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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oswego chapter.

TW: Brief mention of abuse 

As embarrassing as it is to admit, I have not always been the kind of woman who supports other women. Male validation centered a lot of my early adolescence. Of course, as I have grown, I have learned to decenter my life from men, and in turn, became a “girl’s girl”. Something that I am realizing more and more, is that this is not at all a unique experience. Most I have talked to have told me similar things. Women are raised to dress, act, talk, and even react in a specific way to appeal to men. So much of our media is catered to the male gaze and culturally women are expected to put male validation above everything else. When a man cheats on his girlfriend, we are taught to hate the girl he cheated on her with, when men abuse women, we are taught to question what the women did for him to react that way. Hatred for women is so deeply ingrained in our culture. It is only natural for young girls growing up to be, as we call it now, a “pick me”. Once again another term; another way to bash women. 

It is impossible to talk about being a “girl’s girl” without talking about why it is so hard to be one in the first place. With the understanding of many women’s roots in the patriarchy and our internalized misogyny, the term “girl’s girl” can be better understood. This word is used to describe girls who essentially support and empower women. I think it is also really important to understand that this is done authentically. “Girl’s girls” lives do not revolve around men, they actively engage in their female friendships and do not place their romantic or platonic relationships with men above their female friendships. 

Overall, being a woman who also supports other women is what broadly defines this term. Oddly enough however I have seen this term used to do the exact opposite. Bringing down other women who are not “girl’s girls” as if they themselves have not been in the exact same place. I want all women to reflect. Are you truly supporting women? You may have done the hard work, and you have descended your life from men, but are you holding that over other women’s heads with superiority? With that being said, I don’t just want to talk about being a “girl’s girl” and what it means. I have some advice and lessons that can be followed to learn how to de-center your life from men and get rid of the misogyny so deeply ingrained in you. 

As cliche as it sounds, you need to learn to love yourself. A lot of times women only love and appreciate themselves if it is through the lens of the male gaze. You need to take time with yourself to learn who you are and what you like. Be your authentic true self and learn to love that version of you and naturally, men will not be such an influential part of who you are and how you act. Next, you need to build relationships with other women. Stop being friends with people just because they fit your aesthetic, stop being friends with girls just because you think they are pretty. Try to build reliable connections based on more than just pure aesthetics and shallow reasons. When you have real friends you realize how much you can love and appreciate someone and how much that can be reciprocated without the need for male validation. Lastly, no matter how annoying it may feel when you see a boy-crazy girl or someone who always chooses men over you. Try to understand where they may be coming from, try to understand some issues they may be having, and check if your beliefs are actually your own or rather projections of what patriarchal society continuously pushes onto young and old women alike. Becoming a “girl’s girl” as it is described on the internet is not always easy but is an essential and extremely beneficial part of girlhood and becoming a better woman.

I am a student at SUNY Oswego studying a BA of Arts in Political Science and minoring in Creative Writing. I am eager to express myself through my articles and hope to improve my skills!