When my boyfriend comments on the personality, actions or sense of style of another woman I often feel jealous rather than impressed. He will say ‘she’s a genius’, ‘she’s a really strong woman you would rate her’, ‘she is so vibey and creative’…
Dear Present Me, stop being jealous of the strong women my boyfriend compliments…
Alongside strong beliefs that feminism should be intersectional, I have always been passionate about the concept of the sisterhood. Not in a lesbian colony way, although campaigns such as #MeToo do make them appealing, but in a ‘women should empower and support each other’ way. The desire for a combination of both intersectionality and the sisterhood are the key concepts behind Clitbait.
Despite this, it is not a surprise that I find myself being hypercritical in this vision. As feminist comedian and writer, Deborah Frances-White (who I LOVE) would say ‘I am a feminist, but-‘. I’m very sure I am hypocritical in many different ways but I am writing this focusing on a specific example.
So here goes…
Dear Present Me,
Stop being jealous and bitter towards other women.
When my boyfriend comments on the personality, actions or sense of style of another woman I often feel jealous. He will say ‘she’s a genius’, ‘she’s a really strong woman you would rate her’, ‘she is so vibey and creative’. When he is saying this I should be thinking ‘wow, she sounds pretty damn cool’ but instead I am envious that another woman is being praised by my boyfriend.
It would be more understandable if i felt jealous of him complimenting another woman’s physical appearance because that would suggest that he was attracted to her. He doesn’t. When he is complimenting women it is always in a very feminist and positive way. I should be praising this, especially in a world where the media is constantly commenting on the appearance of women over their actions and ideas.
Being me, I have naturally been analysing my actions and have come to the conclusion that it is the result of him complimenting the characteristics that I rate most and aspire to have.
In this competitive, individualistic world, most people want to be successful and unique. When women are valued largely based on their appearance (makeup, Instagram likes, figure), there are less opportunities for women to be unique and appreciated for their personality. As a result, when another woman is complimented for characteristics I want to have, in particular by my boyfriend, I feel like this other woman has almost taken the place I want in the word.
This is not the case. The world is full of interesting, strong women. It can never have too many women contributing. In big and small ways. Especially in a world dominated by men.
Women need to be appreciative and supportive of each other. When another woman is praised we should be happy rather than compare ourselves to them, which can leads to their success feeding our insecurities. Girl on girl hate needs to end. Sadly, there are enough powerful men in this world who will put women down, why put down each other.
Next time my lovely, feminist boyfriend compliments another woman I will and should think ‘wow, she sounds pretty damn cool’.
Love from myself