Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
savannah lee smith zion moreno from gossip girl
savannah lee smith zion moreno from gossip girl
Emily V. Aragones/HBO Max
Life > Experiences

Disrespectfully, Shut Up Please

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

Edited by:  Mihir Khanna

What does it truly mean to be a girl’s girl? I often find myself wishing that more women understood the profound meaning of supporting each other. In a world that champions gender equality and female empowerment, it’s disheartening to witness moments when women do not uphold this sisterhood as they should. The phrase “girl’s girl” holds within it a potent message of unity, friendship, and unwavering mutual support among women. Yet, there are moments when this ideal feels distant, leaving many of us wondering if some women truly grasp the essence of supporting other women.

In a world where it can often feel like every man is out to get me, I can’t help but believe it’s only fair to expect support from other women. Sadly, it sometimes seems like this concept is foreign to them. Their internalised misogyny can lead them to say things like, “Why are you wearing so much makeup? Take off your eyeliner. Maybe then men will like you more.” Ironically, these are often the same men who might deem you unattractive without makeup. They ask, “Are you sick? Did you sleep at night? Are you doing okay?”

You know those moments when girls just…

They hurt you. It is the easiest explanation. I cannot hold any expectations. It is an isolating thing to be a girl. It cuts deeper when I experience that pain. I find myself constantly jealous of the community that men have. They have a built-in support system, always there to lift each other up, lend a helping hand when needed, and stand by each other through thick and thin. It begs the question: Why can’t my girls do the same?

It’s disheartening, really, because these comments perpetuate stereotypes that arise from a constant need to seek men’s approval, making me feel like I’m caught in a loop that never ends.

This phenomenon brings to mind the concept of the “cool girl,” a term popularised by the book and film “Gone Girl.” The cool girl is often seen as someone who bends over backward to meet men’s expectations, forsaking her own identity. This unending quest for male approval can become a heavy burden as women strive to fit into moulds that were never of their own making.

A true “girl’s girl” doesn’t engage in this toxic dynamics. She recognises that another woman’s success does not diminish her own. You say you’re hungry, just complaining about it, and they bring you food. You complain about feeling like your life is going nowhere, and she spends the entire night with you researching things you can do with your “useless” English degree. There is no competition. If you need something done, you can count on her to be there to help, whether it’s fixing the back of your hair when you didn’t straighten it well enough or assisting with your eyeliner application.

At its core, the pursuit of validation from men is unnecessary. A “girl’s girl” possesses a profound understanding of this truth and steadfastly abstains from participating in the exhausting game of seeking external approval. She possesses a profound awareness that genuine empowerment arises from embracing one’s authentic self, free from the constraints of societal norms imposed by others.

Yet, when women resort to undermining their fellow girls in their quest for approval from men, it takes a turn that both troubles and hurts me. This toxic behaviour unknowingly contributes to the continuation of societal norms that restrict the freedom and self-expression of all women. It leaves me feeling pressured to conform to these expectations, often resulting in them sacrificing their unique individuality and suppressing their innate potential.

By pandering to certain ideals or standards set by men, they inadvertently perpetuate societal norms that limit the autonomy and self-expression of all women. This can lead to women feeling compelled to conform to these expectations, even if it means sacrificing their individuality.

It is in this reality that I see women putting each other down. An insidious cycle where it feels like everyone I meet is out to get me, even the people that are supposed to be there for me. I thought they ‘got it,’ thought they understood. It’s hard to live like this.

I am grateful for the women who understand. Real-life angels embody the beautiful and fulfilling spirit of sisterhood. An example, shining out from the crowd, of what it means to truly be a girl for the girls: An understanding exists within them that another woman’s success doesn’t diminish her own but uplifts them. They don’t talk about women in a way to put them down, but rather encourage their good deeds. Tell her to fix her top, that there’s a hair out of place, but respectfully, shut up, please, if your idea of a conversation is to put every woman around you down to lift yourself up.

Amreen Bedi

Ashoka '25

Amreen is a writer for HerCampus Ashoka. She is a first-year student at Ashoka University, studying English and Creative Writing. In her free time she can be found writing poetry about her perceived 'sad life' and reading books by authors who have actually led a sad life. She is also an artist (only some of the time).