Monday, March 17, 2008


National Women's History Month

I'd like to think that my friends and I are very pro-girl/sisterhood. Sometime along the way, we all realized that females in our society are pitted against each other, presented as competition. Competition for the job, for the men, for social standing. And, recognizing this fact, we came to a crossroads: either embrace it or be repulsed by it.

A couple of years ago I read Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination, by Helen Fielding. Olivia is attractive, friendly, curious. She's at party chock full of upscale attractive possible terrorists, and she has a run-in with another woman, who is seemingly into the same guy that Olivia may or may not be interested in (Olivia is actually investigating him). AT ANY RATE, Olivia quickly realizes that that girl is not on "The Girl Team." She's conniving, bitchy, and willing to do whatever it is to get Olivia out of the picture. Olivia proclaims something along the lines of: There are two types of girls: those who are on the Girl Team, and those who Are Not.

I think that was the first time I had thought about female relations in those terms. It was like good ole' Helen Fielding shined a bright light on my surroundings. It's so true...there are two types of girls: those on the girl team, and those who are not. We should all be on the same team. But it's so hard, especially when you like a guy and some other girl gets him, to keep this in mind. She becomes the bitch, your friends call her ugly and stupid to make you feel better, she (and possibly her posse) are the enemy.

But then you run into that girl or her friends at the bar, and you've had a few drinks, and you exchange words, and you realize. Oh, crap. These people are actually really smart, cool, beautiful, and intelligent. People you'd like as friends! They are catches. It doesn't make YOU any less of a catch, though. Life is not a zero-sum game.

I'd like to think we've all grown out of this. We've recognized the destructive patterns and, in the words of Dar Williams, "I will not be afraid of women."

Believe in the power of positive actions.

(and check out The Unretouched Woman, compiled by Slate.)

Slate is a good site. I am glad you read it.
Yup! I've been reading it since high school, if not middle school. Always something new there :-)
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