The Basic College Girl

As these are our rulers, we should get to know them.  Disclaimers, if you must: I’m retired, so I’m not entirely up on the new trends.  But do you really need to ask if things have gotten better or worse since then?

You don’t need to bother with the link.  It’s from a site called “The Odyssey Online,” which apparently is a place where Millennial girls can write about the only thing that matters: their very own special selves.  How it has not collapsed into a supermassive singularity of solipsism is a problem I leave for the theoretical physicists among the Fourteen Readers.  The list includes stuff like “avocados” and “ripped jeans” and “Post Malone” (apparently a singer).  Fair warning: If you click, expect to lose a few brain cells.

The first thing to note is that such a list exists at all.  I (and, I strongly suspect, the people who coined the phrase) intend the word “basic” as an insult — a synonym for “standard-issue,” i.e. “conformist,” i.e. “boring.”  Basic college girls use it with pride.  Though they are all special and unique snowflakes, they are also out-and-proud trend-surfing herd animals.  Unraveling that contradiction is above my pay grade, but I have a guess that I think gets us in the ballpark:

Those of us on the back nine of our lives remember high school as a process of differential diagnosis.  You try on a certain set of social roles to see which, if any, fit.  You don’t go out for the baseball team because it’s the first step to making the Majors.  Really, you might not even like playing baseball all that much.  You go out for the baseball team because you want to be a Jock.  If you make the team, you’re a Jock for a while, leading the Jock life and learning its lessons.  If you don’t make the team, you go find something else — the Debate Club, heavy metal music, whatever — and learn the lessons those lifestyles teach.

You didn’t understand this back then, of course, but your parents did, and — crucially — your teachers did.  If you wanted to be a Metalhead this semester, they’d treat you like a Metalhead, complete with the “Why are you wasting your potential (and ruining your ears) with that godawful noise?”  They’d make a show of having a Very Serious Conversation with you about the dangers of drugs and satanism…. knowing full well that you weren’t on drugs, weren’t sacrificing virgins to Moloch (if for no other reason than you didn’t actually know any girls), and would, in fact, come back as a clean-scrubbed Preppie after summer break your junior year.

The key word in “adolescent rebellion,” after all, is adolescent.  All of that stuff was just practice.  If it proceeded in the normal way, what going through all the permutations of high school identity taught you was:

  • you’re a fairly normal person; and
  • that’s ok.

In other words, you are not a collection of externals — clothes, music, hairstyles.  You’re you.  The externals can change, fairly radically — remember that one summer you broke your nose trying to be a skater? — but there’s a core in there that’s you.  Which is great, because it means that you are just person who takes customer service calls in a cubicle farm to pay the bills; they’re not going to put “Here lies Bill, a Customer Service Representative” on your tombstone.

Self-esteem culture changes all that.  What’s the point of being a Metalhead these days?  At best, you’ll get a gold sticker and a participation trophy like everyone else.  At worst, you’ll get diagnosed with some bullshit “learning disorder” and they’ll zombie you out on powerful prescription psychotropics.  The only lesson this teaches is: Come to the attention of the authorities at your peril.

That’s the effect on guys, at any rate.  Bad as that is, it’s far worse on girls.  Guys establish social hierarchy through conflict; when they can’t compete with each other, they drop out and embrace the Ritalin Zombie lifestyle of video games and onanism.  Girls compete through approval-seeking, which, since nowadays nobody’s different from anybody and everyone’s the best at everything, is easily channeled into conspicuous consumption.  Hence all the items on that list.

For the Basic College Girl, then, conformism is a virtue.  In fact, it’s the highest virtue — the “winner” is the one who does nothing, says nothing, thinks nothing but that which gets upvoted on social media….

….or downvoted on social media, as the case may be.  Self-esteem culture has completely bypassed the normal feedback loops.  Back in the days of meatspace-only communication, strong signals of disapproval from your peers were, 99 times out of 100, clear indicators that you’re doing it wrong.  If the kids are making fun of your personal hygiene, then unless your name really is “Dick Smelley,” you need to take a long hard look at your showering habits.  Kids can be horribly cruel, but most of the time they’re not wrong.  And yes, bullying can (and often did) go overboard, but generally “stop being such a dork!” is great life advice, and the process of figuring out just what you’re doing that’s so dorky, and how to stop it, is crucial for one’s social development.

Social media changes all that.  Anyone who has ever written a blog post — really, anyone who has ever made a substantive comment on a blog post — has had the experience of some drive-by troll shitting on you.  As functional adults who grew up in meatspace we recognize this for what it is, and ignore it.  But imagine that you hadn’t grown up in meatspace.  What if you mistake this for substantive criticism?  As it’s not psychologically sustainable to take it that way for long, you do what the Basic College Girl does: You call the commenter a “h8r” and, crucially, you consider having “h8rs” as confirmation that whatever you’re doing is right.  After all, they couldn’t “h8” if they weren’t thinking about you.

