OSU Women’s Expo: Women Helping Women

We’ve all heard the stereotype that most (if not all) women secretly hate each other. They’re jealous of each other. Women view other women as competition.

Women's ExpoIn the spirit of showing the opposite is true and that women can actually empower one another, the Women’s Programming Advisory Council (WPAC) is hosting OSU’s first ‘Women’s Expo’ event. Several women’s organizations will be sitting side-by-side as they work to spread awareness of the organizations at OSU that seek to empower women.

Clearly, women can get along, so what is with this longstanding myth about ‘catfights’ and ‘girl fights’ being the norm?

To reference the theory of Occam’s razor, the simplest explanation is often the best. What then, is the simple explanation for this woman vs. woman phenomena?

Society’s desire to label.

We are exposed to it from a very young age. Boys wear blue. Girls wear pink. Boys are supposed to be adventurous and play with cars and toy guns. Girls are supposed to be pretty or cute and play with Barbies and dream houses. In the case of girls, we are told from a very young age that much of our self-worth is tied directly to our looks and whether we are considered more or less attractive than the girl down the street (the one who used to be your best friend growing up, but now you don’t speak to because you fought over the same boy in high school).

Mean Girls, 2004, Paramount Pictures
Mean Girls, 2004, Paramount Pictures

We see this stereotype of women as competition perpetuated throughout history, with TV shows and movies doing most of the work in the past century. Films like Mean GirlsBring it OnBridesmaids, and the ’80s cult classic Heathers, are prime examples. I can hear the argument that these films end with a life lesson about how women should not hate on other women. I will counter that argument with the fact that those films spent 90 percent of the film focused on “girl drama.” So sure, the last five minutes offer some kind of moral lesson, but movie audiences generally don’t pay to see the last five minutes of a film.

TV shows like the Real Housewives series, Bad Girls Club and Desperate Housewives, which last way longer than a two-hour film, are as popular as ever. “Reality TV” feeds on over-exaggerated drama, and many of the most popular shows center on “girl drama.”

It’s time for women to say enough is enough. We do not have to settle for society telling women that it’s normal for us to be jealous of one another right off the bat. I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of it in the past, but in the last few years, I’ve embraced my fellow females and have made some great friends in the process. In the words of Ms. Norbury, “you all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores.”

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