Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No Girls Allowed

The article below was written by Amanda S. that lives in the United States and this same post can also be found here: Something Of Substance. Thanks for the article, Amanda! :)

No Girls Allowed

This misogyny thing that people still perpetuate is so tired. Girl-on-girl bashing is so passé. Hearing women proclaim (always with a sense of entitled pride) that they “can’t stand other females” is so boring. Snore.

We all know at least three people like who I’m talking about: girls who call every girl they meet and don’t take an immediate love to “sluts” and “whores” and “bitches”, girls who make a point out of loudly announcing how much they can’t stand “drama!” (always with an exclamation point) and girls who just plain diss and dismiss every other girl they meet.

Having spent a majority of my undergraduate years at an all-women’s institution (it’s not a “girl’s school”, folks), I would have been hard-pressed to make friends if I discounted an entire class of people based on sex. And, I do mean sex: gender seems to make the difference in this equation. Men who are transitioning or identifying as female don’t fall under the umbrella of disdain. Neither do women who are identifying as male.

Blind hatred is nothing new. Anyone remember the Holocaust? Yup, they hated people simply for being Jewish. Or homosexual. Or Bulgarian. Study the Spanish Inquisition? People were tortured and killed for the “crime” of not being Catholic. Or, hey! How about the World Trade Center bombings on 9/11? I recall that some Islamic extremist-fundamentalists flew planes into American buildings because they hated us for being American. Gee, isn’t your hatred so revolutionary and fetching?

Aside from not being the most becoming mentality to have, one of hatred- especially that of female-perpetuated misogyny- is dangerous. I don’t necessarily mean “dangerous” in that I believe girls will go out and start car bombing each other or poisoning the other one over drinks. Well, not every girl will resort to this. But, hatred itself is a slippery slope, especially when we can no longer recall the reasons for our extreme disdain.

For one thing, when girls proudly air their hatred of other girls based on genetic requirements, it does nothing to curb the growing misogynistic tendencies of boys these days. I can’t begin to enumerate the times when, as a Resident Advisor in a co-ed college, I attempted to re-direct boys who were shouting horrible adjectives at girls only to have to turn around and stop the girls from doing it to each other.

Where is all this hatred stemming from? I know I hear a lot about “drama”: how people don’t want it, don’t like it, don’t create it, etc. Here’s an obvious fact: if you’re talking about it, you’re creating it. If you’re gossiping about it, you’re perpetuating it. If you’re taking part in it, you like it. I would tell everyone to just stop already, but I think that solution is entirely too simple. All of this misogyny isn’t coming from simple gossiping.

I’m certain that envy is at the root of the female-on-female misogyny. Men are misogynistic for myriad reasons that I can’t even begin to go into in this post. Suffice it to say, statements such as “you’re a good writer, for a girl”, “girls don’t make very good IT people” and, my personal favorite, “women should never be in positions of power because they have emotions” are so common-place among men that most women shrug them off, titter and say: “well, you know, he has a point!” Congratulations, you just devalued yourself! Now that your self-worth isn’t stemming from intellect or character or healthy respect for your body, what should you base it on? I know!! How about your tan? Or, how little cellulite you have? Even how good-looking your boyfriend is?

And that girl over there? She is tinier and tanner than you and she’s checking out your good-looking boyfriend. Bitch! Get her! All girls are whores like she is? Right?


Nope. Try again. When you base the crux of your existence on whatever you can display on the outside, then all you will ever be is envious of everything on the outside of everyone else. This isn’t to say that looks don’t matter, I think I firmly covered in a previous blog that they do. However, looks don’t last. But, your hatred will. It will outlast everyone in your life. It will be the only thing around to keep you warm at night. Unless, of course, your hatred attracts more hatred and, in that case, you better hope you stay alive long enough to watch your looks fade.

If you want men to start respecting you and drop their misogyny, then you, ladies, need to do the same. I don’t know very many men who refuse to hang out with men under the assumption that they are hanging around to take their girlfriend or might have a better looking shirt on. I don’t know many men who tirade against everyone else of their sex for simply walking the earth. I don’t know many men who don’t constantly encourage, validate, support, and even go out on a limb for other guys. And, you know what? They don’t have the same problems with “drama” or generalized hatred or low self-esteem that women, overall, have.

Females are the majority sex in the world. Instead of constantly tearing each other apart, allowing men to tear us apart and generally basing the whole of our existence on the packaging we came in, why not make an effort to find what there is to like about each other? Why not bond together and encourage, validate, support, and even go out on a limb for another female? Those men aren’t going to do that for you. And you don’t seem to be doing such a good job of it for yourself. In fact, it wouldn’t be far off-base to say that those qualities you so disdain in other women are ones you can’t stand in yourself. So, fix them! Build a personality! Embolden your character! Think a fucking original thought! And then, with your newfound sense of pride, tell the boys to knock it off. It won’t hurt you- I promise.

Is everyone ever going to love everyone else to the point of skipping off, hand-in-hand, into a beautiful sunset? Absolutely not. But, judging an entire class of people on one characteristic and using that as a reason to loathe never seemed to get us anywhere either.

*- misogyny means, quite frankly, “hatred of women”.