Battle of the Bitches

 

Katharine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, two women lost to history as tragic victims of the oversized ego of an overweight King, indulged too long in pleasure and power; an easy fault to lay at the feet of a patriarchal society. But if we look a little closer it is clear to see that this is no war of religion, no fight between husband and wife, this is a battle of the bitches.  One was Queen of England from birth, raised to believe in her divine right of royal blood, while the other, a genteel woman who figured early on the power of sexuality and seduction; both powerful, both stubborn, both proud.  It was not Henry who signed their death sentences but in fact, their egos, that would not break or bend – even with the threat of the axe – in their quest for the crown.

As a feminist – a title given to me during my university years – I have always believed in the power of the female and capability we possess to rule the world (think Elizabeth I).  However, once upon a time I was swarmed by a group of girls I barely knew at a party, who proceeded to inform me that I was “alright” in person but did not photograph well. From that day onwards, I realised that contradictory to popular belief we, as women, are in many ways our own downfall.  Strong words, I know.

 

Ladies, our egos are our ruin.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I wish all the best to the girls who feel like a real- life Beyoncé, but the problem begins when we target our egos at one another.

“Girls compete with each other, women empower each other.” Isn’t that the quote that we all aspire to? I don’t know why we do it. I don’t know why I compete with other girls, or why I compare myself, or why I stalk the most ridiculously good-looking girls on Instagram. (There shall be no judgment, I know you do it to.)  Like enemies at war, we look each other up and down; from the perfectly pedicured toes to the head of highlights, we scope our challenger out, identifying any flaws or any signs of weakness to numb our own insecurity. It doesn’t even matter who it is; the ex-girlfriend, the one-night stand, the best friend, or the girl on the street. We study them with questions burning in our brains; is she better looking than me, funnier, smarter?  Is she going to take my man, take me down, or take my handbag?

I have often questioned if Miss Trunchbull was actually a misrepresented character, a villain forged from the competitive fire of female societies, burnt with criticism whispered in corners of parties and comments on Facebook. Perhaps, she began as Miss Honey, with all the positivity in the world, but the years of failed relationships, fad diets, zenless yoga sessions, and natural size 4’s turned her into this monster everyone runs from. Maybe we will all turn into Miss Trunchbull if we allow the negativity to dilute us.

It isn’t men keeping us down, or social media, or societal expectations, it is our vanity and belief that we are better than the person standing next to us. We compete with other girls because we are jealous of the things we believe we don’t have, whether that be long blonde hair, or washboard abs, or an abundance of natural confidence.  I could sit here and preach female empowerment, but I won’t.  Instead, tomorrow I won’t see a pretty girl as a rival, and I won’t see an ex-girlfriend as a threat, I will stop seeing girls as competition and more as allies.

 

As women we have enough on our agenda to fight for, why add each other to the list? Think about it, if Katharine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn had discarded their pride and joined forces, who knows how history would have been written?

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s