Exploring the Problematic 'Sh-- People Say' Meme

Discussing the cultural impact of the viral "Sh-- Girls Say" videos, Racialicious editor Latoya Peterson says that the most popular ones play on stereotypes -- which we're more comfortable laughing at than confronting.

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Francesca Ramsey, creator of "Sh-- White Girls Say" (Google)

Exploring the "Shit Girls Say" meme, Racialicious editor Latoya Peterson says that that the most popular videos play on stereotypes. She says it's because society is used to laughing at stereotypes, but we aren't prepared to deal with the way we perpetuate them.

Created by Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey (and boosted by the star power of Juliette Lewis), “Shit Girls Say” went viral by taking a male perspective on common things “women” do and presenting it as humor. Internet forums filled with comments like “Omigod, all my friends do that” or “that is so me.” The sketch proved to be so popular, there are now three episodes, probably with more in the pipeline.

However, everyone wasn’t laughing at “Shit Girls Say.” Quite a few people noticed that the “girls” referred to in the top video were a certain type of woman, an experience that was not shared by all. Others noted that the humor that made the video funny was actually rooted in sexist stereotypes. Over at Feministing, Samhita explains:

"While, I usually applaud men in drag, I can’t help but be critical of these characterizations of women. Are some of these stereotypes uncannily true? I’m sure they can be. But that’s the problem with stereotypes, it’s not about whether they are true or not, it’s that they are used to disempower people or deny them certain privileges. And I get that it is comedy, but it’s like the most boring and lazy comedy possible. You know, let’s make fun of girls cuz we already know everyone thinks they are dumb and annoying tee hee. These videos might as well be beer ads."

Read Latoya Peterson's entire blog entry at Racialicious.

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