One of the girls
Writing this last Dropping the F-bomb column was a tough one for me. I’ve covered a lot of personal ground in my previous entries, and continue to do so in other publications. What topic could I tap into without being repetitive?
Last week, my friend and I had a conversation about the misconstrued notion that women are catty, competitive, gossip addicts. The writing light bulb clicked: it’s time we talk about not only smashing the patriarchy, but smashing these kinds of archaic concepts that bode misogynistic undertones.
I grew up dancing competitively and pre-professionally, from the age of five until my injured body had to take my last bow at 18. I also spent a large part of my childhood as a child actress. These are competitive activities, littered with stage mothers, self-entitled kids, paranoia and tantrums. I marinated in this environment so long that I, as a young adult, believed that all women were out to get me. I believed that I could not share any successes or failures with my female cohorts because they would most likely either mock me, or steal my thunder once I turned around. I became one of the boys, choosing the ideology that I just couldn’t be friends with women.
I believe that at one point, we all had a bit of that girl in us. The catty, mean, jealous girl, who got kicks from seeing another’s struggle. We’ve all felt the gnawing jealousy and violent sense of “I deserved that.” But being an intersectional feminist doesn’t mean having never had a counter-feminist thought or battle. Heck, I just learned that treating myself to a blowout or a new pair of shoes does not in-fact constitute as self-care. I learned that self-care has a much deeper, and historical meaning that doesn’t include manicures. We are all learning, and it’s important to remember that – Roxane Gay wrote Bad Feminist for a damn reason.
Today, I surround myself with powerful, educated, strong, creative women. My network, my business model and the bulk of my friends are women that lift me up in every way. And I, them. So, what happened to being one of the boys? As we get older, we shed layers. Layers of notions we were taught, layers of pain (usually there are many,) layers of joy and layers of experience. When I started a feminist magazine with a female friend, I shed the layer that was afraid of women. I trusted that Kristi (my business partner in Loose Lips Magazine) and I would work on this thing until we were no longer able. I trusted that this would be a critical chapter in my life that would change everything. I trusted that we would do it together with love, and grace and sensitivity for each other as friends and as new business partners.
I shed the archaic concept that she would eventually cut me down, and steal my ideas and start a magazine of her own while cackling evilly in a dark room beside a fireplace. I let that go because it’s nonsense, and since then, countless doors have opened to many beautiful friendships that I will forever cherish and forever learn from.
Before Loose Lips launched, we had our first contributor meeting in the living room of my apartment. Over 20 women came. Some complete strangers, some old friends from journalism school, some acquaintances from our childhoods. We spent the evening assigning stories, brainstorming ideas, drinking wine and filling my tiny home with an abundance feminine energy – feminine energy so strong I had to excuse myself for a moment to take a deep breath in private. It wasn’t out of fear, and it wasn’t from anxiety, it was from overwhelming gratitude.
It’s 2017. Open your arms to the power of sisterhood. Let us remember that our sisters are not here to compete with us, but to empower us.
Campus Life Editor
Community Relations Manager
Arts and Culture Editor