Haters Need Not Apply: Friendship and Third Wave Feminism


sailor-moon-princess-serenity-queen-beryl-fight

It’s always a shock to me when I lose a friend. There’s some vestigial feeling from years of after-school specials that my friends are my friends for life. B.F.F – best friends forever, right? It feels alien, despite the fact that it’s totally natural. As people grow, our values and personalities change and that inevitably means social circles must be culled. As a young woman my low self esteem taught me that a loss of a friend was a sign that I was a bad person, a mean person, a “bitch”. These days I know better, or at least I’m trying to remember to know better.

Approaching my 30th year I can safely say I’ve lost a lot of friends in my life. But I no longer have the erroneous fear that it reflects poorly on me. Rather, it shows a progression toward not tolerating toxic people. In addition to that, I’m beginning to finally understand what friendship is and surprisingly most of my female friends have fallen short.

My original understanding of friendship and sisterhood was defined simply by just the women in my life. Friends by default simply because we liked the same things. But this practice has backfired more times than I like to admit. Because the unfortunate truth is that most women in America create environments that are hostile toward each other. We engage in behavior that reinforces the negativity toward ourselves, willingly and with a viciousness that’s extremely damaging.

Few times in my life have a felt the sting of feminine misogyny like when I break up with a guy.

Full disclosure: I’ve broken up with lots of guys. Sorry, not sorry. I have a tendency to come into relationships too weak and always trying to see the best in people. But once I find my footing, I’m usually shocked to find myself attached to someone pretty unworthy of my attention. Hence all the breaking up.

It’s during these times of transition that women show their true colors. True allies will be supportive, empathetic and honest. But I have admit, these reactions are the minority. Here’s a list of things I’ve experienced from other women:

  • Refusing to speak to me ever again because they’re mutual friends with my ex.
  • Believing everything my ex tells them without bothering to ask me anything personally.
  • Going through mutual friends to ask if I’ve cheated on my ex.
  • Flying into jealous temper tantrums when my status turns from “in a relationship” to “single”.
  • Perceiving any emotions I have about my ex as proof that I’m one of those “crazy bitches”.
  • Slut shaming me for getting into relationships too quickly after my break ups.

The worst part of all of this is I’ve known most of these women for 5 years or more. These weren’t office friends. Break ups are a time when women are asked to stand with other women. But this often proves too much for them, the knee jerk instinct to align oneself with men is too strong.  And can often have disastrous consequences. Women often stay in toxic, abusive relationships partly because the other women in their lives refuse to acknowledge what’s happening is abusive or unhealthy. They try to help find ways to cope with unacceptable behavior instead of helping them leave. And when those relationships do end, those very same women create an air of silent judgement more chilling than the break up itself.

All these things have happened to me and as I em entering my 30’s this May, I’m determined to stop this pattern. I want and need women in my life, sisterhood is extremely important. But a strong dedication to supporting other women is a requirement. If you’re not a feminist, you’re no friend of mine nor to any woman. I no longer have the time or interest to drag people with me into a healthier way of friendship. You get it or you don’t, you’re either in or out.

Don’t waste my time, ladies. I promise not to waste yours.

XOXO

Tits and Ass… oh yeah, and women [in art].


I want to make one thing clear before I begin this rant, I love video games. I love movies, I love modern media and I don’t think things should return to ‘the good ol’ days’ whenever they were. But I’m becoming increasingly disillusioned with the way women look in movies and games. I know it’s not really a new concept, I’ve always taken a moment to roll my eyes at games when (and by ‘when’ I mean when this always happens) at the females with the breasts bigger than their heads. Stiletto boots, chain mail bikinis, nice armor ladies, I’m sure those will help. But I just watched the trailer for Suckerpunch that was recommended to me by a friend. The idea seems really interesting, a young girl who looses everything and is confined to an asylum by her dick of a stepfather. She then finds escape, with three other girls, through their imaginations where they must battle their inner demons by literally battling demons… and dragons… and robots. Then I watched the trailer.

These “troubled” girls seem to be locked away in an asylum run by Maxim magazine. Yes, the pouty-lipped actresses prance around the set in perfect eye makeup and pigtails. On top of that, I’m supposed to believe that in the deepest fantasy of a emotionally traumatized girl’s imagination, she chooses to dress in a skimpy schoolgirl’s outfit ala any Hentai ever made. Just GOD. Seriously, I think Zach Snyder [director] might actually just be a giant disembodied penis.

Now to be fair, I have not seen this movie yet. I don’t know if I will, because the content isn’t what bugs me, after all it’s PG-13. But the visual component of this film is bordering on offensively stupid for me. What bugs me is this movie seems to be pretending that it’s about this girl’s struggle to overcome [insert conflict here]- but it’s not. It’s about how hot these actresses are. It’s about hot chicks in short skirts with swords. And I am so bored of that idea.

I don’t mean to portray myself as some sort of man-hating sex Nazi. I indulge in many girlified rituals: shaving my legs, wearing make up, and wearing sexy clothes gives me confidence. And when you peek behind the veil we can clearly see this is sexist and all that. But we do it anyway because, as women, we obsess over our appearance. And yes, that is stupid. But this film is more stupid. Because like so many women in our media, they aren’t characters. I’m sorry, you cannot put the protagonist of my game in a skintight onesie and expect me to take her seriously. And the worst part about it is I don’t think they expect us to at all. Women are there to wear the clothes and dance for the cameras, and if you want to make that movie-whatever. But don’t try to pass it off as some sort of deep coming-of-age film.

But at the end of the day, I realize that all my complaining is in vain, however I reserve the right to roll my eyes until they get stuck in the back of my skull. Media, seriously, just…ugh, kiss the fattest part of my ass.