Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Woman's World

As I went out to the clubs with my girlfriends last weekend in celebration of Elizabeth's last weeks as a single woman, I took in a lot. I watched a lot of drunk, ever more desperate, but the most prevelant was, shockingly to me, a lot of bitchy.

Why are women so mean to one another?

No one is more judgemental of other women than women themselves. It really hit me as I was getting ready to go out. Sometimes we're more focused on looking "right" or "as good" as other women than we ever are around men. As we walked into The Red Room, clad in designer jeans, tiny tops and uncomfortable-but-fabulous shoes, it all began. The dance floor was less than hopping, just a few women gathered to bob and step (the white man's anthem) to the music. The group dancing close to us was a small but eye-catching cluster of are they really 21? girls. All blond, all beautiful, all missing half of their clothes and, most likely, missing most of their meals. Their dresses were tight, exposing ribs and barely-there breasts. Their skirts were short and their ankles bobbled on shoes that were just a bit too tall. They looked a little like young girls raiding their mother's closet, wobbling around in high heeled shoes, playing dress up. As we took a spot on the dance floor, I felt the Barbie's staring us down. Never missing a step they took us in. I felt their eyes look us up and down judge us. Pointing out ouf flaws in their minds. Validating themselves with whatever they could find wrong with us. I heard laughter, and I automatically wondered "Is it me?" Am I the one they're laughing at?

I felt more self concious than the first time a man sees me naked. With a man I've always known that my flaws, because I know I have them- we all do, are lessened by the fact that, frankly, if there are breasts exposed my slightly-less-tight-than-they-used-to-be thighs are the last thing on his mind. With women, it's a whole different ball game. I've heard girlfriends talk about another friend's outfit/haircut/weight gain. I've seen groups of women tear apart another women, just for fun. I've seen all of this- and, unfortunately, done it too. But who hasn't really?

As we danced, I felt something else, too. Then I heard it. "Look at her belt." my friends whispered. I giggled. It was a hideous belt. Black and white dress with a HUGE red shiney belt cutting right around the middle of the only girl who seemed to NOT be missing meals. Not attractive. We laughed at her amongst ourselves, and then it hit me. We were no different. We felt threatened and we fought back. Insecurities filled us and so we found something wrong with our enemy. Validated in another woman's flaw.

Why are we like this? I used to think that this was competition over men, but I just don't think that's true anymore. We are our own worst enemy, turning into a high school cheerleader picking on the less popular girls. We tear down other women- picking apart everything- from their jobs to their eyebrows. We seek and destroy. Find their flaws and expose them. Somehow we get pleasure in knowing that someone else is not perfect either.

But is there anything more flawed than a lack of kindness?

We worry so much about our appearance. We make time for the gym, we buy anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, anti-acne... what about anti-bitch? So many of us pride ourselves on a bitchy nature, but isn't this just a defense mechanism? Don't we call ourselves a bitch so that we've said it first? Don't we find the flaws in others so we can defend ourselves when they find ours? I wish we could support each other. Only we can truly understand what other women go through every day- what our insecurities are, what our trials are, and who we want to be.

I smiled at the girls while we were in the dance club. They didn't smile back. Instead they turned around and had a mini session, followed by laughter. But this time I didn't feel bad for me. I felt bad for them. I watched them while we were at the Red Room. I watched two go to the bathroom and their fellow "friends" make fun of the belt. I watched a girl cut in while her friend was dancing with a hottie. The friend looked hurt and then slinked away, off to the side, conversing with another girl. They shot death glares at their "friend" and then proceeded to break up her dance. They were all so beautiful, and yet, so ugly to one another.

As we left the Red Room, I posed this subject to my girlfriends. We started a serious conversation on the streets of Broadripple, in midst of drunks and catcalls. The years we had on those girls was apparent. We respect each other. We understand. We're right there with each other, and there when we need each other. We went to more clubs and danced. There were no more girl fights that night. We were tired at 1:00am and walked the dirty streets minus our shoes, laughing and talking. We ate Jimmy Johns on a wooden picnic bench and went home before the sun came up.

Because that's just how we roll.

I went to bed that night at Mandi's house, sharing a bed with her like we were kids at a sleepover, and thought about how lucky I am.
posted by Kellie @ 12:08 PM |

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