As we strive for gender equality, widespread female empowerment and a collective progressive mindset like never before, most females are uniting in a major way.
We’re quick to celebrate the success of other women in our extended networks – whether it means the tossing of a “like” to a social media post, or supporting the projects and initiatives of other estrogen-filled counterparts in our cities.
It isn’t uncommon to practically exchange life stories with other females we barely know at dinners parties and events, becoming quick BFFs either for the night or for life (#squadgoals).
In these messed up times, we know we need to stick together, support one another and – frankly – feed off one another’s strength and energy.
We’re cool…except for when it comes to romantic interests past or present.
Let me be the first to say that I am grateful to be surrounded by many amazing, inspiring girlfriends of all backgrounds and personality types. Some I’ve known since childhood, many since university and others have become BFFs in recent years.
I have always been a total girl’s girl.
That is, until the odd time I find myself years deep in the social media profile of someone who I’ve shared a romantic interest with, mentally and vocally dissecting everything I possibly can about the girl (sometimes with friends and over wine). “I have absolutely no idea what he saw in her;” “Can you believe how wasted she looks is in all of her pictures?;” and “He should get her braces for Christmas,” were among the words that have rolled off my tongue when discussing certain females in the not-too-distant past.
And no, it’s not a particularly proud thing to admit when I consider myself a generally nice person.
I also write about female empowerment, for god’s sake.
But it’s not just me. I see it happen repeatedly among fellow females, whether it’s a group of hipster strangers at a nearby table at brunch, or with friends over cocktails. And somewhere – maybe on the other end of the city – another group of females or lone woman could be doing the same about me (hi!).
You know, like the stranger who stalked my Instagram for months, got wasted and sent my boyfriend at the time a series of messages slamming me for everything from my clothing and appearance, to my job (all based, of course, on what she, a scorned lover, could find and assess on social media).
Social media has made it way too easy and tempting to dissect every detail about your ex’s new girlfriend or your current boyfriend or love interest’s ex. You want to dislike them, so you search their photos for anything you can to use as ammunition, basically to feed your own ego.
We judge, judge and judge some more.
The irony is, we share and support social media campaigns that are designed to celebrate and empower females for everything from their varying body types to life decisions, yet if we don’t like a girl (on the merit alone that you at one point shared the same sheets with the same person), we become ruthless, cutting and horrible people.
We speak in ways that sound nothing short of backwards, given our collective societal strive for female empowerment when we criticize another female for her looks, her body, her risky clothing choices, or her style.
Frankly, it’s embarrassing.
Social media has made it normal to dissect others the way we do to celebrities in glossy smut magazines.
Like with movie stars and Instagram stars alike, we forget that the images we’re dissecting are those of actual human beings – fellow females who probably share a lot of similar experiences with you.
But if it wasn’t for this boy (or girl) that’s somehow united the two of you in a mutual social media stalk and subsequent judgement, the two of you may actually be friends. I have personally become friends with women with whom I used to be “enemies” before we even shared one word with one another (all over a guy, naturally).
Sure; it’s interesting, intriguing and telling to know others your current love interest has been linked to, or whom former lovers have moved on to next. It can offer some valuable perspective, after all.
But the hateful ripping apart of others who we don’t know at all takes things to places that are far from mature, classy, empowering or progressive.
Really, it comes down to our own egos and insecurities. Add a little heartbreak in the mix and any notion of “girl power” goes out the window. We put others down to feel better about ourselves, or to fuel our anger toward a past romantic interest. It’s an age-old story.
But it’s getting old.
I am not saying we all need to be friends or even like one another. I do recognize that cities are small and social media can make them feel even smaller, making it simple to “know of” or have mutual friends with your ex’s new girlfriend or your new boyfriend’s ex.
Not only could it make for an awkward interaction if you find yourself in the same room as her, bashing the “other girl” really doesn’t add any value to the life of anyone – especially yours.
Do yourself a favour and ‘do you’ instead.