I am not a feminist. I am simply a female college student that leaves college for academic breaks drained and itching to vent to my hometown friends about how bitchy the girls at my school are. In college, ambition is good. However, the synthesis of ambition and insecurities of a female population can be and often is catastrophic. After all, how could we expect any less when you place a population of hypercompetitive women in the hypercompetitive environment of womanhood? How else could you explain college blogs with young, educated women hurling terms like “slut” and “coke whore” at each other?
Add in organizations such as the Greek system and we have pipework for criticism and gossip, as well as a way to stereotype even larger groups of women. While discussions throughout the years have led me to understand that the women in question believe they are simply conforming to the norm, sometimes it is difficult to remember that we as students create and perpetuate the norms that we live in, and therefore are partially responsible. Consequently, our ability to contribute to change in the systems we dislike is forgotten. Perhaps it would be productive to direct that ambition elsewhere, towards the pursuit of a more compassionate womanhood.
1. We come to college to become inspired.
Never before in female history have there been so many accomplished, educated women in colleges across the country, that have so much going for them. Does it make sense to hate women for precisely the things that inspired us to come to these colleges?
2. College is a timeless network of bridges forged and not burned.
After you graduate, the petty issues over boys and drama will dissipate but the networks you create will be timeless. All of us will be representations of our alma maters, and eager to help fellow alumni. A moment of female cattiness should not be worth closing the door to future opportunities.
3. Don’t hate the ex(es) – she could be part of his learning curve.
A man is an accumulation of his experiences in college, and before, and we come to college to learn through discovering all different kinds of people. If you are the end point of his journey through women, why would you look upon his path with disdain? Perhaps the reason he realizes that he loves your bluntness is because he dated someone lacking such straightforwardness. She could have led him to liking or loving you.
4. Life is not always a zero sum game.
It often seems in college that in order for one to win, someone else has to lose. Grading curves, sorority rankings, and club membership counts are always a source of bitter competition that is a breeding ground for bashing. This competition trickles into our personal lives where we often gather little awards of self-validation in the form of superiorities over other female students. In this mindset, we treat such validation as just another trophy on our shelves of successes, while at the same time there is always someone outperforming us, and depreciating our accomplishments. However, you define value the value in your life, and waiting for other women to fall is a poor way to ever feel truly happy.
5. It’s already a sexist world.
I’m not sure about you, but among issues like gender wage gaps, glass ceilings and slut-shaming, the last thing I want to deal with is women hating me too. Unnecessarily disliking each other can only serve as an obstruction towards progress. Who knows the world of difference women could make if we didn’t spend so much time hating each other?