Decoding the ‘Girl Code’: Entitlement vs Empowerment
The legendary ‘girl code’ is primarily about women supporting other women. Some claim that there is no such thing at all as they believe that ‘two girls can never be friends’, while others are of the view that it exists to the extent that it chokes you with unrealistic expectations such as encouraging other women even if they are wrong, supporting a false accusation in the name of ‘misandry’, or not dating your best friend’s ex-boyfriend, whom you genuinely liked, all for the sake of ‘girl code’. Now the question that arises is - “If at all there is a girl code, is it mandatory to follow that and if yes, then to what extent?”
In my opinion, women have always been expected to live by rules. Right from their childhood, they start hearing things like “Girls don’t sit like that” or “Don’t be too loud”. When they start going to college, they are expected to follow deadlines and dress in a certain way. By the time they complete their education, they are magically expected to know cooking and other basic household chores before they get married. And after marriage, it is an unsaid gesture which is expected of them, that they have to place their matrimonial obligations before their career and tolerate the actions of their spouses and his parents, even if they are detrimental to their health, all for the sake of saving their marriage. Why are women always expected to sacrifice? Or why are they always expected to be the bigger person to compromise?
Pertaining to the issue at hand, there is a recently trending concept called ‘girl code’ wherein a woman is expected to stand up for other women, even when they are at fault. I don’t think that a woman should be made guilty for not supporting other women; maybe she has her reasons for not doing the same and that is an individual decision, which should not be influenced by factors like the ‘girl code’. Every woman deserves to make her own choices and should not be subjected to any codes at any given point of time; they must live life on their own terms.
I would like to share an incident, which dates back to the 2nd of August when news feeds were filled with opinions in support of the cab driver who was beaten by a woman in the streets of Lucknow. I also showed my support by uploading the clip on Instagram; the moment I did that, I was removed from the ladies group of my college and received a message that said, “ You are a woman and not true to your community, what a disgrace.” I did question myself after raising my voice against a woman on social media but I made a decision that I will live my life on the basis of the individual choices that I will make and not be subjected to a code that has unrealistically toxic expectations from me.
Lastly, I would just like to say that if any woman thinks that she is a disgrace to the community because she stood up for what is right, then she should not be guilty about it. One should not be expected to bend their morals just to let other people claim their entitlement and individual liberty should always be placed before social solidarity.