The Old Girls' Club
This account by HawkEye made me smile and my fingers itched to type back something acidic that only the female of our species would find funny. I desisted.
Like all urban woman, sustained on a balanced diet of chocolate, over-named cocktails and credit card bills, I’m an SATCist – a loyal fan of Sex and the City. Of course I was looking forward to the movie with bated breath. And yes, I did that cliched thing that most women did. Watched the movie on the day of its release, dressed to the nines and with a bunch of gal-pals. Every woman I know did it and several posted about it. Lalita Iyer at HT Cafe wrote about it in her column Chicklit.
I must have been sitting next to the only man in the theater. I could practically imagine him in a mental straitjacket, trying hard not to break down. One woman or two or perhaps even three he might have been used to. But a theater full of women must have become a mob in his eyes. We hooted. We jeered. We whistled and catcalled. We giggled. We gasped and pointed out shoes, handbags, clothes and jewellery. We ooh-ed and aah-ed and sighed. We whispered and then emboldened by the lack of frowny-shushes, our voices rose in pitch. I was almost sorry for him. Almost.
Well, don’t mistake me. I’m normally quite a kind person (yes, I am and who dares contest that??!!!) and I don’t like bullying. But some instincts are too much for even me to fight. I am part of that mob called the Old Girls’ Club. And when it out-numbers the rest, it’s all about loyalty to the tribe.
Is this is a natural occurance, only an imitation of the boy-gangs that have been around for years? The ones that tormented us in childhood by throwing away our dolls, then harangued us as teenagers by hanging around in packs and discussing our anatomy in gruesome detail? They hung together despite glaring differences with that one-minded dedication to the cause. Well okay, we picked it up a little later but here we are.
I don’t see this happening to the Princesses and the Barbie dolls I’ve been classmates (and *gulp* even friends) with along the years. The ones who’ve settled into the classic roles of little women are happy with their lives. It’s the rest of us, the Alpha Females, Modern Women, bitch-pack so to speak, riding the wave of liberation, basking in the alcohol/nicotine fumes and weilding economic and mental independence that join the club. Among our many memberships and subscriptions, we sign up for an Old Girls’ Club.
Friday night a galpal across the world buzzed me online to ask what my plans were. I replied,
Meeting four luverly ladeej. One is silent, sarcastic and so cool. Another is delightfully undiplomatic. Precious is a darling. And Raindrop is a real joy to be around. Being with my gal-bunch is soo much funner than being on a date!
She buzzed back a in agreement.
I have any number of girlfriends, a relatively recent occurance for me since I grew up being ‘one of the boys’. I ‘do coffee’ (you never ‘do coffee’ with a man unless he’s gay) with them. I go window-shopping with them. I dress the way I normally – outrageously – do but I actually let them give me an opinion of my clothes (Who cares what a man thinks?? Whatever do men know about clothes anyway?). I join them in a mass-crib-fest about the stupidity of men in general with long, involved discussions about the actual man (men) in each one’s case. As self-appointed and then unanimously-elected wildchild, I amuse them by haranguing some man by making eyes at him and watching him blush furiously. They boost my ego when it’s flagging. In return, I write XXFactor. (At one point of the time, this blog’s tagline was ‘For a woman…by a woman…because I’m a woman.’ Now you know where that came from.)
I guess we haven’t really gotten used to independence as much as we’d like to believe. We still define ourselves by our relationships with other people. Except that, instead of a man, it’s a bunch of other women.