“I am not a pretty girl,
That is not what I do.
I ain’t no damsel in distress,
And I don’t need to be rescued” – Ani Difranco
When I was twelve or thirteen, I ran with a squad of girls around the lake where I grew up. There was one girl, from out of town, (she’s not on my friend list so I’m not talking about any of you) but she wasn’t very nice. If we talked to boys, she would call me conceited or that I thought too much of myself. I distinctly remember learning the cardinal rule of female cannibalism: Shut up, you’re not as great as you think you are!. I really didn’t like her but I think the other girls did. She wasn’t very nice and she made me feel awful anytime I said anything. I tolerated this relationship for much of my childhood.
The truth is, woman are socialized to cut each other down. We are taught that there are limited resources when it comes to happiness, success, and love. This is bullshit. My success does not take away from your success. My looks do not diminish your looks. My happiness does not take away from yours. My love does not cut into anyone else’s love. In reality, there are no limits to success, happiness, joy, attractiveness, and LOVE. All we need to do is stop eating each other alive and cutting each other down. We can work on supporting each other. I can stop being jealous of something I don’t even want. We all know the twinge of jealousy when someone gets hundreds of likes on a post.
WHY AM I JEALOUS OF YOUR PREGNANCY WHEN I DON’T WANT CHILDREN!!!!
I am jealous because I was taught that your happiness and joy take away from mine. It doesn’t and I am so happy you are happy (or at least you appear happy on social media).
Always remember, you are definitely as great as you think you are. Actually you are so much more incredible than you think you are and that doesn’t take away from my greatness one bit.
(thank you Shelby for being the best writing partner and calling me out. I love you)