In our culture, women learn from a young age the value of comparison. It is a strange reality, to live in a sex that is divided rather than united. We are taught through a lot of mainstream media that our fellow sisters are our competition.
We start early, when we shame a women for their body type, or when we criticize another women’s belief in a career over marriage. These are subtle behaviours and words, but they are present nonetheless.
These behaviours, and ideas conclude to form an idea called “Girl Hate.” That is the idea that women are pitted against each other rather than supportive, that we thrive on hate rather than love. It lives when we view other women as opponents, rather than allies in the fight for equality.
You see Girl Hate invades many facets of our life. It is in gossip magazines that compare woman in “Who wore it better,” pitting two women against each other and judging them based on appearances. We don’t talk about the movies these ladies produced, or the characters they play, no, we talk about how one wore scrappy sandals and the other flats. We reduce women to cultural cliches.
Another way we see Girl Hate is in the concept of “frenemy,” that you have friends, who are simultaneously your enemies, because you are competing with them. We see this in movies like “Mean Girls,” which encourages women to fight with each other. Don’t get me wrong, Mean Girls is a hilarious movie, but the concepts inherent are terrifyingly true.
Simply put, Girl Hate is the idea that women must always be competing against each other. We are already subjected to criticism about our bodies, our goals, our aspirations, our views, in the mainstream media. But then we become divided because we obsessively measure and compare one another’s success.
But there is good news ladies. The concept of “Girl Hate,” is becoming a big part of the feminist narrative. I am happy to say that most women are recognizing Girl Hate and it’s negative influence in our lives. We are starting to build a united front, celebrating our differences rather than dividing because of them.
I see the elimination of Girl Hate in my generation every day. In women who uplift and support their friends, rather than compare.
I see it through women who support all body types, rather than uplifting one type as the ideal. I see it in women who laugh at the “thigh gap,” because they find it absurd to change your body to fit one type. In women who celebrate and uplift diversity in their life, and in their female relationships.
I am lucky to have and live with women who celebrate their differences. I have friends who can’t wait to start their career, friends who want to travel, but also friends who can’t wait to be mothers. I have friends who are dedicated to Science, and others who are dedicated to Artistry. Women who are comfortable in traditional gender roles, but are supportive of women who want to escape them, and vice versa.
I know women who love to bake, but women who love to fish. Women who climb mountains, and women who love to crochet. I also know women who do both of these, women who are feminine, but can also build a kick ass fire.
I know women who support and advocate for feminism, just as strongly as I do. I know women who instead choose to support and advocate for poverty prevention in our cities.
I know women from diverse backgrounds, with diverse beliefs, and strong ideas. The point is these women accept and love their unique self, rather than compare themselves to others.
I believe in the power of uplifting others, and in standing alongside your friends in their success. I believe in women that love themselves, and then love each other. If feminism has taught me anything, it is that we are stronger together. That we must recognize our privilege, but also work to fight for those who don’t have it.
We must continue this narrative because ladies, we are doing well. We are having these conversations, to encourage diversity in our movement. Feminists around the world are working together to uplift and encourage other women, from many walks of life.
I am surrounded by women who live this concept every day. Women who support each other in their differences, rather than letting those differences divide them. I am loved by women who know that if we step forward together, united, we can change this world. I sure hope we do, and I sure hope that someday soon we can eliminate Girl Hate.
Thanks for reading,