The perpetual conflict between the bad and good girls.

Person MemeDear Reader,

I have a confession to make.

I really dislike the cute phrase, “I’m a good girl just being bad,” and all of its incarnations. In Romancelandia we have this attraction to the bad boy. He’s just plain bad, and we love him for it and root for him to be redeemed by the close of the book. Yet the same character, cast as a female gets a different wrap. I remember having this discussion about Odalia in Picture Her Bound because of where the story starts. During the talk, it was agreed that had Odalia had a penis and been the hero–it would have been fine.

Okay, I’m digressing into gender roles which is a whole soup I’m not stirring today. One thing at a time.

There’s this unfair ideology that girls must be good. We must do a whole list of things and wait for the bad boy to come to his senses and sweep us off our feet.

Why do the boys get to be bad–and liked for it?

If a girl is “bad” she is considered a slut and a whore. So she must be good, wear the trappings of being the so-called “good”–but she can also be praised for “being bad”. What’s the other phrase? “I’m good at being bad.”

It’s not a secret I went to Bible college. I enjoyed 75% of it. The other 25% was playing to their rules and being the “good girl” I was expected to be by their rules. Maybe this is why the phrase frustrates me so much, is because I spent a few years trying to be someone I wasn’t. Oh, I believed the core beliefs, at least the ones I think are important, and the rest was rules applied to the students based on what the people handing over money wanted to see from the student body. For a long time the college insisted girls wear skirts/dresses to class because a big donor required it from the school to get their money. There was no biblical reason, just an assumption that skirts made the girls more wholesome, less tempting, etc. Once, I got a fine because the straps on my tank top were too narrow and people could see too much of my shoulders.

The thing is, I’ve always been a color-insid-the-lines kind of person, so long as I believe in the lines. The rules for me during college were so very frustrating because there was no point for half of them. I couldn’t be in the same room as alcohol. I couldn’t be alone with a person of the opposite gender. There was a 10pm curfew. Required socialization time with the people who lived on your hall. I understand there is some basic benefit to the rules, but by and large, these were not things an adult needed to be told how to do.

I think a lot of my frustration with the idea centers in that history for me. I accept it. It’s mine. This is me taking ownership of it.

That said–why can’t people be an individual who knows how to follow the rules–and break them? Why can’t a person be naughty and nice? Why can’t a person be a lady and a freak in the sheets?

I say be who you want to be. And if you know how to be both naughty and nice–good for you.

And that’s my deep thought for a Saturday morning.

Sidney Sig

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