All too often, I have opinions on the actions, appearances, and/or words of girls that I haven’t spoken a word to since my senior prom. Maybe longer.
“She’s gained weight.”
“Oh, nice, another butterfly tattoo.”
“Okay. Barf all over that cheesy-ass Facebook status.”
Let’s be real, my thoughts frequently are meaner than this, and are more often than not, shared between my best friends who may or may not even know the girl we’re looking at. Sitting here now, I realize, who the fuck do I think I am? I’ve gained weight since high school. Some days I need to physically restrain myself from virtually screaming, Buddy-the-Elf style, from social media platforms how in love I am with my boyfriend. And, really, what makes my tattoos any cooler or more significant than anyone else’s? That they were my idea? Get over yourself, MK. I’m just being mean.
Taking a step back from these zoomed-in situations, a huge problem becomes undeniably clear. Recently, several celebrities have spoken out about the societal truth that women see other women as the threat and the importance of women supporting one another. And as much as I want to say that I have been an active warrior against this terrible truth, I would be a hypocrite.
I am a social media “friend” and “follower” of so many women with whom I am barely even acquainted. Some of them I have never met in real life. I fear to think that we stay connected to “creep” on each other and sporadically text some trash-talk to our proper BFFs, rather than to genuinely keep in touch or encourage each other’s endeavors.
It works both ways. There are girls that I follow and friend simply because I admire them and want to keep track of what they do. But in this case, God forbid I say something to them. They would know I’m creeping! Not only is it the norm dislike other women, but I definitely am not supposed to compliment them (especially if we don’t know each other well).
No more. I am taking a stand now, and I encourage others to do the same. The moment I catch myself having a negative/mean/disrespectful thought about another woman on social media I am going to take a step back and evaluate it. If I feel I can’t have a positive reaction, I will delete/block her. At the end of the day, it feels more acceptable to me to end the digital “friendship” than to be so disrespectful to someone I barely know. That being said, the moment I see something that I think is impressive or incredible or beautiful, I will tell her. Because she should hear it, I know I would want to. Paying a woman a compliment should come as natural as making a snarky comment about a selfie.
To me, feminism is no longer simply about believing women are equal to men. It is deeper and has so much more potential than that. It’s not simply about empowering our selves as women, but also about empowering (gasp!) other women. It’s about sisterhood. I mean, individually we are pretty incredible, but just imagine the potential of us as one team. 100% unstoppable.