“I miss the old Female Power,
the straight from the pussy Female Power,
I hate the new Female Power,
The let’s go back to the store Female Power”
None of the following women you’ll see on these portraits were offered flowers on the 8th of March. No one cared about wishing them a happy “Women’s day”. Today we see more and more commercial centered events emerging on this particular date, the 8th of March. “Ladies Nights” or special commercial offers such as sales on women cosmetic and… well, the list goes on. Everything is not focused on getting some shmoney out of this historical day, but the majority kind of is. (It’s like that, and that’s the way it is)
I’m not writing this to point fingers at anyone. If you wish to celebrate this day the commercial way, it’s your freedom to do so. But I guess that if you’re reading this, you’re interested in my personal opinion about that option. In short: No hard feelings.
I’ve been addressing myself mainly to boys and men in my previous articles. But this time I’m going to talk directly to you girls and women. Because we know there has been a misbalanced communication between us and we’re not taking care of it. We seem to care about each other with “girl power” here and there, but I didn’t see real GIRL POWER in a while. All I’ve been witnessing is how so-called girl power became a hashtag used when there are more than two girls on the same picture. Quantity over quality I guess. Feminism became a brand every girl wants to show off with now: after all Urban Outfitters is promoting it so why not? Talking to boys like shit convinced feminism is about “putting boys at their place”. Hallow arguments come out and make everyone else look like we’re hysterical trolls constantly on our periods.
We’re still moving in the gaze of female competition and envy. Dressing to please men and not ourselves while sometimes being completely disgusted by our own reflection. But we need to keep up, because them other girls in the club are not slowing down either. “Shave your legs girl, he doesn’t want to see that”. Running quick to the next gas station with your hairy self in unwashed sweats to make magic happen in a couple of hours after. “Don’t start arguing in front of boys, they don’t like that”. You’ll ruin the party if you open your mouth and blabber feminist politic statements. “The more you get mad, the more they like it”. Your high pitched voice is cracking your own nerves, give it up girl.
But let’s just quickly post an inspiring quote about strong women that did not fear the patriarchal system and did not shut their mouths no matter what. The women that fought with their lives so we can enjoy our western freedom today in modern society. There’s still so much to be done, the fight is not over yet. But we can’t afford to sacrifice our social status to become an annoying feminist on social media and at every social event. Who are we supposed to attract with that attitude? Let’s stay low-key the whole year but shout out our pride for our gender on the 8th of March because we woke up remembering we have something in common with these historical figures: A PUSSY! And this pussy means so much more than just a sexual organ. It’s the 2017/2018 hype!
What the F are we doing? Is this how we picture making things better? Accepting misogyny and even contributing to it to fit in and be “the cool girl” among boys? Our will to make a change is slowly burning out because of the constant negative response we’re receiving. Instead, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to each other. “Who’s she dating?”“Is her relationship better than mine?”“What’s she’s wearing?” “Where is she going on vacation this summer?”
We’re willing to push ourselves into an infinite circle of competition to prove our differences. But then ironically ripping off each other’s fashion and even life-styles, with no originality at all. We’re not doing it because we necessarily enjoy it, but Miss 4000 followers on Instagram is doing it so we guessed that….
Our influencers should be the girls we’re surrounded by every day. Don’t think twice and tell her that outfit looks bad on her if it’s the case. And don’t tell her it doesn’t if on the opposite it looks gorgeous on her. Go to the club to have fun, not to play compare with the other girls. Who cares about the best outfit? Aren’t we in the dark anyway? And so what that girl is not wearing accordingly to the party theme, are we the fashion police now too?
Other girls’ success should not minimize our ambitions. There’s space for so many of us. Cardi B does not replace or exclude Nicki Minaj. For being both American female rappers does not automatically turn them into competitors. There is no side to pick, you’re allowed to support both. Instead of spreading unhealthy jealousy, covered in mean comments, why don’t we get inspired by these female figures that made it to the top? If she’s there, I can be there too.
Don’t call her “dumb” or “stupid” for going back to her abusive ex-boyfriend. Help her, stretch your hand and be useful to a human being that needs to be protected. Let’s re-appropriate the terms like “bitch”, “whore” or “slut” and think about their use. Intervene gently when hearing someone referring to a girl as being a slut or a whore. “No need to fight about this, but why do you call her slut?”. Vocabulary plays an important role in shaping our social representations. Social representations influence the way we treat others. And these are the terms we’re using daily while unconsciously putting other’s dignity in danger.
We need to stop to feel like we’re better than any other girl. That thought is so toxic and so penetrating that we instantly turn our backs to ideas and people we either do not understand or do not agree with at first sight. This is the origin of competition and in a modern era of social oversharing, there’s obviously more to compete with. We should start to act out of self-conviction rather than trying to conform to widespread ideas. And yes, you still can be a feminist even if you’re dating a straight guy. Recognizing that straight men are in the core of a lot of problems that imply female rights and equality, does not mean you’re insulting your boyfriend. The last thing we need right now is “hetero-guilt” because we’re dating the “devil”. Matter of fact, we’re in the exact right position to help our boyfriends to overcome global misogynistic impressions. As much as we can learn from them and find out more about the female images they grew up with. Team effort makes it easier.
Instead of sticking to what makes us so different from each other, we should reach out towards each other in order to form this impenetrable women gang of girls that are sick and tired of being defined, ruled and treated unfairly by old school patriarchal laws and social constructions. Social media is today’s era “Agora”, where people come together to share ideas, participate in debates and even organize revolutions. This is our generation’s best and (free!!!) tool to cause a wave of change. It won’t cost you a penny to google terms like “feminism” or “gender inequality”. Today’s generation has this huge advantage of carrying knowledge in their pockets, completely charge free.
We’re not properly talking to boys yet either. We’re not making enough space for them to join us. We mix up “conversation” with “intimidation”, there’s a thin line we often cross and we need to admit this. If he’s not willing to understand our position and replies with pathetic jokes or stereotypical examples, it’s better to drop it than exposing ourselves to humiliation. Is this dude really worth our energy? Are we willing to become human punch bags to certain men’s frustration? Nah girl… But we can have a productive conversation with boys and together think about alternatives to the stereotypical driven attitudes we’re ALL suffering under.
There are so many ways to cause a little bit of change. It might not be a whole audience filled with people applauding you. But it’s your friend who a couple of seconds ago just thought that feminism is a matter of “can I still open the door for her?” and now has a more constructive image about the subject. Simply because you brought that subject up and both of you shared opinions. Imagine that one friend now goes and tells that to his brother who happens to be with his friend and the three of them start a whole new conversations about the subject with even more different perspectives. All because you brought that subject up and cared about your friend being well informed. Your audience is only a single person away.
Humanity has proven that it can progress extremely fast once it figured out how something works. We’re able to adapt ourselves impressively quick to new trends and lifestyles. Once we’ve figured out feminism and gender equality, we might have a chance to make our ancestor’s fights worth. This is why I’m not convinced celebrating the 8th of March the commercial way is the accurate way to pay respect to our female historical figures. But there is no right or wrong way to do it either. I just wish girls and women would keep in the back of their minds why this day is such an important one. But wishes rarely become true. Especially mine.