There’s nothing that makes me cringe the way ‘pick-me’ does. If you do not know what a pick-me is, I will tell you.
For those of you who know what a pick-me is, this article is here to help you decide whether or not you are one. If you’ve never heard the phrase before, this article is also for you.
Educate yourself. A pick-me is a woman who tries to distinguish herself from other women with the intent of making herself appear more appealing to other men. A pick-me is a woman who specialises in regurgitating sexist double standards towards other women.
For instance, dress how you want to be addressed or no man wants a woman who everybody’s had. Interestingly enough, when men operate in the same fashion, they never have anything to say. If it is a discussion on any social media platform, a pick-me is someone who would argue that a woman was raped because of the clothes she was wearing.
Her phrases would often be accompanied by things such as: sometimes women dress clothes that are too revealing; how do you not expect a man to get aroused and want to have sex?
This not only contributes to the rape culture, but it reeks of victim blaming as well. If you are a woman who believes in blaming rape on how a woman was dressed, you are part of the problem.
Other comments of a pick-me would be blaming a woman because her husband and/or boyfriend cheated: ‘I wonder what she did so her husband left’. Sis, if you are the type to die on a hill defending a man, you are hustling backwards and need to do better.
The mentality of a pick-me often manifests itself through the regular denouncement of other women and this strand of internalised misogyny is most outwardly expressed through separation from the collective. When you, as a woman make comments like, ‘I do not hang with women because they are dramatic and fake’, not only is this rationale problematic, but it contributes heavily to an established patriarchal society.
Internalised misogyny is said to provide an excuse for men to continue being misogynistic – only now masked as acceptance: enter the ‘Pick-me’ complex.
What typically transpires on Twitter and other social media platforms is that insecurity appeals heavily to men and many women who have taken notice and adopted this low standard to curry favour with unworthy men.
The practice of criticising fellow girls and women for violating sexual norms or behaviour, also known as slut-shaming, plays a huge role in this. The loose definition of a ‘real woman’ is associated with modesty, prudence and submission.
Someone who is a pick me would call other women who are sexually liberated a whore and/or slut. Women who define themselves by these qualities publicly believe it betters their chances of finding a partner. However, more often than not, women end up putting others down in the process.
The internalised half of the problem refers to the fact that society has been telling women they are inferior – and for so long, they started believing it. Thus, the problem then lies within the decades of systematic oppression and constantly being crippled by the patriarchy. The urge to appease men has been ingrained into girls and women from the very beginning.
Though we have taken colossal steps to progress and move away from this problematic rationale, it begins with checking ourselves before anyone else. Make sure you are not a pick me.
Like Mena Ashwood said, “there is no benefit to women putting other women down on behalf of the desires, attitudes and standards set by men.
• Frieda Mukufa’s lifestyle section concentrates on women-related issues and parenting every Friday in the New Era newspaper. She also specialises in editing research proposals, proofreading as well as content creation.