In praise of being a quiet girl
You all know one, or maybe you are one: Quiet Girl (QG). Those girls who, at any given time, for whatever reason, would rather not be speaking. A young QG often floats through childhood with a knack for reading and excellent table manners.
Unlike her louder counterparts, a QG will seek refuge from the chaos of adolescent education on any perimeter of the classroom that is not the front. Though she furtively pays attention, and cares that her teacher feels listened to, her near-constant eye-contact breaks as soon as the teacher asks a question. She does not raise her hand, though she may well know the answer. She is a champion of waiting out awkward silences. She can make the boring-est of floors look interesting. QGs identify with that one guy from Dead Poet’s Society on so many levels.
As an adult, if a QG can be enticed into going to a party, you might find her glued to the shadow of a friend, or more likely standing by the pizza, cookies, or beer. In emergency situations, a QG will whip out her phone and check social media she has already checked four times, send a text to her mom, and ultimately change her settings from “Vibrate on Silent/ On” to “Vibrate on Silent/ Off.” A typical QG would rather be watching Netflix at home with a puppy.
If you’re a super attractive person, you have definitely worked with a QG, sat near a QG on the bus/subway/tube, or given a QG her coffee in a capitalistic exchange of goods. She wanted to talk to you and confess her love, but she couldn’t think of anything to say.
In a world where people often assume that if you aren’t speaking, you haven’t got anything to say, it’s important to recognize those of us who prefer to communicate in other ways. For example, I hate public speaking of any kind, but I love to write. Writing is somewhere I feel my (impossibly quiet) voice can be heard. Writing is where I can speak confidently out of silence. I am currently in communication with you, a complete stranger, and I don’t feel anxious at all. And that’s how we all should feel when we communicate: uninhibited.
So if talking to loads of people at the same time is not your thing, that’s alright. And if you’re too paranoid about grammar to enjoy writing, then that’s alright. The medium is not important, your ideas are. Quiet girls have interesting thoughts, too. Quiet Girls, you’re not alone. #quietgrrrlsunite
Kaitlyn Bailey is currently working on an MA in Gender Studies, because one liberal arts degree with no obvious career path was not enough. In her spare time, she takes naps when it’s raining, eats peanut butter with everything, and watches Christmas movies at inappropriate times. Sometimes she writes funny feminist things on this blog.
[Image via Searchlight Pictures]