Can women stop being bitches to each other? My wish for international womens day and why I am not completely comfortable with being called a feminist

In honour of international women's day, I decided to give my personal candid take on feminism and why I am not a feminist.

The other day I was sitting in my women of colour coffee session at my students union. The topic of feminism came up and I was asked if I am a feminist. My answer - "I never used to be, until I experienced sexual harassment and then I was one for some time. Then I realised the perception of feminism has often been misconstrued as some type of critique of the opposite sex, rather than focused on the social, political and economic equality amongst the sexes (to quote the fabulous Chimamanda). Then I realised there was no point of being a feminist if other women hate you anyway." I'm better off booking a holiday abroad (and trust me I'm known in my frienship circle to do spontaneous things like that) than being a resident on "no mans land" which lies somewhere in between feminism and intrasexual competition.

Evolutionary Psychologists such as Fisher (2004) have heavily researched Darwin's concept of intrasexual competition in women and sadly, the theoretical grounds suggest that women hate other women because we are competing for the possibility to be selected as a mate by men. Now before we get outta hand; assuming that Fisher is just another misogynistic male psychologist - Fisher is actually a woman named Maryann - though not the Black beauty that Ray Charles wrote a song about.

Nevertheless, Fisher's research has found that female derogation is a form of indirect aggression where females attempt to reduce the perceived value of another female "rival." Generally thsi means that women tend to criticise qualities that are deemed attractive to males - youthfulness, beautiful appearances and character. It's no wonder that there are floods of timeless office tales that emerge entailing a PYT (Pretty Young Thing) protagonist who was rather discovered to be a Dirty Diana or a Billie Jean. If you are more Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson than Michael, that's the equivalent of being a hoe or a THOT.

Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie is famed for one of her books called "we should all be feminists" and to some extent I agree. If we all believe in equality amongst the sexes across all domains - especially social - then intrasexual competition will eventually become extinct as a concept; as the factor that fuels it - the notion of women being chosen by men- will no longer hold importance. Can we all become feminists just so I can prove Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory wrong? I wanna win a noble prize!

However, I don't think it's that simple. Recently, I ran as a candidate in my student elections and I noticed a number of things. Females whom I sat down with and lengthily discussed the importance of feminism were now resulting to the "slut shaming" , the bitching, the reporting to the union chair, the insults to intelligence and slanging matches over whether cheaper sanitary towels were an important enough topic for a the potential Woman's Officer to be campaigning for. Ironic. Women who were all running for positions where they would represent the female population on a large scale across the UK's 3rd best university after Oxford and Cambridge, spent more time degrading the competition than motivating students to vote. However, no male was a part of the equation in this case. I guess it's more to do with just competition, rather than sexual competition.

Ok, I'm not quite ready for my Noble prize acceptance speech yet, and I'm not quite ready to be a feminist either. You see for me, the true feminists I know are men. (Spill your tea). My father has supported my career progression and education to the furthest level, even moreso than female relatives who pester me on pushing out a pickney (that's a Caribbean term for a child - I just liked the alliteration in the sentence). In addition, my male mentor who has not only supported me through academia, but also through the difficulties in the work place where I personally experienced attacks by other females on my capability, natural hair, dress sense and would you believe my cooking ability? And for the record I am NOT a chef by profession. Lastly, I must also note all the male friends who have unselfishly shed their insight into my dating life. Those guys who non-judgementally have shown me the pricks who gave me red roses that discoloured my view from the thorns attached to their stems. Less poetically, the guys who acted like big brothers and showed me the frogs from Prince Charming without the hassle of "girl I told you so..."

Those are just a few examples of the notable feMANists in my life, and it would be wrong to leave this post without raising my glass (rather, my supermalt bottle) in tribute to my female friends who truly demonstrate the epitome of sisterhood; celebrating the successes and supporting each other in the not so successful times.

So my wish for international women's day 2016 is that the the bitch in all of us be gone.

Example HTML page