Why do girls have to compete for male attention?

From the moment a girl is born, she is taught to compete, and the race we all run in is 100 times more difficult then the longest marathon. Our fight spans whole lives, whole continents, whole consciousnesses. From the moment a girl is born, she is taught to be a warrior; but not in a good way. She is not taught to be strong, brave, to handle conflict and weapons (be they verbally wielded or not) with ease… no. She is taught to destroy other women who society recommends should be considered her enemies, her rivals in her search for love, or for acceptance, or for popularity. We’re always trying to get the upper hand, to be the girl that everyone else wants to be, because we’re taught that only when other girls want to be like us that we are valuable.

This isn’t to say that this never happens to boys – it does, but not on the same systematic scale. Girls are literally pitted against each other in order to vie for male attention. Picture if you will, Ancient Rome. The coliseum seats are packed full of teenage boys. The emperor is representing the media. He (called He as the media is run almost exclusively by men) decides who lives or dies. On the coliseum battlefield, every girl you’ve ever known is waiting to kill the rest in order to win the affection of just one of the teenage boys. This (despite the obvious exaggeration) is our female reality.

This is why the phrase “I’m not like other girls” really annoys me. Why do you have to be different to other girls, and therefore in someway superior to other girls, in order for you to be attractive? Why must we set ourselves apart from the rest of the women in order for a man to really, truly see us? Why do we have to be better, and somehow destroy the rest of the girls, in order for a man to like us? Why can’t I just be a woman, like any other woman, who deserves love simply because everyone deserves it?

I can’t say I’m not guilty of hating another girl because of a boy. To be perfectly honest, it has happened numerous times, and only now am I questioning why I ever felt like that. That girl is just as deserving of that boy’s attention as I am. It is not her fault that he prefers her to me, it’s just an unfortunate occurrence, and although it may be difficult for me and I am jealous and therefore cold to this girl, I should not hate her. I should not hate him either, because you can’t help who you have feelings for.

I also can’t say I’m not guilty of ever feeling insecure due to other girls. I look at my friends and I think, I need to be more interesting, prettier, smarter, have a better figure, be nicer, be funnier, just be more than I right now, because they are more than I am now. To be perfectly honest once again, I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling insecure, because I will always want to be a bit more of this and a bit more of that. However, this doesn’t mean that I am not enough, just as I am. That doesn’t mean that if I became funnier, or prettier, or more interesting, then that boy would finally like me, or those girls would finally want to be like me, or my life would finally be better than it is now.

On to my main question. Why are girls taught to compete for male attention, and when will it stop? Our main goals in life shouldn’t be to impress that boy, or make that girl feel like shit because she spoke to your boyfriend one time in the hallway. Our main goal in life shouldn’t be to look better than everyone else 24/7 or strive to be the funniest, prettiest, overall most appealing. Girls don’t have to be sweet. Girls don’t have to be ladylike. Girls don’t need to be sugar-coated. Girls, a man doesn’t determine your value, you do.

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