I see you walking down the hall towards me, that strut with something extra hidden beneath, insecurities disguised as attitude. An act that attempts to pass it all off as confidence. I hear the clack, clack, clacking of your heels against the wood beneath our collective feet, so much intimidation in such a simple sound. I notice that straight forward gaze, the shoulders which you hold back impossibly straight.
It’s all of those pieces of you put together that make me shrink back, to look down somewhere below my knees as our bodies finally pass in the narrow space between two walls. Because I wear my insecurities on my sleeve, and I find that it’s difficult to look you in the eye. Because I’ve heard it all from you.
The whispers that have passed from between your lips and the cackles you have puffed out from a breath that forms in your lungs. Not directed towards me, but the other girls surrounding us.
But just because I’m not your target now doesn’t mean I won’t ever be.
I’ve seen you strategically assembling your tribe, have noticed the alliances you make and the groups you form around you acting as your shield, your buffer against everything and everyone that can hurt you.
And the truth is I’ve known girls like you before.
Of course I have.
The ones who jab with the words they carelessly spew and give scathing looks passed off as innocent once-overs. The ones who dress the part of the ever put-together professional, because they know how to dress for the part that you want in life.
You’re the girl who knows exactly what they’re doing, seemingly in control of every moment, every emotion.
You need that control because, really, you’re just like the girls you fix the eye of your target on. The ones you openly mock as you try to pass it off as something more innocent.
But in the end, we’re all the same, aren’t we? All of us women, living together within a world that presents us as enemies towards one another. One that pins us against each other each time it preaches being jealous over others possessing that which we would love to have ourselves.
You’re the type who’s bought into all of that. It’s why you pity the ones who can’t handle the heels that are too high, the ones who can’t muster enough courage to openly flaunt their confidence like a hard-earned prize. And to you, maybe it’s all about proving yourself by exposing the insecurities of your fellow woman-kind. About deflecting from the fact that deep down you’re just as afraid as the rest of us, of failure and the exposure of our deepest selves.
To you, there is the hunter and the hunted, with your sole goal to always be in the position of the former. To be anything else is to be positioned at the bottom of the food chain, to be vulnerable and at-risk.
But then again, I don’t really know you, do I? I’m sure that were you ever to read this, you would have at least a dozen convincing rebuttals, proof that you’re not the hard-driven woman I seem to think of you as.
And the truth is you would be right. I can only judge you by your actions and perception is nothing but completely subjective. But I know what intimidation feels like when doled out by the hands of another woman. I’ve felt the jabs pierce my skin, the ones passed off as jokes and glazed over with a sickly sweet smile.
My point is that it’s all so unnecessary.
My point is that this isn’t the way it needs to be.
It’s not the natural order of the world, woman against woman, no matter how often society tries to tell us so. Life is too hard and our time here is too short for us to not help each other along the way. We face too many obstacles and have too many issues to fight against for us to be battling with one another on top of it all.
Let’s check one more thing off of the list of things that need to be done. Let’s help each other instead of constantly competing and retaliating against one another.
Because even though your viciousness is not directed towards me, it doesn’t mean I don’t feel it. And you may not notice that the way you treat those who you classify as “less than” is written all over you. Don’t let that invisible threat that you feel aim your moral compass, your inner radar.
Fight the war with us, not against us.
Because we are all a part of the same physical bond, us women. Let’s not form dueling alliances in hidden trenches, but be a united tribe. One not of competition and hate, but of support and love.
We’re all made up of deep rooted insecurities; that’s just a part of being a woman in the society that’s raised us. But let’s fight to change that.
You don’t have to be a part of the problem. Instead, you can be an important part of the solution.