I am a feminist (wow, surprising, is that not what this platform is about?)
I love women.
I feel the most confident when surrounded by my sisters, chugging cheap wine, solving every single problem in the whole world. They inspire me, they make me better, they teach me new things every day. They prove we are all different, all unique, all perfect in our own way.
They support me in the most special way because they understand my struggles. They are strong and I will always look for their piece of advice before anyone else’s.
My personal women tribe keeps expanding every year. My sister, my mom and my grandma are my role models. My two best friends are and will always be my rock. And I am an Education major, so my college tribe includes about 20 hard-working girls which I love more and more everyday. Our different backgrounds bring us together, and seeing the “feminist awaking” of some of them has been one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced.
So I love women (may I insist on this?)
However, sometimes, not all women. Sometimes, I don’t like a girl I just met, or a girl I have known forever. And for some reason, this makes me feel angry.
Do we have the right to judge other women? Can we tell them we think they are wrong when we hear them making a sexist comment? Can we support the idea of a man on a feminist debate over the opinion of one of our sisters?
Being honest, I do not know. I feel insecure and rather mean when I trash other women, even if I have a valid point to be criticizing them.
So, after much thought, I have decided there has to be some rules that we can follow.
Question the root of your criticism
Would you judge a man for doing exactly the same thing? If the answer is no, then, please, deconstruct this. You, like all of us, have had a patriarchal education, you have been raised in this misogynistic society so… I do not blame you if sometimes the word “bitch” comes out of your mind. When you start doing this exercise of questioning why are you really trashing a sister, you begin to realize many times it is based on sexist and biased ideas.
Try to check the context
If your comments over this girl are going to start off a rant including hundreds of sexist comments coming from your male friends, please, save yourself the argument. Do not bash a sister in front of men. That gives guys the power to think it is okay to speak on those same terms about other girls. And yes, I definitely learned this from Mean Girls as well.
Take into consideration that, generally, women know more about feminism than men
Yes, of course there are very many great allies, and very many women who have not opened their eyes just yet. But when it comes to heated feminist debates, consider listening carefully to your female friends and try to support them even if you do not fully agree with them. Do not give space on this kind of arguments for a male to make a woman feel bad about herself.
Speak to your sisters with confidence, respect and tons of sorority
We are all women, after all. We face similar oppressions and similar joys. We can do self-criticism. Actually, we must be critical with ourselves and our actions, and our sister’s actions, because that is, after all, the only way to get better. To learn more, to grow, to evolve. Keep an open-mind and, whenever you have a problem with a female friend, please, just talk to her. With love and empathy, yes, but do it. You might be helping her to get better as well.
Love yourself, love your sisters. We are stronger together.