Life

How The Expectation To Be “Chill” Is Holding Women Back

Bitches get stuff done.

Girls are constantly expected to “chill out”. They’re expected to be nice when demonstrating assertiveness, and to relax when demonstrating strong emotions or opinions. To sit down. To chill out. To take a bloody joke.

I mean Hillary Clinton might have even won the 2016 election if she gave off more of a “could go bowling with” vibe, right?

This expectation to be “chill” is not OK. In fact, it’s holding us back.

It’s A Waste Of Time

As Martine Thompson wrote in her personal essay in Vogue, ‘How I Learned to Stop Being a “Chill Girl” and Start Being Me‘,a fixation on being perceived as nice or “sooo chill” is a colossal waste of time.” And she’s damn right. Women are achieving an amazing amount each and every day, forsaking being chill for being self-assuredness and getting shit done.

Focusing on being chill takes time away from cultivating opinions into worthy discussions and actions. The expectation to be chill silences voices where they ought to be heard.

It’s An Energy Drainer

Society places an enormous amount of pressure on women to fit into certain shapes and boxes. There’s an expectation to look and act a certain way, to care about certain things and not care about others. It’s exhausting, and pretending to be relaxed about it all the time is a huge energy drainer.

Sometimes it’s better to cry over split milk, let it out and carry on being a badass than it is to focus all your energy into holding it in.

Sure, not giving a fuck about insignificant things is a great skill, but often those insignificant things are representations of big things, like when being called “sweetie” boils your blood. Speaking up can led to a bigger conversation about sexism, which is a great thing to talk about and a good avenue to pour your energy into.

Caring About Shit Is Awesome

Have you ever been told to just “take a joke” when you disagree with a racist or sexiest statement? Did it make you feel like wanting to scream into a pillow?

Being able to speak your mind and stand up for what you believe in when shit gets uncomfortable is an excellent quality, and one we should be championing in girls. Saying no to sexist behaviour, standing up to racist, homophobic or bigoted comments, and not being chill when it calls for it is the new cool.

Remember Julia Gillard’s 2012 ‘Misogyny Speech’ in Parliament? Yeah, that wasn’t chill and it was fucking splendid.

Caring is goddamn rad, speaking up is awesome and being socially conscious of the world around you is a great attribute. As Tiny Fey famously said on SNL back in 2013, “Bitches get shit done”. So go forth smart, intelligent women, don’t let trying to be ‘chill’ hold you back any longer!

Marnie Vinall is a Marketing and Media Communications student at Monash University. She loves reading, writing and her huge collection of plant friends.

(Lead image: SNL/NBC)