Saying “girl crush” is as bad as saying “no homo”

Let’s sit back and think for a second: why do we use the phrase ‘girl crush’ as opposed to just ‘crush’? The hashtag #WCW (woman crush Wednesday) blows up Instagram every week. What do people mean by ‘girl crush’? Nine times out of ten, girls are using it simply to express feelings of adoration or admiration for another woman, without calling their sexuality into question. When you put it like that, how is it any different from saying “no homo,”, which is overtly homophobic?

It’s almost as if some people are so afraid of someone mistaking them as being sexually attracted to someone of the same sex that they must add a disclaimer, while also showing appreciation for another woman. Why is it so important for people to “reassure” others (and themselves) of their own straightness?

I don’t believe that anyone using the term ‘girl crush’ means to maliciously. But it is interesting to call ourselves into question. In general, I believe we need to find better ways to express our admiration of someone without making it about sexual attraction or lust. How can we move away from the sexual objectification of women when there isn’t a shred of sexuality or sexual intention involved?

If you aren’t sexually attracted to the person, don’t call it a crush. Simply say what you admire about them – the way we articulate admiration shouldn’t only ever be done through lust.

 It actually took me 20 years to figure out I identified as bisexual because of terms like ‘girl crush’ and my own internalised homophobia telling myself it was just a ‘girl crush’. The bottom line, in the words of Florence Given, is this:

Maybe it’s a girl crush… maybe you’re just queer.

or

Maybe you’re not queer… maybe you’re just admiring someone of the same sex. If so, why the need to make certain that nobody would, god forbid, think you are queer?

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