It is currently 3:25 AM, the day this piece is due. I have a caffeine headache because I’m attempting to cut my beloved Coca Cola from my diet. It’s finally warm enough in my room (it’s 3 degrees right now in Tennessee) for me to roll up my sleeves, though I’m under a mountain of blankets. I’m addressing something in these lines that we all struggle with, something so insidious we don’t even notice it. It comes sometimes under the blanket of “honesty”, or “realness”.
GIRL ON GIRL HATE.
The first time I experienced girl hate was when a boy I liked in Kindergarten talked to another girl. I immediately began picking her apart. She had a weird nose, her mouth was too big, her voice was too babyish, she couldn’t tie her shoes. I was five, ladies and gentlemen. Five year olds should not be having thoughts like that. But it wasn’t just me! I’m not some sort of sociopath, I swear. The other girls in the class stopped talking to the girl. We all excluded her from our recess game of Spice Girls and chasing boys around the playground. It was team effort and we, sadly, succeeded. Things sort of resolved themselves (five year old girls can rarely hold grudges) so no harm was actually done, except… it was.
What made me immediately address this problem with immediate hatred? What makes girls of all ages do this to this day? There’s not enough of girl love to go around. Everywhere you look, there are girls mocking other girls eyebrows (memes with “don’t let someone with bad eyebrows give you life advice”), girls throwing off on each other’s outfits, the works. This isn’t a new phenomenon, nor is just coming to light. Movies like Mean Girls and even shows as beloved as Lizzie McGuire built their foundations on girl hate.
Why, though? In the media, society, everything, 24/7/365, girls are blasted with messages that you need to look a certain way, act a certain way. Be sexy, but don’t be a slut. Don’t be a slut, but don’t be a prude, either. Be nice to guys, but not too nice, because they might think you’re asking for it. Above all, we have to condemn girls that act differently than what’s considered the norm. If she dares stick a toe out of the box that society has placed women in, she is to be mocked and ostracized until she squeezes back into that impossibly small box.
The solution is simple. Love other women. Compliment each other, praise each other’s successes, join forces and stomp out the crap ideas that women have to be this or that to be considered “dateable” or “perfect”. Spread this message as far as you can: STAND TOGETHER. Before we can work on knocking out male-on-female misogyny (which will probably be addressed by me, very soon), we have to kick female-on-female misogyny in its teeth.
If anyone, anywhere, says to you “you aren’t like other girls”, do not take it as a compliment. Ask them “what’s wrong with other girls?”