- What is it?
- Why does it happen?
- Can this be fixed?
Is she as f*%#able as me?
Let me explain. This is a quote from Emily Ratajkowski’s Glamour Essay/Interview. There was a Q&A below her essay on female sexualisation and the double standard (which you have to check it out here) that introduced me to this golden nugget.
On Her Friendships
“Female friendships are really important to me. And it kind of takes a lot, unfortunately, to make good female friends because we’re taught to be so competitive with one another and to think about, basically, Is she as f–kable as me? We’re looking at other women through men’s eyes, through the male perspective. I had to take all of this into consideration before I could have the kind of friendships I wanted to have.”
This throwaway remark struck a chord with me. The following days after I read this article, I started noticing even more, my competitive attitude with female friends. My discovery of this notion was extremely disturbing. The hateful way of thinking I was actively fighting against for a long time came to bite me in the ass, leaving an awful taste of hypocrisy and shame.
Let me repeat, this is no doubt something I do unconsciously. Obviously I don’t wake up every day and set a goal of pushing other girls down. However it’s the little things I do, or the things I don’t do anymore, that are indicative of this attitude. For example, the insecurities I have due to my female friends excelling in something that makes them more attractive. Whether it’s how smart she is, her striking beauty or her witty comments, she’s way much more f–ckable than me. I remember an instance when a friend was giving me advice, and she said something along the lines of: “But you’re so much better than _________!” and “At least you’re not _____________”, comparing me to be far more superior than another female. Obviously it was in good intentions, but it’s a clear display of how prevalent the “Is she as f–ckable” applies in our society.
Why do we as females somehow feel threatened when another woman is clearly more ‘attractive’ in a man’s eyes? Maybe it’s because you’re seen as more important when you’ve got a man by your side. Obviously the more men you have under your sleeve, the more attention you get. More Men= More attention. More attention= More Power. But why is male attention seen as power for women? Shouldn’t women be empowered in healthier ways than just male attention? How about girl power, or self-love? Or maybe it’s a different route. Maybe when a woman is seen as unusually beautiful it’s seen as “trying too hard to play into a man’s desires”. She’s “whoring” herself out and has no self-respect. But that raises even more questions. Why isn’t a woman’s qualities owned by her? Why is it owned by some guy? Where does her “objective” of getting a man even shown? Are you implying that women are hardwired to simply impress guys? The ” Is she as f–kable as me?” question is extremely puzzling and raises many questions about society as a whole.
What is no surprise though, is how this notion is imprinted upon females at a young age. We see it a lot in media, where movies, music and TV shows regurgitate the recycled story line of girls fighting with each other to get the guy. This is extremely common with high school flicks such as “Duff”, TV shows such as “Glee” and songs such as “Girlfriend”. These forms of media aren’t bad, but can sometimes send out wrong messages about girl on girl hate. This is translated into real life, with girl A fighting with girl B who her boyfriend was cheating on. Yes, despite the fact that her boyfriend was the wrongful one, girls often fight each other to quote on quote “get their man back from these hoes”. Even when celebrities are dating, fans will jump on the bandwagon of slut-shaming the girls a guy is with, than the guy himself who is dating around (no way am i encourage slut shaming of the male sex, but I am pointing our the double standard nonetheless). Or, when parents tell young ladies not to do something because “You won’t get a man if you do that.” or “Look, _________ is so much more prettier/smarter/skinnier than you.”, therefore drilling their judgement in young girls’ impressionable minds, leaving them no choice but to feel competitive. The popular meme “Walmart vs Chanel” comparing a woman with another woman is also indicative of this.
This old way of thinking is tiring to say the least, and a major setback to our dynamic society. So what needs to be done? How can this concept be eradicated? Well to be honest, I don’t know. Obviously, the media and the entertainment industry shouldn’t depend on these overused stereotypical roles of women and instead feature independent strong women who support other women instead of resorting to competition. However, the problem also lies in people themselves. This is obvious in the blatant slut shaming of other women, which young women often participate in to bring down others. Women themselves are the most detrimental force in bringing down other women, and it saddens me deeply to acknowledge this. Hopefully as a society, us fellow females should embrace our differences and support one other, regardless of their attractiveness towards males. No way am I saying this is easy. I am hypocritical in writing this as I’ve unconsciously done this my whole life, and it frustrates me deeply that I do. It’s so hard to make lasting healthy female friendships (as Emily confessed) as I constantly have feelings of jealousy and competitiveness. I vow that for every day I live on this Earth, I will fight back on prejudice, fight back on sexism and fight back on the embedded system in our society supporting women on women hate. The day women learn to admire other women whether they receive male attention or not may be far from reach, but if we stop trying, we would have lost the battle already.
If you would like to check out more, I highly encourage you to checkout this video on a new initiative called “Girl Love”, founded by Superwoman. The link is here.
Thank you so very much for reading. Love you all. Extremely sorry for the lack of posts, I’ve recently graduated and currently studying for my Year 12 HSC Exams. Wish me luck!