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Why The ‘Shit Girls Say’ Meme Is Sexist, Racist And Should End

Why The ‘Shit Girls Say’ Meme Is Sexist, Racist And Should End


Written by Naima Ramos-Chapman, Campus Progress

I arrived late to the new meme “Shit Girls Say,” but my family members were quick to fill me in over the holidays. They showed me nearly every iteration of the original video series, hoping I would laugh wholeheartedly at the absurdity of watching men in drag speaking a nonsensical “girlish” language that irks, who else, but the men who have to put up with it.

I laughed—but only with half my heart.

When the meme got a racialized twist with Billy Sorrell’s “Shit Black Girls Say” version, I choked mid-chuckle. Both videos refer to adult women as “girls,” and portray them as weak, stupid, silly, bad with technology, and helpless.  And in Sorrell’s version, a part about black women being stuck in abusive relationships is too disturbing given that they are more likely to be victims of domestic violence than white women.

The Internet has responded with even more – one page of YouTube results alone show spin-offs called: “Shit Asian Girls Say,” “Shit Drunk Girls Say,” “Shit Single Girls Say,” “Shit Gay Girls Say,” “Shit Black Guys Say,” and “Shit Girls Say to Lesbians,” to name a few.

Just when I was ready to begin ignoring the viral Internet video jokes, I came across the latest spin-off: “What White Girls Say … to Black Girls.”

In Franchesca Ramsey’s version, she dons a blonde wig and ticks off a barrage of seemingly innocuous comments that, she claims, white women say regularly to black women. The content is inherently racist.

In a Huffington Post column, Ramsey explains her personal experience dealing with the very real and complicated racial tensions women of color face when dealing with social grace:

After I entered high school, the teasing subsided and my circle of friends grew to include girls from all walks of life; but I always seemed to fall in with the white girls from upper middle class families. I quickly became the “token black girl” in my group, which came with a whole host of awkward questions and first experiences for my peers. Unfortunately, the awkward questions and comments didn’t stop after I graduated from high school. Throughout college and even today, in corporate America, I find myself fielding inappropriate questions and swatting hands away from my waist length dreadlocks.

Over the years I’ve found that dealing with white people faux pas can be tricky. If I get upset, I could quickly be labeled the “angry black girl.” But if I don’t say anything or react too passively, I risk giving friends and acquaintances permission to continue crossing the line. So I decided to create my own parody, “Shit White Girls Say…to Black Girls,” to make all people laugh while, hopefully, opening some eyes and encouraging some of my white friends and acquaintances to think twice before they treat their black friends and associates like petting zoo animals or expect us to be spokespeople for the entire race.

(Ramsey creates other parodies, too, like this great “Student Loan Countdown,” a cover of Beyonce’s latest hit.)

Hopefully this “shit [adjective] girls say” buzz has now run the gamut and this is the final harvest of a meme initially, and continually, seeded with sexist ridicule.

This post was originally published by Campus Progress.


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Top photo: screenshot from "Shit Girls Say" Youtube video

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1:53PM PST on Jan 14, 2012

just because the character had blond hair dosen't mean it was not supposed to be "bleached blond"

8:32AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Frankly, I agree with John Strausbaugh---"Until the rise of multiculturalism and identity politics encouraged everybody to be 'offended' by everything all the time," he writes, "it was presumed that earning a spot for yourself was a rough-and-tumble procedure. It took a thick skin and a sense of humor."
It was a very interesting & insightful book ["Black Like You"], but I think the cover hurt the sales or put people off from reading it. It discusses ALL stereotypes.

Everyone is so ultra-sensitive now...Do you think I care if peoiple think I am an uptight white woman? Heck no!

7:22AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Just because something is funny doesn't mean it's not sexist or racist.

4:03AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Thanks for the article.

2:35PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

Thanks for sharing. I didn't even know these videos existed.

10:49AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

The ones that shed light on faux pas, such as "shit girls say to gay guys" is a great, funny way for people to receive an etiquette lesson on what NOT to say.

As for the original, ITS FUNNY! I find myself constantly saying many of the things depicted -- I laugh at it. I don't feel stupid or insulted -- I actually feel celebrated, and not all of the sayings are stupid or silly. Any humour can cause offense if someone wants to be too uptight. This was not insulting and the label "girls" is appropriate, as "women" creates a connotation of maturity that doesn't fit the behaviour in this video. We can all be "silly girls" every once in a while, just as men can be "silly boys."

9:55AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

Robyn B: What has intelligence to do with humor? As long as people do not think those stereotypes apply to all women (or all men, all blondes, all catholics, all whites, all blacks, all asians or w/e) I see no problem with them joking about it. I am a strong, intelligent, independent woman and I love jokes like these!

9:11AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

I dont' know what's worse the 'oh it's just comedy' people or the ones that are so freaking hateful. Yeah, it's comedy, but that doesn't mean the author doesn't have a valid point.
People used to think black face was funny and satire too ... Just saying.

4:37AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

Catherine S.

of course. generalities become stereotypes. and stereotypes become evil soul crushing ways to control people.

if I stereotype teen girls as being obsessed about make up and dating, because I witness 1000 being as such. I should not write characters as such. Unless I do sex obcessed, messy lazy teen boys who do criminal mischif.

and all snarky people on the internet are obece acne ridden 40 year old bacement dwellers who leach off their parents

3:49AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

Now you know why the court's jester had a special statute...

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