“It is cheap for a woman to text a man first. I believe a woman must have certain amount of class,”
“It’s fine for you to have sex. As long as you’re not whoring around,”
“She’s such a whore”
“Look at that, slut alert”
“She’s so cheap and easy. Seriously,”
“Women that smoke are just disgusting”
“She’s so masculine and aggressive,”
“How do you expect to get a boyfriend if you act like that?”
“She’s a c**t”
“She’s such a f**ktard. Like seriously; what a slut”
“She’s got such a big nose. Her neck is so thick. She doesn’t do her eyebrows”
These are phrases I have personally heard coming out from the mouths of women whom I call friends. Sadly, sometimes these phrases are directly to women whom we call friends. I have to admit; I have been both a victim and a contributor to this vicious cycle of hatred that has been around for years. It seems to have started from a time unknown to us and from the look of it now, it does not seem to end anytime soon. Therefore it is a no brainer why some girls believe being friends with other girls only creates “DRAMA!” This Slut shaming, vicious gossiping, backstabbing attitude women have developed towards one another is poisonous and it needs to end.
Another contributor to this cycle is people of the opposite gender. However, the vicious and derogatory terms women take offence on being called fall on deaf ears and are de-sensitized to men because she uses them too. Words like bitch, tramp, slut, whore gets dropped on a daily and we’ve become immune to them. In fact, these terms have gone as far as being affectionate terms to call one another. When has it become a norm to accept the term tramp in a teasing manner? Why has it become okay to be labelled a bitch?
“You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores”- Tina Fey in Mean Girls
Like most people there are a few factors about myself I identify with. Feminism is one of them. I have ALWAYS been a feminist and I ALWAYS will be one. I believe in equality and everything that comes with it. However, what I have failed to acknowledge is taking a stand on something means changing things about yourself to show you are taking a stand. This epiphany came to me while I was on the phone with my sister and she told me something she read about the wonderful Maya Angelou. Maya had decided to stop cursing at 22. Her mother told her, she was one of the greatest women she had ever met. Maya then decided if she was going to be somebody she would stop drinking, smoking and cursing. Well…she gave up the cursing!
This revelation led me to self reflect and I realised a crucial flaw in my thinking. I demand change without having to change myself. I realised my rants about inequality (especially gender inequality) to my girlfriends drip with irony. At the end of my rants the conclusion we (my girlfriends and I) conclude is simply these stereotypes they have about women needs to change now. Looking at my conversations now there is only one metaphor that I can think of, “Pot calling kettle black.” I demand change when I can’t even stop the habit of casual gossiping about another person!
The truth from what I learnt about Maya is change begins with us. We as women need to make a decision to stop hating on each other. We need to be united and emphasise it is NOT okay to use derogatory terms on us. It is NEVER okay to judge a woman based on her appearance. It is UNACCEPTABLE to judge a woman based on her sexual experience. And it is just UNCOMPREHENSIBLE to use the C word. Ever.
The fact is change- no matter how small it may be starts when we make a decision with ourselves to be better than who we were yesterday. If we succeed in that, perhaps humanity is not as far gone as we thought. Decide to be better today for a better tomorrow.
“This world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another”- Ellen Page