We, as women, are judged from before we are born.
Be it culturally related or just your everyday global sexism, we are judged and critiqued from birth and are expected to live up to unattainable standards of perfection.
Our autonomy is diminished and dismissed. We are made to feel that our choices, opinions and feelings are inherently bad. That we are too emotional, too irrational and too naive to function in society without guidance. Alongside this, we are held in comparison to other women.
We are judged and ridiculed for being like other women. For sharing similarities, for enjoying the same things. Judged for being overly feminine or judged for not being feminine enough.
We are led to believe that being like other girls is the last thing that we should want. It is meant to feel like a feat of achievement not being like other girls. It is sold and disguised as a compliment. It is expected to make us feel superior to other women. As though not being like other women makes us better than them.
Internalising misogynistic messages, we consider it a compliment to be different to other girls. As though we don’t know what it feels like to be judged and held in comparison. To be held to impossible standards and archaic stereotypes.
These statements and notions create distrust and judgment against our female counterparts. We hold other women to higher and harsher standards, offer them a lack of grace and perpetuate misogynistic and sexist norms and stereotypes. We are unrelenting in our judgement of other women, finding it difficult to show kindness where it is truly deserved.
Moreover, as a result of this internalised sexism and misogyny, we are prevented from having deep and impacting relationships with other women. It becomes harder to form friendships where there is constant comparison.
However, there is truly nothing more joyful than a sisterhood.
The truth is, I like most women am an amalgamation of all the girls and women I have ever thought of as inspiring, exciting and frankly just cool. I regularly think of the women I admire for motivation and inspiration. I think of my sisters, my friends, my Mother. The musicians, actresses and authors I admire.
Knowing that there are women and girls that are like you should feel like a compliment. A comfort. There is no greater warmth, joy or endurance than that found in a sisterhood. Being like other girls is no insult. We should be like other girls.
Isolating and judging women who live according to their own beliefs and choices furthers gender stereotypes, diminishes the autonomy of women and damages the development of young girls. Encouraging women to shy away from their inhibitions and fit into society’s outdated model of what a woman should be is incredibly harmful and sexist. To vilify women and to diminish their choices and autonomy is misogynistic, archaic and outrageously outdated.
The girls I know are kind, warm, funny, intelligent and inspiring, and it brings me great joy to know that I am like other women and girls.
I am like other women, and I love that about me.