your environment the power to upset you.”
The issue remains not solely in the fact that society has become accustomed to throwing around insulting verbiage that targets women, but clearly the female response to this objectification, and injustice in modern society.
We have been allowing seemingly cruel words to impact us, as this is how we have been
taught to respond. But, perhaps instead of attempting to solely extract society’s disdain towards females, it would be wise to teach intrepidity, to empower young girls and women.
“We don’t teach enough resilience,” said Schaffeld. “I think we need to teach kids
that words only hurt if we let them.”
Obviously, if society is unable to change for the well-being of women, perhaps women will
have to step up for their own individual well-being.
What if, instead of preaching about the impact that words have, and how easily
people are mentally scarred, we instead were taught to respond to words in a different manner?
Words are just words. They truly cannot cause you pain unless you allow them to.
If someone were to use the word “slut” towards a girl, she may likely feel the weight of that word spring itself into her heart, and consume any shroud of self-confidence she held.
Now, what if this girl was called the word “slut” in a language she could not comprehend? How would she be insulted? How could she be hurt by words that are ultimately meaningless, or understandable to her? They’re just words all in the same.
What if we addressed all insulting, demeaning terms in this manner? If society refuses
to conform to the equality that women and men have, and continues to act disrespectful towards women, then as women, why would we continue allowing ourselves to play victim?
By permitting insulting words to get to us, we are only allowing society to push us away from the right to be treated equally, treated as people and to not be objectified. We must teach girls to disregard rude, belittling terms.
Nobody can make or force you to feel anything, words are simply words. They are ultimately meaningless.
Though by that standard, the entirety of the infamous, “Burn Book” has been put to shame. Pardon my Mean Girls” reference, that’s just my “basic” talking.
So, the next time I’m hanging out with my friends and we’re watching college basketball, looking fly in our Nike gear, eating Chipotle for the eighth time in a row, yelling “DUDEEE” with
context whatsoever, and someone calls us “basic” I will easily shake it off! Words don’t hurt!
How unfortunate it is, that will never happen. If that were my situation, I’d be a guy. Being called something as bland as “basic” could only ever apply to girls.
So, to all you people out there who are frequent flyers on the modern slang plane,
as stated in the “Teen Girl’s Guide to Being Basic” (also known as “Mean Girls”),
“Don’t let the haters stop you from doin’ your thang.”
I know us “basic” girls won’t, we are like, way too fetch for that!

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    ShaniquaMar 8, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    This is my life. It describes me so good. I am a MEAN GIRL!