15 January 2014, 10:11
Do you believe in the existence of a girl code — a basic system of ethics and morals that guide us as women?
When columnist E. Jean was asked (in a recent issue of Elle), she offered up these suggestions.
“Here’s the BLC — Basic Lady Code: Never hate a woman you’ve never met, never date a friend’s ex, never reveal another female’s secret, never leave an inebriated friend alone at a bar, never invite a friend’s enemy to a party, never dine alone with a friend’s boyfriend.
Here’s the AWC — Advanced Woman Code.
+ Never stay silent when a friend is falling for an asshole.
+ Never favorite a best friend’s bon mot. Always retweet it.
+ Never trust a girlfriend who dates a married man.
+ Never refuse to write a recommendation for the offspring of a friend (no matter how big an idiot the kid is).
+ Never steal your friend’s thunder at a dinner party — when she’s on, give her room! Pound the table! Bang your glass with a spoon! Laugh the loudest at her story!
+ Never give your friend’s business four stars on Yelp. Always give five.
+ Never agree when a friend says she’s flabby, baggy, saggy, lumpy, floppy, veiny, squishy, scrawny, etc., etc. Tell her to shut up. Tell her life is too short. Tell her to eat, drink, and be merry.
+ Never treat other women disrespectfully: It gives men ideas.”
I loved all these codes, and it made me think about what I’d add to the list. These apply to everyone — all people are important! — but I think it’s super-crucial that we treat our fellow babes with the utmost love and respect!
Always give honest — but loving — feedback when your friend is trying on clothes. I will never say, “Oh, that looks great!” if it isn’t. You should want your friends to look and feel their best!
We have a responsibility to help one another out. Share what you’ve learned, and never hoard resources.
Be sincere. A phony laugh and a fake smile never fool anyone. (But never use this as an excuse to be rude.)
Don’t take things personally. I feel like almost every woman I know suffers from a case of “Are you mad at me?” Remember that people have their own lives, and someone else’s bad mood is not a reflection on you.
Encourage and push one another to try new things and quash fears.
We all have to take responsibility for surrounding ourselves with people who lift you up. Think about it: who do you want on your team? Negative Nancy or Badass Betty?
Respect other people’s relationships, as well as your own. If a friendship feels like it’s going too far — and you know that either your or their partner would be upset about it — be proactive and shut it down. Don’t make a huge mistake just because you love the attention.
Be your friends’ biggest cheerleader. Celebrate their successes with gusto and enthusiasm! (And if you can’t make yourself “mean it”, find new friends.)
I also took it to Facebook. It’s the easiest and best way to get a dialogue goin’! I asked everyone, what was in their personal girl code?
Here are some of my favourite responses.
Genna Petrolla I have a few: 1) Build your girlfriends up- don’t compete with them. 2) Respect another woman’s relationship- don’t sneak around with her live in boyfriend or husband (that one is dedicated to someone in particular) 3) Be genuine, honest, kind, supportive and helpful, especially to your sisters who need it most! 4) Don’t ever purposefully try to look better than your gal pal in the same outfit. 5) Share, don’t hide, style and shopping tips 6) Remind your girlfriends and yourself that intelligence is important- girls don’t let girls play dumb ESPECIALLY around boys.
Sabina Trojanova I think we should all just follow the negative golden rule – don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you. I don’t think we have a special obligation toward women, as women, just by virtue of our shared gender. In my opinion, saying we do would further perpetuate the sexism we are constantly confronted with. In other words, just don’t be an asshole to anyone, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation or any other inherent characteristics – as long as we stick to that, we should be fine.
Falon Kerby When I met my now husband I told him he shared my heart with my girlfriends. We are soulmates. I’m so sick of girl on girl hate and it saddens me to see women acting like enemies. Respect and embrace your girlfriends. Above all EMPOWER them. You may be the only person they hear it from.
Elizabeth McFaul Rescue a girl who is being picked up by someone, and clearly isn’t interested.
Sarah Grace Slater Support women’s creations in every form…“The most notable fact our culture imprints on women is the sense of our limits. The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate and expand her sense of actual possibilities.” – Adrienne Rich
Chrystal Bubb Girls pull each other down, women help each other up.
Tee Cee Kop I value my friendships with the women in my life which sometimes means creating conflict in order to move forward in our relationship. As women we’re trained to always be smiling and never be angry or upset with anything. But sometimes this means women let go of their precious friendships with other women in order to avoid conflict. Whereas in our romantic relationships with people, we can be a lot more willing to create conflict in order to move forward. So I think another rule I have with my relationships with women is that I stab my friends in the front instead of the back. Aka if I have a problem I bring it up in the hopes that my girlfriend and I can move forward as friends.
Amy Jayne Chessman My major girl rule is never to get close to married men. In the past I have had to end 3 friendships with married male friends due to them wanting to start a sexual relationship. Some guys mistake friendship for a sexual opportunity. They are deluded by their penis’. Not only does this make me feel degraded it also frustrates me that they don’t give a shit about their commitment to their partner & children. It’s not on!
Ida Rima 1) No slut shaming
2) Never leave a drunk, crying or scared girl alone unless she’s safe at home
3) Don’t take deliberately unflattering pics and put them online
4) When you’re told a secret, keep it
5) Don’t steal another girls partner
Amz Ravlich Everything Ida just said, plus: celebrate each others successes, and something Gala in particular is a guru in- spread the love and knowledge, without fear that another woman may ‘overtake’ you, be it in a professional or personal capacity.
I always think it’s worthwhile to examine our own personal “rules” and see whether they still feel relevant. Often we blindly follow other people’s ideals, and end up living a life that feels inauthentic.
So, do you have a personal girl code? I’d love to hear what you think!
Photo by Saga Sig.