How 'Sh— Girls Say' Changed My Life

Earlier this month a humor video called “Shit Girls Say” hit the web. I found it mildly amusing, but not necessarily funny or cutting enough to deserve the over 7 million hits it would get in a few weeks. But then it kind of changed my life.

The shtick with “Shit Girls Say,” which began as popular Twitter handle , is calling attention to how relentlessly careful “girls” can be. In the video a woman — played by a man which adds some pop to the humor, but not as much as you’d think — delivers a series of non-sequiturs of typical things girls say.

“Can you read this and make sure it makes sense?” “Do you know anything about computers?” “Can you do me a huge favor?” (Repeated more than once.) “Do I look like a doily?“ “I know, right?”

These are all pretty innocuous, but strung together we see how, at best, silly and, at worst, obsequious lady-speak can be.

Over the past few weeks “Shit Girls Say” has become a surprise editorial voice in my head, a constant interloper nudging me to stop being so careful and polite whenever writing emails, which makes up about 75% of my professional activity.

Pre-“Shit Girls Say” Elissa would couch every request or suggestion in as sensitive and cheery language as possible. For example: Thanks so much for sending this, Jennifer! It is looking so great. Just one thing — I think we might want to change the beginning a little to better reflect …

Post-“Shit Girls Say” Elissa is more direct. For example: Looking Good. I think we should change the beginning a little to better reflect …

I can’t tell you how good it feels to shed the layers of fastidiously crafted niceties and be able to say, with confidence, what I think. There are still moments when the guilt wins and I throw in a few exclamation points and “amazings” to make sure I don’t come off as rude. But mostly I have stopped speaking like a girl, and started speaking more like a woman.

Close