Menon: Don’t degrade other women

There is no sense in reducing each other

Last semester, as I was in the middle of the last of my studying marathon study sessions for finals, I began to contemplate the meaning and use of life in the common room of a friend’s residence hall.

I was going over review sheets and previous tests with a friend who lived on the floor, when a girl who presumably also lived there walked out of one of the rooms and sat on the sofa across from us. She looked rather suspiciously at the two of us, and after an entire minute of being civil, demanded to know if we even lived in the building. My friend awkwardly informed the girl that she did, but instead of just walking away, the newcomer chose to accuse me of not living there.

The situation escalated as you would expect. When I managed to stop myself from slapping her, and told her that she should have spoken to me, instead of confronting me, she claimed that she had tried several times and that I had ignored her. This was the first time I had ever seen her.

One of my classes this semester, that would slightly stem from gender studies, started off with a discussion of the several “lovely” adjectives that people seem to use to accuse women of promiscuity—in much harsher words. I don’t exactly write it off when men use these words, but it especially astounds me when women choose to call other women by these names—when they’ve probably been likewise addressed in the past.

I’ve always found it difficult to understand this place of extreme insecurity that behavior like this stems from. I’ve always believed that women should help other women not because of their gender, but out of humanity.

In light of this issue, YouTube sensation IISuperwomanII created a movement she refers to as #GirlLove where she encourages girls to send love to other girls that they admire, respect and who inspire them. At this point in the 21st century, when women’s issues in social and professional capacities are being given more importance, girls helping each other out is more crucial than ever.

Arundhati Menon is a first-year student majoring in computer science and economics.