This week in Facebook land many of my bitches were passing around an old listicle by Kallie Provencher of Rantchic titled, “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30” like a used condom — with great disdain and no small amount of disgust.
I actually love me a good listicle — I mean, who DOESN’T click on “19 All Too Real Reasons Moms are Late,” (#1 – Because time flies when you’re raising humans [my #1, not theirs]), “27 Things You Need to Know About Fetty Wap,” “25 Famous Women on Crying,” or “12 Hitlers That Look Like Cats?”
But when listicles by women for women throw shade on, well, other women, there are way too many reasons to recite for why that’s not OK.
And Kallie’s insipid list of things that presumably you and I should stop wearing (i.e. “graphic tees – better left for those lazy days off and not public outings,” “Victoria’s Secret’s PINK – wear your big girl panties please,” “oversized glasses – they might be fun but they’re not mature”) would madden even a young Millennial.
Although I enjoyed the some of the “response” blogs — notably and most recently one posted by Warning: Curves Ahead (“24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear” — “whatever the fuck they want”) — I couldn’t help but think that’s just one more avenue for a catfight.
To calm all that flying fur, I submit this Kumbaya listicle for women over AND under 30 — not about what we should wear or how we should look or why we cry — just simply what we female folk should do more often with each other and for each other so that the age wars, the mommy wars, and all of the girl-on-girl whatever wars can finally be NOTHING we can count on.
24. Give each other genuine, heartfelt compliments. So easy to do when you just verbalize the (positive) things you’re thinking.
23. Be in an all-girl band or at least make it a point to go see all-girl bands and solo performers. My bitches of a certain age probably went right to the Go-Gos, but please m’ladies, add Sleater-Kinney, Ex Hex, PJ Harvey, St. Vincent, and Beyonce to your summer 2016 viewing pleasure list and seek out the many other girl bands/performers that are out there to rock your world.
22. Binge watch female-driven TV shows with your ladies. Just because I bought matching orange t-shirts for my BBFs to wear when we watch Orange is the New Black together (returning Friday June 17th to Netflix!), doesn’t mean I take binge watching shows seriously. Or do I?
21. Go to all-girls camp. You’re lucky if you did it as a kid, but if you think grown-up ladies can’t be bunkies and revisit the happiest, healthiest, heartiest ties that bind, then you’ve got another (fabulous) thing coming. Hullo, Campowerment.
20. Go away on vacation together. Is there anything better than roadtripping with your BBFs?
19. Respect the Girl Code. Nuff said.
18. Don’t judge, just listen. Just because we are often judges and arbiters of all that goes down and throws down in the day-to-day with our families and at work, doesn’t mean we should stand in judgment — especially not before our girlfriends. Just listen and respond accordingly.
17. Go see movies that pass the Bechdel Test… and also anything with “Magic Mike” in the title. The Bechdel Test comes from Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For comic in a strip published in 1985 called “The Rule.” The test has simple criteria: the movie must have a) at least two women in it who b) talk to each other about c) something other than a dude. Easy, right? Not so much — be sure to see if your summer movie fare passes the test here. As for Magic Mike, well, too bad there’s not another one coming this summer (pun intended!), but it probably doesn’t past the Bechdel test anyway.
16. Stop saying, “I’m sorry” to each other unless you actually have something to be sorry for. Sorry, but it’s true.
15. Stand up for each other. C’mon ladies – we can AND must do it.
14. Help a hormonal sister out. It’s a hormonal jungle out there, from PMS to perimenopause, menopause and maybe even beyond — you know how bad it can be, so pass your BBF a chunk of chocolate, a slug of bourbon, a box of tissues… whatever it takes.
13. Celebrate your BBFs’ accomplishments. The word celebrate is lyrical and beautiful — when you act on it, flowers sing, unicorns swoon, rainbows melt… and your BBF feels like the queen she is. So pop some bottles and toast your bestie.
12. Walk and talk together. Exorcise by exercising. Amiright?
11. Be a mentor to another chick. Pay it forward.
10. Be feminist as fuck. Are you a Gloria Steinem? A Bell Hooks? A Madonna… Oprah… Hillary? Sheryl Sandberg, Lena Dunham, Malala, ‘Yonce? Maybe you’re a Maisie Williams (Arya Stark on Game of Thrones and my personal pick for the Iron Throne) who prefers to call anyone who’s not feminist, sexist. Whoever you are, just be feminist as fuck and we good.
9. Promote each other. I mean this literally. Give a bitch a raise and a big ass job, please!
8. Pull one and other out of our respective comfort zones. If your girls don’t push you to be a better you, then who will?
7. Bail each other out of bad situations. This is Girl Code 101; it’s all about showing up.
5. Do fun stuff together. When ladies hobby together, they lobby together. Or something like that.
4. Dance. There is not greater bonding experience than a spontaneous booty shaking dance party. If you can’t make it to da club then just pull out a cabbage patch in the checkout line at the grocery store when Earth Wind & Fire kicks in through the normal “easy listening” playlist.
3. Call each other. Sure, the twin dancing girls emoji sends a solid message, but nothing is more intimate than voice-to-voice.
2. Be honest and be kind. We depend on our BBFs to be the real in a sea of phony baloney. Keeping it kind is the trick.
1. Say I love you to your BBFs. Because you do. Sing it, sistah!
So if you see me scratching out a long list for my ladies, just know that it could go on for days and well past just 24. No more bitchticles — three cheers for inclusive listicles!