Slut. Whore. Prostitute. Strumpet. Harlot. Floozy. Hooker. Hussy. Tart. Tramp.
All of these are terms for a woman who sells sex. All of these are terms that have become pejoratives for a woman who is dressed sexy, who wears makeup, who dates more than one person, or who you hate for no particular reason. I have been called all of these at one time or another, for all of these reasons. And every time, it was another woman who said it.
There are so many examples of this in popular culture that it’s no big surprise that women subscribe to this attitude. Take the movie Mean Girls. The entire premise of the movie revolves around girls hating other girls, entirely based on their popularity or beauty. Some choice quotes: “Boo, you whore!” “And evil takes a human form in Regina George. Don’t be fooled because she may seem like your typical selfish, back-stabbing slut faced ho-bag, but in reality, she’s so much more than that.” “You know what? You’re the one who made me like this so you could use me for your 8th grade revenge!” The entire movie is practically a documentary about the way girls treat each other.
Pop-Country music star Taylor Swift’s most popular song to date is a song that is entirely girl-on-girl hate. She hates the popular girl for being athletic and pretty, and dating the boy who she likes. I’m pretty sure that the only reason Taylor Swift doesn’t call the girl any of the names listed above is because of her innocent pretty blonde girl image. Watch the video. Guess what? It’s only in Hollywood that hating your competition will actually help you. In reality it makes you look like you are a crazy person.
This same attitude has become disturbingly prevalent in the geek/gamer girl communities as well. These are communities that traditionally pride themselves on being open and accepting of everyone. I found this picture going around Facebook recently, and it really bothered me.
There are girls who actually make a living that is entirely based around being an attractive person who also loves to play video games (see GameCrush, Felicia Day, or the Frag Dolls), or explain science experiments (isn’t Kari Byron of the Mythbusters awesome?), or being knowledgeable about open source platforms (like my good friend, Nixie Pixel).
What makes these successful women any different than a model or an actress? Calling these women whores or sluts is just as bad as the stereotypical gamer guy who tells a girl on XBox live chat to go and make him a sandwich. In other words, calling other girls names entirely based on a limited perception of them only helps make it okay for guys to do the exact same thing.
The underlying cause of this girl-on-girl hate is jealousy that stems from insecurity and pettiness. Those are qualities that are never attractive, and will not make you prettier, or more popular, or help you to get that guy that you have a crush on. In fact, studies have shown that jealousy makes you blind to things in front of you, and are actually symptoms of aggression and low self esteem.
Let’s stop the girl-on-girl hate. Do you have any real-world examples of ways to stop dragging other women down?