The Girl Game
First of all, I hope you’re fucking reading this bitch. This is to the girl who slammed the door in my face to lock me out of the house because she was afraid I might steal her mans. To the girl who looked me up and down when I told her I liked her outfit, because she didn’t like where the compliment was coming from. To the girl who angrily turned to me with a “WHAT” before realizing I was offering her a hit of my juul at a party.
We’ve all met that bitch. We’ve all been that bitch. But a certain bitch-ridden week has made me question all the girl-on-girl hatred and competition I’ve been seeing around campus lately.
I guess my first question is: What the fuck are we all so afraid of? Why is our first reaction to treat other girls with suspicion and anger and contempt?
As Emily V. Gordon puts it, “Women compete, compare, undermine and undercut one another—at least that is the prevailing notion of how we interact.” But I can’t help but wonder if this effect is something that we can place on individual women. Or if we need to consider the fact that we, as a society, have always and forever taught women that life is a cut-throat competition. Because if there’s one thing women don’t need, it’s another opportunity to be told that they need to do better.
As stated in Tracy Vaillancourt’s literary review, “Human females [use] indirect aggression, which is typically directed at other females, especially attractive and sexually available females, in the context of intrasexual competition for mates.” This basically translates to: girls are dicks to other girls because they’ve been told their self value depends on male approval. And while another pretty girl at a party may not seem like a big deal, odds are (for most young women) some internal part of us can’t help from screaming THREAT!!
It’s also necessary to point out that industries in beauty, fashion, and advertising profit off of this very idea. The idea that a woman NEEDS to have a certain set of attributes in order to compete with other women for male interest. She needs to have the right hair, the right nails, the right makeup, the right clothing, the right interests, the right personality. But fast forward to 2018, and instead of revolutionizing a woman’s role (as we sometimes like to think), we’ve only demanded more from her. Now, it’s unacceptable for a woman to be too dumb, too timid, too shy, too basic on top of every expectation we’ve held for women in the past. You’re supposed to speak up without shouting, dress up without trying too hard, and have sexual independence without destroying your “self respect.” It’s bullshit.
As you might expect, a lot of girls get tired of this rat race and decide to take a different approach. Instead of openly competing with other girls, they decide to pity them, to ridicule them, to differentiate themselves from the others. They swear they’re “not like the other girls” and that they’ve “always been more of a guys’ girl anyway” as though this makes any difference whatsoever. Make no mistake: this strategy still counts as participation in the game. It’s the same self promotion accompanied by girl-on-girl put-downs that furthers you in the competition. That makes you an effective player. That gets you closer to the finish line. No one is above it.
As Jenna Marbles puts it, “girls are majestic fucking creatures,” and I agree 100 percent. It sucks that we’ve been told we can’t be nice to other girls because they might take something from us, but at the same time it’s something we must recognize.
So I propose a challenge. A challenge for girls to pursue their own self worth as opposed to relying on guys to give them any kind of value or validation. A challenge to hold that door open, accept that compliment, and lend a helping hand when it’s needed. Because if we keep engaging in this competition the way we have in the past, no one will ever truly win. And you know what? Every girl deserves to.
Yeah bitch… even you.