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Why Girls Need To Start Supporting Girls

 

“You can always tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building each other up, instead of tearing each other down.” -Unknown

I look around my college campus and my Instagram feed and see countless groups of girls: friends, sisters, mothers and daughters, colleagues, etc.. Young women almost naturally seem to travel in packs; we thrive in tandem with one another. We crave companionship, encouragement, and support. Yet, despite this, it seems as though we maintain an underlying competitive agenda towards one another.

“Empowered women empower women,” insisted the endless array of social media posts this past International Women’s Day. We call for “girl power,” but do we practice what we preach? Why is it that the second another woman succeeds we immediately seethe with envy? What is it that makes us feel so competitive with one another?

We say that we want all women to succeed but are far too quick to turn selfish when it comes at our personal expense. We fail to realize that when one woman succeeds, we each share in her triumph. Instead of raising each other up, we take nearly every opportunity to tear each other down the second we don’t get our way.

Rather than appreciate the triumphs and talents of one another, we look for ways in which we can critique them in order to support our own egos.

“She’s so beautiful, but her nose is kinda big.”

“She may have beat me out for that internship position, but her hair is super frizzy.”

Why can’t we just accept that she’s pretty and that she earned that great internship? Why does our envy make us so spiteful?

Add men into the equation and, naturally, it all becomes more complicated. We place men on pedestals and fight for their affection like a competition. However, we refuse to applaud anybody else’s victories. Rather than be happy for one another’s relationships, we foster bitterness. We hate all the girls from his past and all the ones that come after us. Why do we so persistently begrudge one another’s happiness? He cheats, but it’s only because the girl was such a slut. Why do we refuse to place any blame on the men?

In the age where we frame our lives in picture perfect moments and trade likes and comments like currency, we are plagued with comparing ourselves. Somehow, it’s as if there’s an understood code of conduct, and anybody in violation is called out. Our camera rolls are scattered with screenshots, and our group chats erupt with hurtful remarks like, “she looks so fat,” and, “she totally whitened her teeth in this.”

We’re so quick to judge each other, slut shame, or call crazy. Why are we much quicker to call out the flaws in one another than we are with ourselves?

How can we expect men to respect us when we don’t even respect one another? Boys will call a girl crazy and we nod. We let them label us when we label each other. Our demand for power and respect is not valid when we continuously criticize each other. Furthermore, we only inflict even further damage to ourselves. In hurting each other, we’re truly hurting ourselves.

This competitive agenda we maintain consistently ruins our chances of achieving the progress we all desire and deserve. Think how much we could achieve if only we abandoned such baseless animosity. If we were to commend one another in moments of accomplishment and worked in unison rather than discord, just imagine what could be achieved.

It’s time for girls to start supporting girls. It’s time for “slut” to lose its place in our vocabularies. It’s time for us to stop blaming a girl for a boy’s mistake. It’s time to stop feeling threatened by each other’s talents. It’s time to realize that boys will come and go but sisterhood is infinite. It’s time to trade envy for admiration. It’s our time to succeed, but only if we stand together.

 

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