Picture this, it's day one of kindergarten and you are ready. You're wearing your sparkly silver converse, your mom perfectly placed your favorite pink bow in your hair and your cinderella rolling bookbag is as smooth as ever. You walk in, sit down, and immediately start chatting with the little girl wearing the purple bow in her hair. Instantaneously, you two are total besties.
You do everything, and I mean everything together. You even carve your names into the tree behind the playground, get sent to the principal's office for "defiling" the tree, making it out of their alive and swear to be besties forever.
Fast forward eight years. It's the first day of eighth grade and you walk into the gym (where they send all the students to sit and wait before class starts) and you desperately need somewhere to sit.
You glance over and see your longtime bestie sitting where you always did the year before. You walk up with a confident smile, but as you go to sit down, she sticks out her hand and says "Sorry, someone's sitting here," You laugh because obviously, this is a joke, until you see the boy from the football team sauntering over.
He confidently takes the seat, YOUR seat, smiles at you, and throws an arm around your best friend. "Sorry," he says. "I guess this is mine now, but you can sit here," and he points to his other side. So you do. "Perfect!" says your bestie as she giggles at her new boyfriend. You laugh it off at the moment until you grow up and realize the phrase "this is mine now" is all too haunting in the life of a girl.
There comes a point in a girls life, usually puberty, when everything starts changing. We all know the basic changes, boobs, periods, etc and as impactful as those things are, what really throws a hurricane in the social ecology of a teenage girl is the way she starts to feel about boys.
Suddenly everything is complicated.
Girls are no longer friends, but obstacles standing between you and the boy your crushing on. Your besties are no longer just for sharing secrets, but for gaining intel on all the other girls in your class. And other ladies are no longer there for you to look out for, but for you to walk all over. Life revolves around getting the guy, and while guidance counselors blame hormones, I blame the boys.
Okay, so I don't totally blame men, but they certainly aren't helping.
After the point of puberty, when girls suddenly find boys cute instead repulsive, guys shift too. They start to observe the newfound, competitive behavior amongst girls and they eat it up. Guys begin to realize that a girl will do almost anything to get the guy, and while there are girls all over the place defying this statement, there are those who feed into it wholeheartedly. And those are the girls the guys listen to.
The energy of competition feeds the new energy developing in boys and they start to feel like the girls are on this earth for them. I want to make it clear that this statement is absolute, one million percent false. There is no justification for a man believing he has a right to a woman.
But the men in this world are not gonna support us, so it's up to you girl to let your actions show that you're not living to get the guy, and betraying all your gals to get the cutie from psychology class does not say that. So why then do we do it? What would make a girl feel like she has to ditch all her girlfriends just to land the right man? Well, society.
We live in a patriarchal society. Most of our principals are men. Most of our respected celebrities are men. Most of our doctors are men.
Most of the people determining the future of our country are men. Authority is attractive and society is telling us that men hold it, because, for the most part, they do.
Girls are told through television, music, literature, etc that they need to grow up and get a man, so that becomes their focus as soon as they are old enough to feel it.
But in a society where girls are already at the disadvantage, shouldn't we question this status quo?
Shouldn't we want to see more women in our government representation?
Shouldn't we want our girls in Hollywood to be able to defeat the Harvey Weinstein of the world? Shouldn't we want to see our sisters, mothers, and aunts living strong independent lives?
It's definitely not our fault that history has made us out to be the lesser gender, but the men are never gonna share their power — so we've gotta take it.
The first step to taking back your lady power, being a girls' girl.
Go out, meet some girls and appreciate them for all that they are. Tell them they're a goddess and that their highlight is super on point and that their presentation on the effects of climate change was enlightening. Stick up for your girls over anything else, support their decisions-even the wild ones, and be there for them when they make a not so great one.
Forgive them with more sincerity than you knew you could, and apologize to them even when you don't get it.
Oh, and don't ever EVER leave your girl alone at a party so that you can go off with some boy who probably doesn't even have a liner for his shower curtain.
Boys are great and they can be so fun and can make us so happy, but they will never get you the way that your girls will. They will never know what it's like to be afraid to walk home after dark, and they will never know what it's like to work twice as hard to earn half the respect you're owed, and they will never (apart from a select few) know what it's like to nail your winged eyeliner on the first try.
Boys will be there with their fleeting charm, and their passing looks, and their deceitful words, but a real girlfriend is something you should never pass up. Throw your arms around her, tell her that her butts look great, and she's a genius, and support her with all your might cause when it all comes down to it, you're gonna wish a girl would do that for you.
Another woman's success should be a victory for you, not a threat. And while I wish we could wait around for the men to recognize the true value of a girl, we haven't got the time for that.
Find your girlfriends and go out for drinks and start planning how to help each other be your best selves, cause it's up to us ladies. After all, the future is female.