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Women vs. women a dangerous affair


Illustration: Madalyn Dweno – CU Sentry

     Welcome to 2016, the year where the US desperately needs to get a grip. There has been an abundance of tragedy since January, from the uprising of a dangerous demagogue to an alarming increase of terrorist attacks worldwide. Yet, somehow, Americans divert their attention from urgent affairs to the superficial. Most recently, pitting women against each other has taken precedence.

 The Twitter phenomenon “#KimExposedTaylorParty” has struck the internet, as spectators revel in the battle between two female celebrities: Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian. This hashtag entertains the idea that Kardashian, married to artist Kanye West, exposed Swift as a liar through a recorded phone call, which the KUWTK star then posted on Snapchat. Interweb chaos then ensued, as fans of each celebrity rallied their opinions on social media.

 Commentors have flooded Swift’s pictures with snake emojis, Photoshoppers have created headstones of Swift’s death in 2016, and other famous figures have added their voices to the mix. Both women have included their sides on their social platforms. The spectacle moved from what the original confrontation was actually about—West and Swift’s conflict about his controversial lyrics—and turned into a warfare of two successful women.

 Regardless of one’s allegiances to the celebrities—either as a Kim K fanatic or a loyal Swiftie—this celebrity drama is atrocious. This issue is between two adults, yet with its nationwide attention, it has encouraged US culture to further compare and degrade women rather than support them.

 Not only has this nonsense fostered the opportunity for mass cyberbullying, it has opened the door for day-to-day female-on-female hatred. There are countless online forums attacking women in the worst way: from the perspective of another woman. Memes exist that compare women via the “you vs. me” pictures—where one side shines and dazzles while the other frumps and disgusts. There are countless retweets and reblogs of common sentiments that all women are snakes.

 It should be acknowledged that the blame for this anti-woman narrative’s existence can’t be purely put on a silly hashtag. Our culture has been pitting women against each other for decades. Take, for example, “who wore it best” sections in magazines. Look at circulating posts expressing that “this” is attractive, not “this” (insert pictures of women with different body types or hairstyles or even diets).

 Has there not been enough degradation of women as it is? Have centuries of oppression and systematic patriarchy not been enough to keep the American people satisfied? Now it must be more entertaining to see women compete against each other, instilling sexism in forms other than law and government. And what’s worse is that it’s not just men gawking and watching, it’s women participating. It’s women hurting each other.

 Celebrity gossip and drama might seem harmless and trivial, but when it involves villainizing women, it’s never victimless. It might start as Kim K versus T-Swift, but before long it spreads to mothers against daughters, and sisters against sisters. It’s time to stop the petty games and hold each other up, in the light of goddesses supporting other strong, successful goddesses.

Savannah Nelson
Savannah Nelson

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