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Girl Code: What it is and Why it Matters

If you’re a girl, I’m sure you’ve most likely come across some behavior that makes you question whether your female peers understand the girl code. There’s a certain level of respect and etiquette that you expect from your female friends, and even from female strangers. This isn’t to say that men shouldn’t be held accountable for their shitty behaviour as well. Holding your male interests and boyfriends to a certain standard is necessary. However, in my experience, betrayal from a female friend hurts way more than from any guy. The unspoken rules that govern female relationships serve as a reminder of the importance of respecting other women the same way you want to be respected.

When I think of the girl code, I immediately think of the way other girls, whether they’re my friends or not, act around boyfriends. I think this speaks volumes about how they respect your boundaries, and you as a woman. If a female friend or stranger is getting a little too close with a boyfriend, it shouldn’t go unnoticed. Everyone has their own level of comfort, but I personally believe that flirting and overly touching another girl’s boyfriend is a line that should never be crossed. Some argue that any previous hookup or current “fuck buddy” is also off the table, and I think that this one needs to be communicated, but if you’re not sure, it is safe to assume that it’s going to be a messy situation. Boyfriends and hook-ups should also respect the boundaries and understand your comfort level when it comes to other girls, but you always hope that your friends would just know. Boyfriends come and go, but your friends should act in a way that reassures you that they want what’s best for you.

A controversial topic that I’ve heard before is whether a girl should notify another girl if she knows that she’s being cheated on. Perhaps this girl was the “other woman” and didn’t realize at the time or the boyfriend was reaching out to her in the DMs. In any case, I would always want to know, and I assume that most other girls would too, so I would be all for it. Some may say that it’s not their place or their relationship to deal with, and that’s their own opinion, but I would feel weird about leaving someone in the dark like that. Too often, women get blamed when boyfriends cheat. At the end of the day, there are millions of attractive and available women out there and it isn’t their fault for being hot.

I think the most important part of the girl code is to remember that disrespect and shady behaviour should never be tolerated by the women you consider to be like sisters. If you feel like a girl friend is testing your limits, perhaps it is time to refresh her on the unspoken agreement.

Mary Shanahan

Wilfrid Laurier '21

Mary is a fourth-year English student at Wilfrid Laurier University.
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