“Do you want to split a cookie?”
“That is so not okay.”
“Like, I’m not even joking right now.”
“Take these chips away from me!”
These are just a few of the notable one-lines of the YouTube sensation“Sh*t Girls Say,” which debuted in mid-December of 2011 and racked up millions of views in a matter of days. The original “Sh*t Girls Say” videos were written and created by Kyle Humphrey and Graydon Sheppard, and have since spurred the creation of a plethora of videos focusing on different genders, races, sexual orientations, and more, including notable additions “Sh*t White Girls Say to Black Girls,” “Sh*t Gay Guys Say,” and “Sh*t Nobody Says.”
The videos aim to create humor through one-liner stereotypes, poking fun at each group they represent. While created for humorous purposes, the videos have sparked a spectrum of reactions.
The trend has reached Claremont. Claremont counterparts include “Sh*t Claremont Girls Say,” “Sh*t Pomona Freshmen Say,” and a more general video “Sh*t College Freshmen Don’t Say.”
The first Claremont video to hit the web was “Sh*t Claremont Girls Say,” written by Pitzer senior Julia Weiss. Weiss’s video is notable for lines like, “Why are all these guys so short?” and “I just spent three hours at the Motley. I feel like such a feminist right now.” Weiss made the video as “a joke,” not meaning for it to spread as quickly as it did. Although the video has been interpreted as targeted toward CMC, Weiss intended for it to be about 5C girls in general.
“Obviously I can’t stereotype our entire 5C campus,” Weiss said. “Everything you saw in that video was based on something that’s happened to one of my friends or what they’ve said, so to me, it’s really funny.”
“Sh*t Claremont Girls Say” has received much negative feedback. On the video’s YouTube page comments were made criticizing her work.
“A lot of people are really mean about it,” Weiss said. “I’m not going to start a war online about what this video means because it’s not supposed to be a big deal. It was just something that I did for fun.”
Days after “Sh*t Claremont Girls Say” hit YouTube, “Sh*t Pomona Freshmen Say” went viral. The video, created by Danielle Holstein PO ’14 and Daniel Choi PO ’15, includes lines like, “Where’s Clark?” and “Is that on the Network? How do I get on the Network?” The two were inspired to create their video after seeing Weiss’s.
“We loved the ‘Sh*t Claremont Girls Say’ video that circulated earlier, but thought that there was so much ground left to cover, even if we narrowed the scope to just Pomona College,” Holstein said.
Matt Karkut’s PO ’14 explores the “Sh*t Girls Say” trend in a broader sense. Initially, Karkut was going to create a “Sh*t College Freshmen Say” but found that someone beat him to it. Undefeated, Karkut decided to make “Sh*t College Freshmen Don’t Say,” creating a parody that focused on lines that, according to Karkut, are “outrageously farcical for a college freshman.”
“I saw this as an opportunity to inject my name and personal creativity into the circulating maelstrom of internet videos,” Karkut said. “Overall, I think that the whole ‘Sh*t ____ Say’ trend is an example of how the omniscient internet induces creativity by allowing eccentric people like me to create weird things and then share those weird things with other people who will undoubtedly watch those things instead of doing homework.”
Like Karkut, much of the Claremont community finds humor in the videos.
“I think they’re funny because they’re so true,” Cami Campbell SC ’15 said.
“It’s all in good fun and silly that anyone would get offended over the videos,” Charlie Montgomery CM ’15 added.
However, not everyone finds the videos so humorous. Scripps Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies Christine Guzaitis offered a more critical perspective in response to the “Sh*t Girls Say” series and its Claremont counterparts.
“The thing that I find the most striking about it, because I don’t think there is anything new or really interesting about the series itself, is the amount of attention it’s getting for doing something that’s not original,” Guzaitis said. “What it really boils down to at the end of the day is two white presumably middle class gay men making fun of women that they’re turning into girls, saying things that many of us have already heard.”
Guzaitis also said that the videos have little to add to contemporary discussion of social constructions of gender, race, class, and sexuality. “That type of humor seems to be a response to an anxiety about not being able to classify people in a certain way… it’s unfortunate that there is a re-entrenchment of stereotypes and boundaries.”
In regard to Claremont versions of “Sh*t Girls Say,” Guzaitis pointed to a reliance on stereotypes and expressed that the trend reflects the importance of each campus’s individual culture, intellectual identity, and student population within the consortium. “It’s part of a larger culture of wanting to re-establish these homogeneous group identities.”
Despite the wide spectrum of views on the videos, the “Sh*t ____ Say” trend proves the power that one video can have. In just a matter of days, millions of people from all over the world were able to engage in the internet phenomenon.