Fighting Culture Among Girls&Women…Why?

I’ve never been a fighter. The one time I was probably supposed to fight a girl for trying to “steal my man” I didn’t have the heart to. What was the point? To hurt her? I didn’t want to hurt anyone. Sometimes I would ask God why he made me like this? Passive, never wanting to entertain trouble. People assumed it was weakness but I look at it as having a big heart. People assumed I was letting others take advantage of me, but it was more about being a nice person. Growing up in Brooklyn this was one of the many nuances in my personality that made me feel different from others. As a Brooklyn girl you have to be tough, right? Well, I was never like that. I would rather be friends with you than fight you, but there’s so many people, so many young girls to be exact. who feel the opposite.

In order to gain respect, you have to fight and be the champ. For some reason, a lot of girls and guys hold girl fights in such high esteem. I will never forget when I was peer pressured to go to the projects and fight a group of girls to defend one of my friends. I brought a bottle of Clorox to defend myself; otherwise I would’ve been done for. God was with me that day, because the girls never showed up. I vowed never to put myself in such danger again, all in the name of fitting in or proving something to these so-called “friends.”

Every morning, while walking to the train station, I am bombarded with high school students walking to school. My neighborhood is known for two of the most notorious high schools in Brooklyn, Clara Barton and Prospect Heights. One day I overheard a group of girls talking, and one of the girls said “I heard she want to fight you.” I immediately cringed. Around the same time, news hit that 5 girls ganged up on one girl in a local McDonalds on Flatbush avenue. The girls were all students at Erasmus High School, but were suspected of being apart of a gang. The video of the beating went viral, which is terrible in itself. I watched as the victim was kicked time and time again while on the floor. Out of the hundred kids that were there, no one came to her rescue. They just watched like it was a chicken fight. Where were the McDonald’s employees? Where were the adults? Why is a child no older than 16 allowed to get beat down on camera without anyone doing anything to assist? What type of world do we live in? My mind could hardly fathom what I was seeing. I felt disgusted. I hope and pray that when I was in high school I was never the helpless bystander that just watched fights because that’s so wrong. The bigger question that I began to ask myself is, why, as girls do we want to tear down one another? From an early age, this kind of competitive nature is inbred in us where we have to be in competition and in the service of disempowering other females instead of encouraging one another. Even in adulthood, there’s so much hatred that we have for other women and for what? Because she’s married, she has a nice car, nice hair or a nice body? I can just imagine the force we would be if we came together and stopped being so darn catty. See some of my tips below on how we can keep peace in our lives, so we can ultimately empower and not damage our fellow sisters:

Tips on Keeping the Peace:

  1. Find an activity that reduces stress in your life
  2. Ignore ignorance
  3. Try not to have the last word
  4. Avoid confrontation
  5. Stay Positive
  6. Feed life into others
  7. Be the person you would want to hang around
  8. Do unto others as you would like to be done unto you
  9. Avoid gossip by all costs
  10. Hang out with people who are just as peaceful, if not more peaceful than you

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