The concept of “otherness” is based on the idea of “us vs them”. In short, when we have established what we are, everything else is not us, and therefore must be “them”. The “other” is the individual who has not yet found a place where they belong, or who primarily deals in an environment where they do not belong.
Rollo Tomassi has recently offered a post on “Gamer Girls”, in an attempt to explain how girls who are “other” to society still fit into the general rules of human nature, in their own ways. And it is a difficult one. In principle, women are more socially malleable than men. We adjust and adapt to environment as women who adapted to sudden cultural shifts had greater survival and reproduction prospects. And yet some women stubbornly refuse to “adapt” to popular culture, even in the face of ostracization. Therefore, whilst the basic urges regarding friends, family and partnering may still apply to them, due to a radically different, self-imposed environment, “other” girls may display these traits differently.
One of the core principles of female survival is that women adapt and follow. We follow the herd, or the leader, or whoever seems to know what they’re doing. By acting cautiously en-masse, the overall result is greater survivability. We adapt to our nearest surroundings so as to adjust whenever there was a cultural or physical takeover. The women who adapted after an invasion survived and bred, those who did not died with their geneline.
It makes sense therefore that women will easily adapt to any culture, be it popular culture, gamer culture or a cult. However where do Other Girs (OGs) fit in? After all, they are rarely both adapting and following. Some OGs adapt to a new subculture, but do not follow instruction within it. Some OGs follow a new leader, but do not adapt to any culture. Most OGs neither fully adapt nor fully follow, wandering between popular society and other societies, sitting outside of social structure.
Rollo suggests that “most fall into the demographic of ostracized weird girl or semi-goth, fuscia-haired outcast who never clicked with the in-group girls in high school.” However this otherness is not always derived from rejection on behalf of the culture, and successful integration is no guarantee that an OG will continue to be integrated, enjoy it or seek it out. This is especially noticeable when it surrounds traits you can alter (goth, fuscia-hair, talks about anime, bad makeup, piercings, no knowledge of soap operas). After all, if a “normal” girl is rejected for fuscia hair, the first thing she does is excuse it, joke about it, rush home and dye it back to her original colour. The OG, on the other hand, continues to wear it, almost on principle, failing to adapt to social pressures and to follow the herd. Even in the absence of support, the OG will keep her pink hair. This stubbornness, confused for strength, may draw some weaker girls to follow her, yet the OG may or may not welcome a tribe of supporters of her own. There seems no purpose to it at all.
I propose that OGs are actually a class of our own, akin to the rogue males who never establish a place in a hierarchy. The concept of tribal rogues is observed and documented, if only a little. The principle is that sometimes a man will detach himself from his tribe, like a young lion leaving the pride, but will not then find a new tribe to become a part of. These men range from low Beta to Alpha and generally lean to Sigma. They have some ability to lead, but not much desire to do so at all. They do not tolerate difference, cultural norms or social hierarchies. They live on their own, as best they can, exploit the lands, seduce and rape, borrow, barter and pillage, do odd jobs and vanish into the night. They are Other Men. They do not belong and they do not want to.
The OG is the female equivalent to the rogue. OGs have many variables which will affect how and why and when they will isolate themselves from general society, but, in principle, it is all self-driven.
Variable 1: Social energy.
Introverted OGs may always be one of the others due to their lack of energy for other people.
Extroverted OGs may have appeared to be one of the main group due to their exuberance and love for people.
Variable 2: Social desires.
Independent OGs are eager to split from the group regardless of the presence of external support.
Dependent OGs are wary of leaving the group and preapred to be a near-outcast as long as they are safe.
Variable 3: Precedent.
Long term OGs are more likely to stay that way. They have probably attempted to integrate and failed before.
Recent OGs will repeatedly attempt to integrate, sometimes for years at a time before they get tired.
Variable 4: Subcultures.
OGs who fit into a subculture are happier to leave the main group, as the subculture provides the home they want.
OGs who do not fit into a subculture are less willing to leavethe main group due to a lack of support.
Variable 5: Desirability.
Sexually appealing OGs are more likely to leave the group, as they have guaranteed access to certain males regardless of female support.
Sexually unappealing OGs will be wary to leave the group, as the group is their primary supply of males. They may be forcibly excluded, however.
Variable 6: Femininity.
Feminine OGs are likely to leave the main group to follow a single male and avoid general modern competition, which they deem excessive.
Masculine OGs are just as likely to leave the group, but because they crave stronger, more male competition.
Variable 7: Partnering.
Single OGs will be hesitant to leave the main group until they feel sure they can find a partner to support them.
Attached OGs will either leave the goup with support from their partner or rejoin the group accompanied by their partner, as their social dynamic is different from when they were single.
All seven variables play a heavy role in whether a female who does not idnetify with the main group will leave it or attempt to integrate. Thus, Tomassi’s design is of an Introverted, Dependent, Long Term, Subcultured, Undesirable, Feminine, Single OG. Which is a real phenomenon. However there are also Introverted, Independent, Long Term, Unsubcultured, Desirable, Masculine, Attached OGs like myself. And there are also Extroverted, Dependent, Recent, Unsubcultured, Desirable, Feminine, Single OGs who may not appear to be an OG at all until the opportunity to break free from general society arises, at which point they cast off the mask of “us” and reveal themselves to be “other”.
Next week I will explore and explain some of the relationship dynamics of OGs and how isolation from primary culture can affect a girl’s attitudes towards partnering.
TTFN and Happy Hunting!