The Cool Girl

*inspired by the cool girl monologue*

I’m not a cool girl. 

I’m not the girl that society has taught us to idealize. 

I’m not the girl who ‘is not like any other girl’.

And more than that, I refuse to be. 

I’m not the girl who yearns to be a part of the coveted ‘boys club’. I’m not the girl who will nod knowingly when you say that every female seat on the table is placed to balance the gender ratio. I’m not the girl who will join you when you bash the ‘activist types’. I’m not the girl who will watch Kabir Singh quietly without ‘overanalyzing’. I’m not the girl who will dismiss workplace harassment or casual sexism as a ‘fact of life’. I’m not the girl who will call other girls ‘catty’. I am not the girl who ‘gets that it’s a joke.’ I’m not the girl that ‘doesn’t always play the Woman-Card’. And I’m definitely not the girl who will one day tell her daughter that exiting an uncomfortable situation without ‘creating a scene’ is the future and legacy of every female. 

Instead, I choose to be the angry girl. 

I choose to be the girl you watch your tongue around. I choose to be the girl you ‘offend easily’. I choose to be the girl who will hold you accountable no matter what her relationship with you is. I choose to be the girl that will not, under any circumstances, ‘let things slide’.

Because it’s this righteous anger that will not only give birth to a generation of women who know how to rage but will also support the one that never learnt how to. It’s this anger that will help power through the illusion of a safe world and find companionship in like minds. And while I believe that the women before me have already shattered the metaphorical glass ceiling, it is this anger that will help claim that victory instead of letting ourselves be convinced that it was an act we were ‘allowed’ to commit by the patriarchy. 

And this is the anger that I will teach my children. I will teach my daughter to fight tooth-and-nail against every institutional bias and my son to break it down from the inside. ‘Consent’ will be the first word they utter and ‘feminism’ the second. I will teach them that there is unity in strength and also that sometimes you have to stand apart from the crowd to see the carnage, so you know what to fix. I will teach them to question EVERYTHING because that is the only way you will know to pick and choose your beliefs instead of merely adopting them. I will teach them that more often than not, it’s not the sexist/derogatory/discriminatory comment itself but the way the speaker reacts to being called out that matters. I will ingrain in them the idea that in every situation, no matter what you think you know, there is a blind spot – a certain lack of perception we embody that we must convert to a strength and not let it simmer into a weakness. I will teach my son that the only thing a bro-code translates into can’t be a body count. I will teach my daughter to become the man she wants to marry. I will teach my son to intellectualize women, not hyper-sexualize them. And I will teach my daughter that her ‘scene’, if she chooses to create it, can shake the earth and move mountains until Justice itself is satisfied. 

I will teach them this and I will teach them more until one day these ‘lessons’ become the axiomatic truths of a widely adopted lifestyle. This is my dream and it WILL turn into a reality. 

 Anusha Subramanian

Lead Content Strategy, Aspire for Her Foundation

University of California, Berkeley

BA, Molecular and Cellular Biology: Genetics