• You invest in your relationships with and prioritize men over your female friends. This sometimes applies to significant others, but it refers mainly to the women who will drop everything at a moment's notice for a guy. He could be someone random they met at a bar, a ambiguous flirty friend or husband-like boyfriend. The thing that I've learned about women like these is that they don't make very good friends. And when they do not have very many friends because they so easily drop them, they become all focused on their relationship with men. Some of them are catty and some of them act like groupies to the boy's club. The thing is, ladies, you will never truly be one of the boys and after your relationship ends, you will be left alone. Men come and go, but it takes a very intelligent and confident woman to understand that having a healthy set of non-competitive and supportive female friends is the key to getting through your darkest days.
• You gossip or try to commiserate by getting others to whine with you. Here's a quick way to form a bond: complain about something you both hate. That's all well and good when it's about grad school or the weather, but when it's about people or significant others it becomes destructive. When a person could be using advice to help them out of a rut, you bringing them down or emphasizing with their misery will only make the situation worse. What you are is a bad friend. Not only are you not interested in their well-being, you are only digging for gossip as commodity. And if you gossip to me about others, I will believe you also gossip about me to others. Trust is a tricky thing that you do not seem to have a handle on.
• You don't have to guts to be honest to my face. It is impossible to please everyone and I know I certainly do not try. Not any more; I've paid my dues and the last thing I will do is brown nose to win someone's approval. So I know some of you will dislike me, but you better own it or risk getting called out in the most honest, yet civil, way possible. I am a lady.
• You can't admit when you are wrong and do not possess the self-awareness to change it. Life happens. We all f*ck up. But to be able to admit fault or defeat take a lot of courage. But it takes real brains to acknowledge that a change needs to be made within oneself. That earns you mad respect.
• You still have yet to master social etiquette. The other woman you do not know standing right next to you? Yes, the one 2 feet away in the group that you walked up on, swallow your ego no matter how much you realize that you are judging her based on social conditions and say "Hi" like a human being. That's the polite thing to do, that's the proper thing to do. It's part of being a grown-up.
• You use your sexuality to get things. This one is tricky because as a woman we have all learned to mold ourselves to fit certain societal expectations, whether we are aware or not, to get what we want. I know I am pretty and I know that that gains me certain privileges that others may not get. Beauty is a commodity, but it becomes cheap when it's your only tool. Why? Because beauty will fade and you will be left with an ugly personality. Because when they are lead to believe they will be rewarded something for their efforts, they will expect it or feel cheated. You will have to give in or deal with the consequences. Men should know better right? But they don't and that's reality. Using your sexuality will burn bridges when friendships can forge longer and safer bonds. It is a commodity but don't cheapen it by forgetting to use your brain.
• You gave up your career or passion for him. I don't care what you say, but there is more to you as a woman than the ability to cook and birth a child. Do not sell yourself short by not giving yourself the chance to see what your true worth is. Do not diminish yourself as an individual for others. Ever.
• You don't own your choices. So what then if you did become a housewife or if you hate me? As long as you own it and can back it up with legitimate reasons no one can fault you. If you don't own your choices, someone else does.
• You use others in manipulative and false ways.
How to make me lose respect for you as a man:
• You cannot think for yourself. Your opinions are that of the alpha-male in the group and if you had any objections, your internal voice quickly shuts it down. If you are the alpha-male, I feel even worse for you. You're in a prison of your own making; having to live up to what others expect of you. Good luck with that. You are actually not a rebel but a slave to societal pressures. Sucks to be you.
• You haven't made mistakes or taken any risks yet you judge others severely. You know that phrase about those without sin can cast the first stone? It's bullsh*t. Those who have made a lot of mistakes and have been through the trenches, they can say all they want because once they have been there, they know better than to pass judgement. If they still do, then their mistakes were in vain and they failed to learn their lesson. Don't ever judge. And if you do, prepare to take heat. I never back down.
• You don't own your choices. See above.
• You don't defend her honor. Any woman's. That's failure in the worse sense. That's disrespect to your mother and all the women in your life. That's neglect to your own daughters.
• You slut-shame. This is classic deflection and sexism. But to understand the more subtle forms of slut-shaming requires a man to really look inside himself and give his dark psyche and very long and hard look. Why do you get angry when a woman rebuffs you? Why do you think your daughter needs to cover up more? It's acknowledging the biases among your peers. It's acknowledging the biases within yourself.
How to make me lose respect for you as a person:
• You whine but do nothing to proactively change your circumstances.
• You contribute nothing useful or good back to the communities that you are involved in.
• You do nothing to confront your biases and preconceived ideals.
• You hold others up to impossible standards that you yourself have failed.
• You lack self-awareness.
• You lack an open mind and heart.
• You cannot emphasize with others no matter how different.
• You think you're the best at what you do.
• You possess no humility.
• You do not pay your dues.
• You cannot take responsibility for your own shortcomings.
This list is only partial. This list is in itself a contradiction, but not incorrectly. I judge and I possess the awareness to judge. But I will point it out and I will say something. I own my biases and I strive every day to prove myself wrong, to grown and to learn. I am lucky enough to say that I have friends who I love, admire and respect. They inspire me and push me to better myself. They hold me up and without them I would not be where I am today. Speaking of which, I will update you all (all 3 of you) on what I am up to in my next entry :)