Thus “approval-seeking,” a.k.a. chick competition, curdles into an attitude where you actively seek out “h8rs” to annoy.

This is where Normals grossly underestimate women like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  I’m personally terrified of AOC, because she is the embodiment of the Basic College Girl.  Basic College Girls can’t be bargained with, they can’t be reasoned with, and the reason for both is: Both “bargaining” and “reasoning” imply that you think she’s doing something wrong, which is “h8.”  And since “ur h8in,” that means you’re thinking about her more than she’s thinking about you, which means she’s validated, which means she wins.  Which means she’s not only going to keep on doing what she’s doing, but will crank it up past 11, in order get more h8, to attract more h8rz.

This is our future.  Since the only way to deal with a Basic College Girl is to say “no” — all the time, to everything, unconditionally — and we as a society have lost the ability to do that, we’re screwed.  Get to know your new mistress.  Xzhyr name is Becky, and she’s everywhere.



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15 thoughts on “The Basic College Girl

  1. RRW

    “Small, meaningful tattoos” Ha ha ha ha ha!

    Severian, you are too funny, but we are so screwed, forsooth. When I retire I hope to move a little out of the line of fire. It won’t do any good, but I can’t remain in the belly of the beast. Buy you a beer. Still wearing the hat . . .

    1. Martinian

      I likewise LOL’d at “small, meaningful tattoos”. But in all seriousness, the follow-up text is important: “And also because I want to be edgy while also being cute and classy.” Have your cake and eat it, too — 100% validation from all angles. You get all the benefits and none of the detraction from being a nun and a whore at the same time, e.g., the anti-slut-shaming movement, the post-hoc #metoo movement, and the rising sugar-baby phenomenon as clear corroborations of Severian’s point that nothing is considered wrong as long as you can get a critical mass of validation from somewhere, anywhere really.

      I think it’s primarily this culture that’s driving Progressivism (cf. how many early 20th C. socially Progressive groups were spearheaded by do-gooder, virtue-signalling women? Prohibition, anyone?). Boys/Men certainly have their own problems in this day and age, but I get the distinct impression that Social Media is primarily Female, and the extent to which Boys/Men get sucked into the Social Media Matrix is a good indicator of their own psycho-social troubles.

      I think Severian is 100% correct is his solution: Saying no, all the time, to everything, as a way of breaking validation addiction. But I would likewise agree that we as a culture have lost the will to do this. In particular, your “basic” mid-to-upper class, credentialed, white(-ish) woman (cf. the Obama admin’s Julia) gets all the individual validation she needs from 1) Big Feminism (do NOT underestimate the power/influence of lesbians in higher ed), 2) Big Ghej (Superficial male attention untainted by sexual ulterior motives, but also pushed by Big Business, since the single, promiscuous, live-for-today lifestyle that was always the province of homosexuality is now promoted for everyone since breeders have to be spendthrifts), and 3) Desperate Heteros (pr0n is a lucrative industry…).

      The way I see it, only long-term strategies are available to us until a critical mass of the screwed up population dies off and/or the disseminating institutions fail: 1) avoid higher-ed, 2) boycott big corporate products, 3) train boys to avoid social media and other cucktraps (to coin a term…).

      1. Maus

        The boys are sucked in to social media because they are under some idiotic delusion that it will lead to sex with these vapid banshees. The real sign of manhood is that the power of boners no longer compels one’s actions; and the real gift of senectitude is that the boners disappear even if the banshees don’t.

  2. MBlanc46

    First take: Avocados are great. Avocado tostadas on the menu this evening chez moi. And champagne. Life without at least a few decent bottles of champers per year is simply not worth living. I don’t know what a lot of the other stuff is, and don’t care.

    1. Maus

      Yeah, yeah, the avocado is a tasty foodstuff. But men don’t sing paeans of praise to them, unless they are employed as mid-level bureaucrats by the Mexican Agricultural Ministry. And to list it as #1 of over twenty items from a broad universe of supposedly universal human goods! Jesus and Aristotle weep at the vapidity that is 21st century, college-educated women.

  3. Frip

    Severerian: “Though girls are all special and unique snowflakes, they are also out-and-proud trend-surfing herd animals. Unraveling that contradiction is above my pay grade.”


    “Trend-surfing herd animals.” So good. That would make a great exhibit name at the Museaum of Humans 300 years from now. With wax figures of girls doing the duck-face etc.

    Girls are so immitative (or to put it kindly, protectively in-sync with each other) it’s unnerving. And they’re not even embarrassed about it. OK, they’re a little embarrassed about it, but they know there’s nothing they can do but be move with the herd, so they’ve cleverly embraced all the negative epithets. “I’m so petty.” “I KNOW so am I!” hehehehehhe.

    Just 10 years ago girls who were friends of mine would get seriously pissed at me for saying that women are so unoriginal/herdlike. Now, no effing DOUBT they’re out there somewhere saying exactly what I told them, but with some cutesey acceptable sassy phrase.

