BY JEN OLENICZAK
Tina Fey’s 2004 Comedy “Mean Girls” is one of my favorites, and not just because I’m a super fan of Fey’s work. It’s a deep, yet funny, look on something that is still going strong 15 years later and will probably be going on 15 years past this article: Girl on Girl Crime.
Girl on Girl Crime is exactly what it sounds like: an aggression of any degree perpetrated by one female or a group of females against each other.
Some folks think the opposite of Girl on Girl Crime is for all women to be pro all women. I think that leads to a falsehood and a fake persona that might be worse than the alternative. The best part of modern-day feminism is the ability to not be friends with every single woman you meet: you see we’re all capable of thinking and believing what we want to believe, and don’t have to believe something just because someone else believes it.
We care out of intention and choice, not out of obligation. The beauty of true feminism leaves space for the different causes, opinions, and lifestyles.
How do we get around the “mean girl” persona and really end Girl on Girl Crime? Here are three ideas that might start changing how you look at your fellow woman:
Jealousy is OK
I am exhausted with the toxic culture that’s being built within some circles of empowerment – live an abundant lifestyle! Law of attraction! Don’t be jealous! Being jealous is less than ideal!
Repeat after me: jealousy is OK.
You know why? Because all of your emotions are valid. It is OK to be jealous of another woman! There’s nothing wrong with that feeling if you feel it. It’s not ok to befriend that woman under the guise of the Shine Theory (the idea that if you shine, I shine, and my accomplishments make you look good, and yours make me look good) and claim her shine as your own, even when you still feel massively jealous of her. If you want to be her friend, naturally be her friend. Don’t seek out to befriend her in some weird law of attraction adventure.
The more open we are with our own emotions, the more confident we are as we move through life. And the less you worry about other’s successes. If you’re jealous of someone, tell her. If you wish you could do something like that, be honest. And always remember: the pie of success isn’t finite. Bake more pie.
You Don’t Have to Be Friends
You do not have to like every woman you meet. It is completely normal to dislike someone because of their beliefs, lifestyle, opinions, choices. You don’t have to befriend someone just because they are another woman.
It’s not ok to be disrespectful.
Even if the woman you dislike is living in a way that you would never – and this comes up politically a lot – you still have to be a respectful human. Don’t tap into petty by insulting her looks. You can be civil to another person without being friends with them.
Be You, Don’t Be Them
Society nudges us in the direction of the mean girl: from issues with ideal body images that often lead to insults to the immediate attack on physical appearance when people disagree, it’s easy to tap into petty. You don’t have to do that though. You can listen to someone you disagree with or you can respectfully disagree.
You also can remember that no one is perfect. I’ve fallen into generalizations regarding beliefs and didn’t act in the most respectful manner towards another woman. We all have, and if you don’t think you have, you’re lying to yourself. The best we can all do is continue to try, every single day, and stop our contribution to Girl on Girl Crime.