‘I think women are amazing and women’s friendships are like a sisterhood and we should see more of it in television and film’ – Laurie Holden
I’m starting to think there must be something in the XX chromosome that says that all woman come with an inherent ‘bitchy’ gene and I feel sometimes like there’s some pre-wiring that makes us physically unable to be happy or supportive of other woman. I’ll admit, I do it too, if someone’s thinner, prettier, richer, better dressed than me I see her as a threat. A threat to what I’m not sure, but a threat none the less. I wrote recently about the This Girl Can Campaign, whose main purpose was to encourage women into exercise and be proud of their wobbly lumps and bumps. They claimed they surveyed women who said that one of the things that kept them out of the gym was fear of being judged by men. I wished they’d asked me to take part of that survey because in my experience the only people I feel judged by the in gym are other women. I try and smile at the girls at the gym, but I mostly get greeted with a look of disdain (possibly because after I exercise I turn a shade of pink that could be deemed medically unsafe). It baffles me, we’re all there for the same reason, we’re all just trying to be healthy, lose weight and feel good about ourselves, why aren’t we encouraging each other instead of reacting to smile like they’ve just been asked if I can borrow a kidney.
One of the poorest examples of sisterhood that’s been in the news recently is the whole Taylor Swift/Katy Perry feud. For those of you who’ve been living on the moon or have better things to do than read up on celebrity cat fights this is it in a nutshell:
Taylor said in an interview with Rolling Stone that she had a ‘straight up enemy’ in the shape of another female singer in the industry but didn’t have the lady balls to back it up with a name. She said that this other singer had stolen some dancers from her tour and called it ‘sabotage’. After that article hit the shelves Katy then tweeted this:
And some internet sleuths did some digging and found out that some dancers had indeed been on Taylor’s Tour, and then wound up on Katy’s tour some months later. They also have some dating overlaps in the shape of guitar strumming gargoyle John Mayer, and if Jerry Springer has taught us anything it’s that women sharpen their claws extra sharp when there’s an ugly man in the middle. THEN Taylor took it personally when Nicki Minaj tweeted that she felt that ‘skinny white girls’ were dominating the recently announced VMA nominees and tweeted some kindergarten ‘I know you are but what I am’ type retort. To which Katy waded in and tweeted this:
Boom! In case you hadn’t already figured out, I’m Team Katy all the way. Despite Taylor’s goody goody image, I actually think she’s a terrible role model for young girls, or in fact for sisterhood in general. I’m willing to bet a lot of money that Katy had nothing to do with ‘dancer-gate’ personally, i’m pretty sure she has ‘people’ who sort all that stuff out for her. I’m also pretty sure (in fact I know) that there are water tight contracts involved in these billion dollar tours, and they’re harder to leave than the mafia, or a free bar, or my bed on a Monday morning. For Taylor to then say she has beef with someone but not name them is coy and unclassy, like she’s stittng there twiddling her hair round her finger watching the drama that she’s created unfold ‘but what did little old me do? I never named anyone’. Add to that her stupid ‘girl squad’ which is so reminiscent of the nasty popular girls I went to school with they may as well just all buy Forever Friends pencil cases to whisper about me behind my back. Now don’t get me wrong, Katy has been giving a few low blows herself. They both need their heads banging together really.
To put it simply and (perhaps naively) what ever happened to ‘if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all’? I’m not saying women shouldn’t be able to speak their minds and say how they feel but it’s taken us years to have a voice that’s equal to our male peers so why are we using that voice to slag each other off? I’m so pleased that although I didn’t have a close group of girlfriends growing up, I have one now, built with girls I went to school with, worked with, or am related to and, although it may have taken us a while,I don’t really think there’s anything I say about them behind their backs that I haven’t (or wouldn’t) say to their face. I’m not trying to make out that I’m a self righteous goody-goody cookie cutter superwoman or anything (I’m not Taylor Swift after all) my point is, having girls on your side and not as ‘the enemy’ is an amazing feeling. They don’t think Made in Chelsea is the ‘biggest load of rubbish on TV’, they patiently feel my neck lumps when I’m certain for the millionth time that month I have an incurable disease, and they tell me when I’m being an over dramatic tithead.
It’s easy to be envious of people who you think have it better than you; they’re thinner, prettier, rich etc but isn’t it much better to tell someone you really like their shoes than scowl at her because she looks better in them than you do? That girl who posts smug gym updates on Facebook may have been teased for being chubby at school, things aren’t always what they seem, and congratulating her on a good run or workout might just make her day. If you want to look at it from a purely selfish perspective, being nice to other people makes you feel good about yourself, and who doesn’t like be smug and feeling good about themselves?!