A couple of summers ago, I was seeing this guy, and we used to tell each other EVERYTHING. Talk about a healthy relationship with excellent communication (what everyone deserves!) One of the things I enjoyed about this relationship was that we had no barriers. We were that couple that shared everything! (Also, I am clearing this up if any of you were wondering, we decided to part ways because we were better off as friends than romantic partners). One day, we were just chilling at his place, and his phone was BLOWING up. I was a bit curious as to why his phone was ringing off the charts, and he turned to me and said, “Yo look at the boys’ group chat.” My mind was blown.
We all have group chats with our ride or dies, but this one was different than all my girl chats. My girl chats consist of mainly “I swear he’s cuter in real life, he just photographs SO badly.” This chat was different, it was filled with details about how this girl was super cute, but they couldn’t smash because one of their cousins hooked up with her, and that means incest. Then it went into great detail about their opinion of her looks and her intelligence (all their words, not mine). Now, this whole chat made me feel some type of way, and I had so many questions! The main answer was, “it’s the bro code like we do this because we’re bros.”
It made me think about so many things, how is the bro code so well followed compared to the girl code? I knew I did not want to pry more into the group chat, but I started prying into the realm of the “bro code” and want it means. Something that sounds so much like the girl code yet has such a different “vibe.”
What I was told was that the bro code was “literally brotherhood.” They were also all about making sure that their boy is never caught in a bad situation.
Has the bro code protected men for centuries? Is this their version of “see no evil” but to a totally different level? Women get shamed for the same actions men take, and even when we question these actions, and we have miles to go. Women shame women if we even look in the direction of a man we are interested in, whereas men can joke about how they would smash if their cousin had not. Men are held to a different standard, even in modern days, these standards not only protect them but succeed in maintaining a woman’s status in lower ranks (though, she deserves to be on the same level as them).
I started telling my friends that we should forget about the girl code and just have a bro code, and they all laughed and said it was the same thing. But, when we started discussing it, it was not. The bro code allows men to be supported, whereas the girl code questions the girl’s actions or intentions much more. The bro code checks men in different ways. It’s about not messing around with your boy’s girl, but it doesn’t hold men to these high standards of hypocrisy.
While this group chat was a glimpse into a whole different world, I hope that one day women and (I mean all, not just a portion of women) can speak in any manner they want. I hope that the girl code develops into a way that uplifts women and doesn’t keep them in check by maintaining ancient thoughts and standards. I want every girl to feel safe when they talk about different issues, and that girl code stops limiting us from just talking things out. The girl code is just inherently catty, and it’s riddled with “pick me” culture.
Having a girl code is great when its focused on healthy relationships and ensuring strong bonds, however more often than not, girl code is easily twisted back. Even if you do not know someone, they quickly draw the “girl code” card and boom not only do you feel bad, but you’re painted as this terrible person for not following girl code. Why does girl code mostly come up in situations that remind a girl they broke it than otherwise?
Women are always held to a different standard, but they are also held to this standard by women themselves. We need to do better. Forget the girl code, let’s work towards a sis code—a code all about support, love, and empowerment.
If your experience with the girl code is different, I am happy to hear that. This is about my own experience and my personal relationship with it.