Girl Hate – In Which I Have An Epiphany

October 13, 2012 10:06 pm

After having watched one of Those Pesky Dames’ most recent video offerings on Girl Hate, and just how many women put each other down in a bid to separate themselves from “all those other girls”, I’ve been given a not-entirely-pleasant epiphany about my own behaviour.

I am a feminist. And as a result of labelling myself so, I believed I fell into the “look-how-lovely-I-am-wanting-everyone-to-be-equals” camp. I hadn’t clambered off my high horse for long enough to consider that while I wanted equal opportunities, equal rights, less double standards etc, in an Animal Farm style way, I only wanted some of us ladies to be more equal than others. Those who weren’t as forthcoming in their opinions on equality, whose views didn’t quite gel with mine, were simply labelled another species of girl by me. “All those other girls.” The girly girls. After nearly twenty-five years on this planet, I’m a bit disappointed that I’m only now realising how hypocritical I’ve been.

While I do flirt with femininity, my more girly behaviour is exaggerated and put on as an act for comedic effect. I’m only “doing girly” for the laughs. And my quietly growing collection of dresses is purely for fancy dress. I don’t wear them seriously, God, no. I’m just playing at being a girl today. Essentially, I am just in drag, because I am, like, so different to those other silly women who actually mean it. Whatever “it” is.

I’ve never thought I’m against “other women”, or even thought that some of my behaviour was just widening the gap between me and other social cliques within my gender. How I’ve been acting can probably be pegged down to some simple insecurity. I’ve more or less always felt a little uncomfortable at the prospect of being accidentally seen as a girly girl, and my jokes about girlishness, I suppose, are just my emotionally stunted way of saying “look how much better I am than that other species of girl. God, I am just so much less needy, weak, overemotional and downright annoying than them! Pshuh!”

So that was my epiphany; if I want to keep hold of my feminist badge, I have to stop picking apart women I have less in common with, stop branding them a different, less good breed and stop avoiding any interaction with them, because, deep down, all I am by the make-up and fake tan brigade is intimidated and worried that they won’t like me. I need to stop automatically disliking girls who are different to me just in case they dislike me first. It’s just not polite. I’m not saying that we ladies should all love each other loads and loads just because we were born with the same flappy bits in our pants, but we shouldn’t switch on Auto Bitch for the same reason either. Each time we do, we are just strengthening a stereotype of women that we know in our hearts to be false.

I could end on some “let’s stick together, girls”, Beyonce-esque line, but instead, I think I’ll paraphrase Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. There’s only one type of folk, girls. Folk.

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