Is the term 'Girl Crush' really not okay?

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Term, Girl Crush, Girls, Crush, Okay, Celebs, Female, Straight, Women, Offensive, Ruby Rose, LGBT, Kettle Mag, Lauren Johnston
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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We all know what a ‘girl crush’ is. A phrase most often used by heterosexual women when talking about another woman they’re attracted to. The term could also be used by a homosexual man.

Just in the same way ‘guy crush’ could be adopted by a homosexual woman or a straight guy.

Simple, right?

Dislike of the phrase

But it seems, and I didn’t realise this until I read some of the comments on Ruby Rose’s Instagram posts recently, that some members of the LGBTQUA community are taking a dislike to the usage of the phrase.

In 2014, Marissa Higgins called for terms like ‘girl crush’ to be abolished, as she felt it wasn’t fair to lesbians who had ‘actual’ girl crushes. She also accuses its users of being scared of being mistaken for LGBTQUA. Overall, the article makes the case that 'girl crush' trivialises queer women's realities.

In addition, this article by Madeleine Davis from June 2015 says: 

“Being attracted to Ruby Rose doesn’t make you open-minded or edgy. Being attracted to Ruby Rose makes you a person with functioning eyes.”

Honestly, I love this quote. Even if it IS just a phase that some young people are experiencing before moving on to the next hot chick/dude that comes along, it’s true to say that lots of people are into Ruby right now. Now, I personally (although I think she’s gorgeous) have never posted on social media saying that I think Ruby Rose, or any other woman, is my ‘#WomanCrushWednesday’. 

#WomanCrushWednesday

I don’t see these hashtags, or 'girl crushes' in general, as particularly offensive. Now that’s easy for me to say; I’m not a homosexual woman, so I haven’t had first-hand experience of the possible bullying and stigma that can be attached with coming out as gay.

From several friendship groups across the years, I’ve known lesbians and bisexuals and those who can’t decide, but there’s never been any stigma towards them. I’m not close-minded enough to believe that homophobia doesn’t still exist in today’s world, but for a lot of people, certainly from what I’ve seen of my generation, being gay really isn’t a problem. It’s important for each person to find themselves and discover who they are, but it isn’t anything that needs to elicit a huge backlash. And neither is a little hashtag.

My view is that this trend really isn’t meant to offend. In response to Davis’ earlier quote, it doesn’t seem like the girls who are posting these kinds of tags are doing it to be cool and get themselves one up in the school popularity contest. It is a form of admiration and the term ‘girl crush’ is only a bit of fun. If a straight girl posts a pic of Cara Delevigne with several coloured hearts and blind monkeys alongside it, is she then expected to come out as gay in order to justify one little tweet? Or maybe the kinds of people who write such posts should stay quiet, restricting themselves from displaying public adoration for someone they admire? 

Social stigma

I was confused to see that some were upset that certain members of their gender were being celebrated, because it wasn’t by the ‘right kind’ of women.

Although, it would be awesome to see women celebrating other women by writing more about what they admire about their ‘girl crush’ – are they strong and independent? Are they funny? Do they cheer you up when you need picking up? A little less objectivity wouldn't hurt. Recently, Lilly Singh (aka Superwoman) launched a campaign on YouTube to encompass all social media - #GirlLove – celebrating women in the way power feminism does best.

In answer to the title of this article: I believe having a ‘girl crush’ - and talking about it – is okay. Certain people might have a different opinion, but hopefully they know it’s nothing more than fun, and definitely not meant to cause offence. If men and women are equal, then why is it considered wrong for a woman to post about a girl crush and not a guy crush?

Do you think the term 'girl crush' is offensive? Let us know in the comments below!

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Hi! I'm Lauren, I'm 20, I study TV and Radio at the University of Salford. Let's meet up, watch the entire back catalogue of Alan Partridge and wonder why it is that his hair is less grey now than it was in the 90s, and what this means for society.