As women, we are indoctrinated to look at other women as competition, although we cannot quite put our finger on what competition we’re in, exactly. We vaguely suspect it has something to do with being pretty, with getting the guy…?
We are trained by stereotypes–stereotypes that suggest that female friendships are catty, that women are duplicitous, that we are out to get each other–and these stereotypes color our view of each other, painting our vision with suspicion, envy, hatred.
Have you ever felt as jealous of a man as you have another woman? For most of us, the answer is no. We don’t view men as competition the same way we do other women. We haven’t been trained to see men as our competitive peers.
It’s everywhere we look, this nebulous competition between women. It’s on the cover of magazines: “who’s hotter, Kim or Kylie?” It’s the crux of so many movies, so many television shows, so many books, and fairy tales: “Who’s going to get the guy?” It’s the driving force behind almost all fashion and make-up sales: women in competition–buy this lipstick; you’ve got to measure up! You’ve got to look as good as the next girl!
And so these stereotypes of catty female competitors–paired with the stereotype that to be a girl ain’t shit–leads to such phenomena:
“I’m not like other girls. I’m one of the guys. Girls are too much drama. I’m not like other girls.”
Well, guess what?
I am like other girls.
I AM other girls.
And I’m here to tell you today: the competition doesn’t exist. It is a myth perpetuated to divide us.
In fact, the competition cannot exist–because you see, only you possess what only you possess. There is no one else that you need to be. There is no one else that you need to beat. There is room for all of us. Surprise.
Your shine does not diminish mine. Your greatness does not diminish mine. In fact, your greatness might make mine even better. And so that’s why, if you are a badass, I am not afraid of you. I want you. I love you. I celebrate you.
To choose as women to love one another is truly a revolutionary act.
They teach us that we are catty, that we ain’t shit, that we are dirty, that you don’t want to be like other women, that to be awesome means to rise above womanhood, to transcend these breasts, this breath, this heart.