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Female solidarity exists

We just need to put more effort into it

Female solidarity exists We just need to put more effort into it

The Godmother and Cinderella (and also Snow White, for that matter), Cady Heron and Regina George, Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, Eva Harrington and Margo Channing. Throughout history, women's stories have been told through rivalries and catfights, from the world of cinema to reality. How many times have we heard that women are each other's worst enemies, or that female solidarity doesn't exist? How often have we heard our friends, grandmothers, and mothers passing judgment on their friends, acquaintances, grandmothers, and mothers? On clothing, attitude, life choices, how they raise their children, or how they treat their partners and husbands, what they do with their money or free time. According to these narratives, it seems that among women there is always some deep-seated distrust and competition, a race to be the most beautiful, elegant, feminine, desirable without overdoing it, morally correct, and skilled.

Female Solidarity Starts with Deconstruction

The first step is to look within ourselves, become aware of our unconscious patterns, and the behaviors we exhibit in all areas of our lives. Have you noticed? Even at work, perhaps without being fully aware, we choose to compete with our colleagues, keep secrets, engage in gossip and cliques, compare clothes and bags, earnings, and love. Why do we do this? Out of habit, upbringing, socialization. To connect with others, to hate a common enemy, or because we have been taught to challenge and belittle each other. These are ancient mechanisms, hard to overcome. Wouldn't it be better, though, to create a community of women ready to support each other against the inherent difficulties of being female? Easier said than done.

This Competition Among Women, Who Does It Benefit?

How to do it? A starting point could be to ask this seemingly simple question: who benefits from this competition among women? The answer is varied and variable, but it could boil down to one thing: patriarchy. It's not about always bringing up the prevailing social system, but understanding its ramifications thoroughly, even the deep and invisible ones. If two women tear each other down, they do it in favor of the male gaze, male attention, or the power that this male attention can provide, in all contexts. It's a boomerang: one day we will find ourselves alone against power - which is male - without any sisters to support us, isolated and seen as inferior, disposable, or pieces of meat, as current events demonstrate every day. From here, the transition is short. We need to network, but we also need to believe in it, celebrate our own being women, together.

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Girlhood and Stereotypes

The very young seem to have understood it before us. On social media, a childlike and cheerful femininity is rediscovered, expressing itself without fear and seeking community instead of moral superiority and diversity from other girls. The so-called "pick me girls" are contested; there's a loud cry: I am like other girls because being like other girls is beautiful. This push, originating from beauty and goodwill, also needs to be problematized. Some wonder if ironic phenomena like "girl dinner" and "girl math" risk falling into prejudice, putting us once again in fences, limiting ourselves. In a whirlwind of nuances that, if not resolved immediately, should at least be raised, we ask ourselves: does this performance of a new femininity displayed on social media ultimately risk falling into the same traps as the old one?

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Girls Need Safe Spaces

For this reason, as a temporary solution, girls seek online but private spaces where they are not at the mercy and paternalistic judgment of a potentially infinite and much older audience but create closed virtual communities among girls, where they can be themselves without worrying about others' glances. Some examples? Subreddits frequented only by teenagers. Or Girlhood, a successful experiment founded by young girls (seventeen-year-olds Sophia Rundle and Mia Sugimoto) for young girls, a kind of magazine that is also a blog and a forum, a space for expression, advice, and chat. This experience is linked to a discord. Another largely female, young, and relatively protected space is, for example, that of fanfiction sites like Archive of Our Own or Wattpad. These sites, snubbed by intellectuals, prove to be real fertile grounds for female socialization, even among readers and writers. In the era of social media and the overexposure of private life, protecting these virtual but private and secure roles is our duty, for all the girls who will come after us but also to nurture our inner teenager.

The importance of taking up space, together

Starting from these examples and humbly learning from girls, we might consider exporting these safe spaces, making them real, tearing them away from the patriarchal and capitalist mechanisms that govern the world. Creating small communities and moments of sharing with our female friends, neighbors, and colleagues, without age or origin limits, built on the ruins of our deconstruction. Female solidarity, just like feminism, exists only if intersectional, sought, desired, and built without hierarchies and without leaders. Together, as equals.