    As Severian and the comments already mentioned–just like with all the snowflakes, the bottom line is, it’s all about how to have their cake and eat it too, without being rightly castigated and laughed back into the kitchen again. “I get to be everything good and bad, and here’s why you can’t hold it against me.”

    (Damn, when Sev makes a post about women, it’s so spot on already, there’s really nothing to do but repeat him in a slightly different way. Ha, sad. What a basic bitch I am).

    1. Severian Post author

      The sad thing is, I like women… when they’re allowed to be women, AND I’m allowed to call them on their chick bullshit.

      That’s the worst part of our current social arrangement — neither gender is allowed to acknowledge the foibles of the other. A guy pointing out a girl’s inherent gyno-faults is, of course, committing a hate crime, but girls can’t point out guys’ faults, either… because feminism has conditioned them to believe that “acting like the worst, most self-absorbed frat douchebag that ever lived” is EMPOWERING. They have none of our virtues, and they aggressively ape all our flaws. What fun!

      1. Maus

        The Romans understood that women were for making babies and sandwiches. They reserved their conversation and true friendship for other men (no homo). Cicero’s De Amicitia is a deeply thought-provoking commentary on this phenomenon. Now I like women just fine, in their proper place. If they’re not content to devote themselves entirely to the domestic sphere, that’s their problem and not one for which I’ll be seeking a solution. If society ultimately requires it, there is another lesson from Rome in the rape of the Sabine women. My only goal, personally, is to avoid the shrieking and destructive malevolence of the feminist banshees. Having escaped academia and retired from the workplace, my battle is more than half won.

        1. Severian Post author

          This is why I have some real sympathy for the MGTOW folks… or would, if the whole thing wasn’t surrounded by the reek of sour grapes.

          Disengage from a feminist-dominated world? Yes, absolutely. But what about sex?

          Admittedly, I don’t have the strength to slog through more than a few minutes’ worth of this stuff, but I don’t see anything realistic about sex in there. As in, 99% of a male’s young manhood is spent learning how to control his raging rodney. A community of men who were really going their own way would have something to say about how tough it is to control those impulses, and WHY it’s so important to control them, and oh by the way, here are 72,109 time-tested techniques to ignore your aching blue balls… cf. the Church Fathers and every other monastic writer who ever set pen to paper.

          The MGTOW movement apparently — and again, I can only take about three sentences’ worth, so it might be there somewhere — has nothing to say about this. “Just jerk it to porn” is implied, I guess, but isn’t half the point of “going your own way” to NOT be enthralled to a feminine-primary world that treats sex as a soulless, mechanical abstraction, so divorced from reality that a persyn can declare xzhyrzelf a “wingless golden-skinned dragonkin” and get people fired who disagree?

          And finally, any man who has really gone his own way, even involuntarily, has discovered the interestingly inverse relationship between “caring about female interest” and “actually getting female interest.” I myself went through a very dark time in college — death of a close friend, loss of scholarship, a full blown existential crisis, the whole schmear. I had no time for the girls in my dorm and their bullshit and said so, to their faces. Not to be crude or anything…. oh, hell, we’ve come this far — I got more ass than a park bench, and continued to do so, right up to the point where I realized what was happening. I started feeling better, so I tried to parlay some of that into an actual connection… at which point I immediately transformed in the ladies’ eyes from “mysterious, brooding loner” to “needy, emotionally available beta,” and the nookie spigot shut off.

          If they were really “going their own way,” in other words, you’d think the second most common article on their sites (after “how to stop thinking about your aching blue balls”) would be along the lines of “how to fend off all the hoes who suddenly find you fascinating.” And again, I haven’t plowed (heh) through all their literature, so maybe it’s there…. but I kinda doubt it.

          1. WOPR

            From what little I’ve seen, MGTOW seems to be fine doing pump and dumps. I understand the why. However, it’s simply self defeating in the end. Sure you aren’t a cat lady. You’re what? Sure you have financial independence and lots of toys. You’re just as alone. Except for the small percentage of people who really do enjoy being completely on their own, it’s the toy man life. It’s simply MAD for both sides.

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  6. MBlanc46

    I know that I’m a bit late to the party, but I did want to weigh in on Severian’s remarks about MGTOW. I have looked at a fair amount of MGTOW material. They are a pretty diverse bunch (in a good way). About the only think that they all agree on is that marriage is out. Some (perhaps many of them) do engage in sexual relations with women. I presume that it’s mostly of the pump-and-dump variety. They certainly see that sex (that is, copulation) is a problem. But they see it as one easily solved. In a word, self-abuse. (Okay, two words, if you omit the hyphen.) That’s it. They’re not interested in being medieval Christian monks. They’re not battling the temptations of Old Scratch. They’re not interested in suppressing the urge. They simply want to scratch the itch as quickly as possible and get on with the day. MGTOW almost certainly isn’t for everyone. However, I couldn’t in good conscience encourage a young man to marry in today’s social climate. I would certainly warn young men that all interactions with women are potentially dangerous, perhaps catastrophically so.

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