“You’re not like other girls.”
“Wow, you’re really funny for a girl.”
“You’re so much hotter than my ex.”
“Wow, I love how chill you are. You’re like one of the guys … but hot!”
“I’m impressed you know so much about (politics, sport, music …). Girls don’t usually like that.”
Who else has been complimented like this?
Feels great at first, right? Who doesn’t love a compliment?
Well, we’re here to tell you why it’s not really a compliment when he has to put down other women.
#1: He’s Sexist.
He’s genuinely surprised that you are interested in/knowledgeable about/accomplished at something.
Because you are a woman.
This is literally just sexism.
And (surprise!) sexist men don’t make good partners to women!
#2: He’s Planting the Seeds of Competition.
Comparing you to other women, even in a ‘positive’ way, turns a compliment into a competition that you never asked to be a part of.
Women are socialised to compete against each other for male attention because we are always being compered to each other (and to men).
We’ve been tricked into thinking that other women are the enemy, so that we don’t all collectively get together to figure out that it’s actually men that are the problem.
But we need to remember that we’re ALL on the same side.
The man who compliments you by insulting other women is popping that comparison in your head without you even realising it, because it’s not a problem if you’re winning the competition, right?
#3: But One Day You Won’t Be Winning.
He introduces the competition to make you INSECURE.
He’s reminding you (on purpose) of other women that he’s been with, that he notices, that he masturbates to.
Which doesn’t feel like a problem when you’re winning.
You get used to him comparing you to other women.
So it doesn’t feel like such a shock when he’s suddenly staring at other women in front of you.
Of he’s searching for women on Instagram or Pornhub who look nothing like you.
The time soon comes when “you’re so much better than my ex” becomes “why can’t you be more like (insert friend, colleague, celebrity …)“.
And you’re so used to being in competition with other women you don’t even notice what he’s doing is a manipulation tactic.
#4: Which Makes You Desperate to Win Again.
You’re used to your self-esteem coming from comparisons to other women that he’s disguised as compliments.
You felt like his number one (which is how EVERY girl wants to feel and you’re not jealous or insecure or controlling for wanting to be the only one he’s interested in).
And when you’re not his number one anymore and you’re no longer always the winner in his little comparisons, you’re going to try to ‘up your game’ to become the special one again.
This is when you start doing desperate stuff such as chasing after him, dressing in a certain way, losing weight or suggesting things in the bedroom that you’re not actually comfortable with.
All to prove that you’re ‘cool’ and not like other girls. Even though it’s the other girls he’s starting to show interest in again.
He KNOWS that he will have this effect of you, which is why he does it in the first place!
#5: He’s Placating You.
Ever had a guy stare at another woman, tell you it’s natural and that he has to do it because he’s a man?
Or browser histories full of porn who look nothing like you and do things you REALLY don’t want to do?
Society has brainwashed us into thinking that it’s normal for men to constantly lust after women, so long as you’re the one he really wants to be with in the end.
A quick, “they’ve got nothing on you, Babe” is all he has to say for him to continue to be able to lust after other women all the time.
You’re just so happy to be winning the competition again in his eyes that you don’t stand up to him or even realise that it’s wrong for him to masturbate to all of these other women every day or stare at them when you’re out in public together.
But, the thing is, MEN ARE GROWN-UPS.
They can control their own behaviour.
No man NEEDS to turn his head to stare at a woman. No man NEEDS to watch porn every day.
Remember. The Internet hasn’t been around for all that long. This new phenomenon of men watching video after video and searching for photoshopped Instagram pics whenever he has a spare moment is all really new for humans and it’s NOT the norm that we’re just supposed to accept.
#7: He’s Warning You..
He’s trying to tell you who you are before he even knows you. He’s using this as a way to warn you about what he doesn’t like, so that you try to avoid becoming that person.
When he tells you you’re so “chill, not like other girls” he’s reminding you not to be like those other ‘non-chill’ girls.
It’s basically a subtle way of warning you not to get out of line, to let everything go and to not criticise or get angry at him when he makes you feel uncomfortable.
What about when he says how hot you are compared to his “fat ex”?
This is a great way for him to make sure that you start to worry about your own weight, for fear of becoming as repulsive to him as she was (remember, he still slept with this woman he found so disgusting, didn’t he?).
When he says you’re “not like other girls”, he’s trying to make you desperate to stay like that.
#6: He’s Trying to Put You Down.
Having your entire sex insulted isn’t good for anyone’s self-esteem.
We need to think about why it feels so good to be told that we’re not like other girls.
It’s because we’ve internalised misogyny.
Meaning that deep down, we really do think that being a girl is bad.
From being a little girl and the boys don’t want to play with us because they think we’re weak and boring. To every interest a teenage girl might have being dismissed as ‘basic’. Men even tell girls who like stereotypically male interests such as gaming that they only do it for (male) attention.
The objectification of women is EVERYWHERE: porn (obviously), but also social media, advertising, even film and TV (how much female nudity is there compared to male nudity?).
And trust us when we say that we used to love how special these ‘compliments’ made us feel too, before we realised how harmful it really is.
But girls and women are awesome!
#8: He’s Playing Games.
It’s a well-known pick-up-artist (PUA) technique.
It goes hand-in-hand with negging (insults wrapped in a compliment), gaslighting (making you question your own experience) and spinning plates (having more than one woman at a time).
You’re NOT the first women he’s done this to.
And it’s so successful for all the reasons we’ve mentioned above.
He’s playing games with you.
And we’re too old to be playing games.
We are SO used to women on display as sexual objects that we feel so grateful that we can compete for a guy’s attention and win.
We’ve all been stared at by gross old men when they are with their wives, or had messages from men with girlfriends.
Men pit women against each other to keep the focus off of their behaviour and to make us feel like we don’t have options (we do).
But MEN created this competition between women to keep us scrambling after them and doing increasingly desperate things in an attempt to some out on top.
Which means that other women aren’t the enemy.