I'm irritated with a friend of mine. I believe that she and another person unnecessarily concealed some information from me, instead of addressing it like the adults we pretend to be. The point is that I'm frustrated with her.
Now, every time either of these girls show up in my facebook feed, or if I get a text or email from one of them, I greet it with an annoyed muttering of "whore" or "bitch" or similar under my breath.
Regardless of my immediate feelings about these women, I love and respect my friend. She is a strong, independent, passionate young lady who is going to do great things. She is neither a whore nor a bitch. So why can't I express my feelings in a more constructive manner? When did I become part of the self-perpetuating cycle of female-on-female abuse? What's the point of calling her a name? How is that reaction any better than what she did in the first place? How does my pejorative ejaculation help me feel better or resolve the situation? (Erotema.)
This state of affairs reminds me of a horrifyingly embarrassing moment in my undergrad years, where I said some reading was "crap" in the middle of class. My professor (who I deeply respect and desperately wanted to impress) called me out on it--that's not a word a college student needs to use to express herself. It's fine to dislike the reading, but only if one can engage with it and articulate what about it was problematic. I haven't stopped calling things crap, but you can bet that I absolutely consider before using the word. These days, I use it mostly to refer to the flotsam littering the flat surfaces of my apartment, or to describe how I'm feeling if I'm under the weather.
I'm 28, and I spend a lot of time claiming to be an adult and bemoaning the fact that I'm surrounded by 22-24 year olds who act their age. But if I'm still calling women bitches and whores, women I love and respect, I'm no better than the highly dramatic girls around me, and I'm certainly no better than I was at 19. It's time to add pointless name-calling to the list of things I want to change about myself. It's also time to recommit to refraining from gossip and backbiting. I've found myself sucked in too frequently lately, and it's not helping anything. It doesn't change the situation and it doesn't make me feel better. So what's the point?
This year, I'd like to be better about that.