Sugar, spice and all things nice? How society pits females against each other, and the things that should be on Generation Z’s hit list this week…
I know it’s hard to believe, but I have not gone through life being consistently popular, particularly with girls. From being told I couldn’t play “family it” because I had curly hair, to being mocked relentlessly for my gold eye shadow in my pre-teens (which, by the way, was the height of sophistication at the time) to be told by my first-year flatmate at university that she actively hates me.
I’m going to resist being that person that claims that girls hate her so she hangs out with the guys instead because alas, I’m not very popular with them either. I also refuse to believe that girls, as my Dad theorises, are inherently bitchy. Unfortunately, girls have been conditioned to believe that being bitchy, a direct behavioural result of being forced to be in constant competition with one another, is the only way to succeed in life, whether this is the best job, the prettiest face or the best looking guy.
Being a woman of colour and therefore deemed to be at the bottom rungs of society, I played “the game” for a long time, but gave up when I became both a.) exhausted and b.) hungry, because it’s not okay for girls to have no space between their thighs anymore.
I’m by no means a saint, and my friends and I like to gossip as much as the next person (gossip, contrary to popular sexist belief, is a gender neutral activity). But we do support each other and bond over our championing of womankind and our dislike of anyone who does not stand for the same values. Oh, that and we all really like vodka.
“girls have been conditioned to believe that being bitchy, a direct behavioural result of being in constant competition with one another, is the only way to succeed in life.”
As an individual who feels that they have lucked out when it comes to the female friendship lottery, I was recently shocked to be reminded of how horrible women can be to one another after being thrown out of a friend’s house by her disagreeable housemates, for no immediately obvious reason.
Whilst wondering around Westbourne Park, drowning my sorrows in any pub that would take pity on me, I tried to pin down a lot of reasons why. Maybe it was because the guy they both put “claims” on looked in my general direction or perhaps it was because I left my washing in the tumble dryer once.
Four happy hours later and I could only conclude that they were angry because my friend and I were living our best lives minus the drama and bitchiness, encouraging each other to be our best selves and dancing even when everyone was watching us; and we did all of this without really trying.
And maybe when you go against everything your parents and teachers told you, maybe when you stop trying to get ahead by comparing yourself to others, is when you really start winning.
FOLLOWING…@themillennialstateofaffairs on Instagram. This blogger has a feed full of vegan food and city scenery to die for, documenting her life as a London millennial.
EATING…I spent my Saturday with my best friend in Camden, and in a desperate hunt for vegan dessert, we stumbled across Mildred’s. This snickers cheesecake and chocolate brownie were sugar-coma heaven. @mildredsrestaurants
WATCHING…The Divided America series on AJ+’s YouTube channel, which documents the changing landscape of America following the Trump election. Episodes tackle topics include Planned Parenthood, economic doomsday, refugees fleeing for Canada, and land rights in the US. Watch it here.
READING… Ahead of her latest release, Swing Time, I’m catching up on Zadie Smith’s best-known works. I’ve just finished reading NW and have now started On Beauty, which beautifully illustrates concepts of family and race across transatlantic borders.
LISTENING…Every week, I seem to go through different music phases. Last week, it was The Wombats off the back of my trip to Community Festival, whereas this week was very hip-hop heavy. I’ve been playing French Montana’s “Unforgettable,” Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO TOUR Llif3,” Future’s “Mask Off,” and 21 Savage’s “Bank Account” on repeat to give me a pre-work boost.