I happen to be adverse to a lot of things: pineapple on pizza, pens that dry up easily, clothes that shrink in the dryer, etc. But if there’s anything that really grinds my gears, it’s seeing girls tear other girls down for the sake of something so pitifully unimportant. Even though the recent spike of feminism in mainstream culture has had many positive effects, it’s left some important conversations omitted from the main discussions. One of the things that mainstream feminism tends to gloss over or ignore is the fact that women and girls (especially teenage girls) seem to be in a constant battle over the smallest of things. Do we really need to constantly be on the defense with each other?
The reason we do it is because we like to distance ourselves from “other girls.” We want to emerge victorious over other girls. We want to be the innocuous girl that everyone likes.
I’m not saying that a girl can’t confront another girl. I’m not saying that girls are never wrong. It’s just agitating when I see girls instinctively see each other as the problem when a thousand other factors could be at play. Our first instinct can’t be to throw each other to the wolves. A friend of mine dispensed very wise words on the matter: “How can we expect others to respect us when we can’t respect each other?” Obviously, there’s never going to not be any drama. There’s never gonna be a day when all girls will sit in a meadow and braid each other’s hair and be completely at ease. But I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to discuss the problems with the culture surrounding women and the way we participate in it.
Believe me, I’m not completely innocent. I have partaken in the vicious cycle we girls are embedded within and I most definitely am not trying to distance myself from the problem by writing this article. But this cycle is poisonous and if our generation of women want to consider ourselves more progressive than those behind us, we must be willing to open the conversations to problems that we perpetuate and not just those perpetuated to us.
Photo: Ilana Spiegel