Saturday, March 25, 2017

On Having a "Girl Gang"


Tomorrow, according to my lovely Ban.do agenda, is Girl Gang Appreciation Day. This could also be referred to as my FAVORITE DAY EVER, besides National Compliment Day, of course. That's my all time favorite. I feel like over the course of the past few years, "girl gang" has been heavily synonymous with Taylor Swift and her gal pals. And while I love Taylor and the girls in her, uh, crew, there's so much more to a healthy, supportive and positive girl gang than that.

It's 2017 and still, women have a hard time just living. Though it's clear, and important to recognize, that women or color, trans-women, disabled women, etc, have that same struggle tenfold. There's the notorious pay-gap, rights to our bodies being decided upon by men who don't have to go through what we go through, discrimination based on gender (and for others, grouped in with the color of their skin, sexual orientation, abilities, etc). All of my friends are afraid to walk alone, whether it's during the day time or especially at night. I have friends who won't wear shorts to campus because they don't want to walk downtown wearing them just incase what might be said to them. Women are too bossy, too emotional but then on the opposite end of the spectrum, they're too cold when they reject men, too chatty, too nosy, too this, too that. Damned if we do, damned if we don't.

It's a hard knock life out there as a woman. It really is, and I'm just a cis-gendered, white, straight female. I don't know what it's like to be anything else, but I don't imagine it to be pretty. Sometimes it's nice to know that you have a group of gals who have your back, no matter what. "Girl gangs" are this weird but nice sense of sisterhood that you might not have otherwise. I grew up with brothers, so I've never had a sister to relate to on that level. It's reassuring to know that if you have an issue, from something as small as a massive zit on your forehead that not even the greatest concealer in the world can cover to relationship problems to bigger societal issues, body image, uncomfortable public situations, hell, even discrimination. I think of them as the ultimate support system, people that you choose to surround yourself with that will be patient, understanding, honest, and will care unconditionally.

There's a lot of girl-on-girl hate still to this day. I'm not saying you have to like someone solely because they're a woman, but there's just a gross amount of girl-on-girl hate about the stupidest things and it's puzzling. It just seems counterproductive. It really does. Everything is not a competition. We're not competing against each other in every day life. That mentality isn't healthy and it harbors really nasty relationships with people.

The term "girl gang" can sound a little bit cliquey, I will admit. It sounds more exclusive than it is, but the thought is there. I think even if you think you get along better with guys, it's imperative to have a few close gal pals. They're going to be the ones who understand everything, who know your struggle without being the one on the outside looking in. They won't have to put themselves in your shoes because they've already worn those shoes. In fact, they've already stomped around in them.
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