I see a lot of women write these “essays” or “articles” or whatever. I don’t always read them. Sometimes I skim them. I mostly look at the headlines. Men get crucified a lot on the internet, and I get it. Men are bad! I talk about it a lot in my standup. They are hypocritical and dangerous. Men do relationship-y things and then tell us they just want to be friends. They are rapists and murders. I understand that. I’ve taken self defense classes and listened to a lot of sad songs because of men.
Also, in my life, a lot of women have been mean to me! I don’t see articles about that. I haven’t seen an article titled “my roommate slept with my boyfriend and I cried more when she did that than when he raped me.” I would click on that! Read the whole thing. There’s no article for betrayal from a female friend, or for what to do when the gals gang up on a friend in the girls only secret facebook group. I still haven’t seen the epic breakdown of the tightrope you have to walk to have a great mother-daughter relationship. Female-female relationships can be difficult. Society has put us at odds with one another in a way. Women often feel in competition with other women, supposedly.
I think it’s okay for women to compete with each other. I think women are smart and caring and motherly and vicious. I think that makes women better than men. This can be argued. I, personally, would never want to be a man. Women have a vast range of emotional and physical strengths that men do not. I like being a woman, and I think it’s ok to compete, to want to be really good or the best at some things. Unfortunately, I think people in general, both male and female, compete about the wrong things. I guess “8 hottest bods” will sell a magazine faster than “8 ladies who will help you out when you need it.” Believe me, I want to be the hot and chill cool girl, but most of all, I just don’t want to be judged by other women.
It takes a lot to be considered a cool woman by other women. A couple of women came to mind just now, and I immediately questioned myself. Would THEY be writing this stupid blog? Probably not. But they seem to do whatever they feel like, these women I admire, and I feel like writing this!
When I say “women are meaner than men,” I don’t believe that we should accept it as true fact without any questioning. Growing up I was in a lot of “gifted” and “advanced” programs, brag. In these programs, one of the main areas of focus was critical thinking. I was taught that to question is “advanced learning.” Women shouldn’t be questioned based on gender, but also women shouldn’t be trusted explicitly based upon gender. Question people as you are inclined to, but question based on information instead of gender, race, creed, or any other way someone is different from you.
I would never want my womanhood to be taken from me, the way I imagine a mother cannot fathom where she would be in life having never had her kid. The way I imagine gay people would feel about having to go back “in the closet,” or a bunch of other bad analogies about people whose lives I personally know nothing about. Sometimes I am dissonant, because internally, I struggle with the idea that I am being a “bad” woman by doing things that I don’t think are bad. I don’t want to be made to feel guilty by other women that I love men. I love women too, but not in the same way. I love men! I don’t think you should feel bad for loving anyone, that’s for sure. I like it when men give me attention. I love attention! Is that bad too?
Am I a bad feminist if I love wearing makeup? Because I do! I love girly things. Strappy shoes and lace underwear! Men don’t get those things. I like being able to manipulate people into thinking I am more beautiful and cooler than I am by using clothing and makeup. I enjoy getting compliments. I like to look good, even by society’s harsh standards. I love diamonds and pearls. These things are not responsibly attained. “But they’re pretty!” says my little baby girl brain, “THEY ARE ALL SPARKLES!” it screams.
There are women who brag about not caring what their weight is, am I supposed to do that? I think it’s important to know what you weigh and what you want to weigh. I think if you love your body you need know your body. Your weight can be an indicator of illness. It’s ok to know it!
I am conflicted about wearing things I like. I love wearing a really cute outfit, and I love the way my boyfriend looks at me when I am wearing it, and when my friends say, “that is the best outfit.” When I’m wearing that outfit and a stranger grabs my wrist in a bar and makes me feel unsafe, it sucks. I want to look pretty but I don’t want to be the property of any man that deems it so. I have been yelled at on the street for not responding to a man that screamed “hey.” YELLED AT! Assuming that every person who yells “hey” at me is entitled to a conversation is a problem. Also, going out and feeling like “I look like shit today” all day is a problem.
I remember being at a young age and at a slumber party where we were allowed by the parents of the house to call and order our own pizza. The girl whose house it was made a big deal about being nervous to be the one to call in the order and talk to the person on the phone. Suddenly a slumber party full of eight girls all became nervous to call in the order. I’d never felt nervous about it or even thought about it before, in fact, at the time, I worked answering the phone for takeout orders at my mom’s Italian restaurant. Somehow, suddenly I was like “oh shit, I don’t want to do it if she doesn’t.” Her weird neurosis somehow became all of ours. This reminds me of new wave feminism. We don’t need to be afraid of or hateful towards all men. We don’t all need to be “queens” all the time. Not every woman “slays.” Some of them come over for a dinner party and steal your fucking silverware. I hope that women sharing their experiences in the world don’t make other women more afraid of the world. This should make us feel stronger and more empowered. Don’t be afraid to phone in a pizza order! You can still run for president even though Hillary lost!
I like being a woman. I like having the ability to understand things from an emotional perspective as well as a logical one. I find it an asset. I think when women hurt women it is worse than when men do it. It makes my skin crawl more. I expect it from men more. Do I believe that women are meaner than men? No. I don’t think meanness can be established by gender. At the very least, I feel that we are all equally shitty.
We get away with telling men they are mean all the time. It doesn’t necessarily make men want to be less mean, but since we think this works, I’m trying this strategy with us. You ladies are mean. You’re mean to each other online and in person. You sleep with each other’s boyfriends and husbands, talk about each other behind each other’s backs, call each other fat and ugly all the time, and do mean things to your friends. You know how much it hurts, and you do it still! Men do this too, but so do you. Yes, I am mean too, but so are you. You are complicit in creating a society that makes women question how to act. Please stop being mean. I will too. It's 2017. Let's all treat each other equally so that we can get some fucking EQUAL PAY.
Being a good feminist doesn't mean hating men. It doesn't mean becoming the people in power at the expense of our male friends or people in other marginalized groups. It means recognizing that getting equality for POCs and LGBT people is also helping our cause. It also means being nice to each other and showing compassion. It means not crossing the boundaries you expect straight white males not to cross. It means calling people on their bullshit no matter their gender, societal standing, race, religion, etc. Hurting each other doesn't help anyone.