Friday, 27 November 2015

Let's Stop Comparing Women, For The Sake Of My Sanity

I haven't ranted about anything for a good while now but that's not to say there hasn't been plenty of things bothering me. First up, is this particular meme that has been doing the rounds lately, mostly on the Instagram accounts of beauty bloggers. 

While I'm generally of the opinion that people can post whatever the hell they want on their own social media (and if you don't like it, unfollow!), I've noticed that so many people I follow and am friends with have been passing this particular one around that I can't even ignore it anymore. It annoys me.

Here's why.
The media just LOVES pitting women against other women and does so regularly with magazines and newspapers devoting column inches to "who wore it better" segments (read about Amy Schumer's disgust at this HERE) but at least those are straight up blatant in what they're doing. They are literally comparing and contrasting the appearance of women. 
In the general scheme of things, this isn't the biggest issue in the world right now but it contributes to the objectification of women; often by other women and young girls, to view each other as only the sum of their parts and nothing more. That is dangerous and doesn't acknowledge anything about that particular woman beyond the very superficial- how she looks next to other women. 

On to the Princess Diana meme though. This surprisingly isn't the work of the Daily Mail but seems to have spawned from the depths of the Internet. Probably Tumblr or such like. 
Firstly let me say this; I am not a fan of the Kardashian/Jenners. I know little about them as I've never seen their TV show, I don't click into (the many) articles about them and I don't read magazines so I have successfully managed to avoid them for the most part. 
Having said that, I also have no desire to denigrate them. 
It often feels like a woman in the spotlight has to represent her entire sex, not just herself. How many "In a world full of Kanyes, be Prince William" memes have you seen? None? That's not surprising. Men aren't held up to the same standard that women are and are never expected to be the absolute best man they can be at all times. 
Fine, the Kardashians might not be considered to be the greatest role models for young women but why express that by remarking on their failure to be a dead princess? It makes no sense. 
This is also similarly vexing:


and elicited this epic response from journalist and feminist Lindy West:


Why do these two women need to be compared? They are famous for very different things. The life of one should have no impact on the other. Amazingly, women can choose to read about or look up to or admire or ignore a whole multitude of women and men, depending on their personal preference. Sharing things like this online is just perpetuating the belief that women have to be deemed to be perfect by some arbitrary system of judgement for them to deserve public attention and admiration. 
Even if you agree with the opinion that more focus should be placed on Malala Yousafzai instead of Kylie Jenner, what can be achieved by pointing this out? Are you going to make people consume less reality TV and pick up Malala's autobiography instead? I find that to be a bit misguided and bringing one woman down to raise up another is a pretty negative concept when you really think about it.

Lastly, there are plenty of people who like the Kardashian/Jenners and enjoy being entertained by their lives and that's fine too. Why should you care either way? There's a place for everyone and as the mighty Amy Poehler says:

What do you think?
Do you agree with these memes? If you think I'm way off base here and am missing a hidden message of positivity then do let me know in the comments!


  1. If I could insert all the clapping hands/applauding emojis right now I most definitely would. This sort of stuff grinds my gears so so much, I'm glad you were able to put across exactly what I, and a lot of other people have been thinking. Those memes are so distasteful and completely redundant. Very well put! x

    1. Thanks Grace! I've been delighted to see all the women leaving comments in agreement on my social media pages about this too, it's something that's been bothering me for a while now! xx

  2. I love this and totally agree. Why the need to write something like that is crazy. Young kids are exposed to this all the time and they stop seeing the wrong in it. We don't have to put others down to feel picked up!
    Siobhan xx

  3. Love this. That Amy quote is my mantra, along with Marissa Carter's "her success is not my failure". I'm guilty of comparing myself to others, especially when I see women my age accomplish far more - but it takes a while to step back and realise that we're all different, we're not in competition, and just because one person goes down one path doesn't mean we all get to berate them or equally, hold them up as icons. That's just their path. I wish women were more supportive of each other. I don't mean all happy clap-hands singing and dancing, but just laying off the bitchiness would be nice. I'm so glad social media wasn't a thing when I was a teenager, jesus I was bad enough without it but I'd be a mess if I were being bombarded with this kind of shite too.

  4. chloe i love your rants! you said it perfectly, i totally agree with every word.

  5. Yessssss to all of this!! I HATE Facebook and social media for shit like this. All it's doing is spreading negative hateful shit. I've actually banned myself from Facebook for the last week and I may be extending it for longer because of the incredible racist and hateful stuff people are posting lately. Especially after France.

    But one of the things that really made me terrible upset was someone sharing a "meme" of a plus size fashion blogger (she looked like a blogger anyhow) who was wearing black lipstick and a tshirt that said feminist. Over her the text wrote something like "I have a rape whistle" then underneath was a photo of Ron Burgundy with the text "she's optimistic" over it. I was fuming. I was disgusted. All I could think was that could have been me. I upload outfit photos of myself and I'm plus sized. I just couldn't stop thinking about that poor woman and what she must feel if she saw that. I can only hope she had thicker skin than me and that it didn't affect her too much.

    It's so so easy to just share these type of meme's now on Facebook. Just a click of a button and people don't realise the harm they're doing.