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Bad Feminist

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Rebecca Mennecke

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Jealousy: a toxic emotion for bad feminists

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Bad Feminist

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

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I’m an incredibly jealous person.

I’ve known that to be a fact of my life since third grade when my older sister, Carolyn, was published in the “Anthology of Short Stories by Young Americans.”

I was an unflattering shade of green with envy that she had celebrity status in our household: she got to sign books, get her picture taken and have our entire family fawn over her authorship. I wanted that too.

So in third grade, I would write pages and pages of stories during class to try to get my teacher to notice that a.) I was not paying attention and b.) I was writing stories that should get published too.

This did not work.

I still think this jealousy played a role in my decision to become an English major.

But that jealousy doesn’t always materialize itself in good ways. I constantly put myself down because I see how awesome other women are and I don’t really believe anything good about myself.

Everyone has insecurities and I’m no exception. I have awful acne, I’m always panicky that I’m overweight, my forehead is way too tall and I feel like I have the body proportions of a football player, among other things. So when I see other women and they’re killing it, and they own their bodies, I’m instantly super jealous.

Or, when I’m in a relationship, I’m definitely the kind of girlfriend that goes on red alert when there are other women around. I don’t understand how I can see them as threats and not the fact that I don’t trust the person I’m with — furthermore, I should be deeply concerned about the fact that I don’t trust people. Period.

That’s concerning.

But I still freak out that the person I’m with will find someone funnier, smarter, prettier, yada yada yada.

Jealousy is a really toxic emotion to have on file.

It’s not good for you, it’s not good for the people around you — it’s not good for anyone, really.

And the fact that I feel jealous about women makes me a really bad feminist. I should look up to other women and feel powerful because I am one of them, not try to start ranking them and see how I fit in.

So I did a little research, and found some handy tips for overcoming jealousy. I’m working on it, because I want to be the healthiest, most best-est feminist I can be. Here’s what I’ve gathered so far:

I might be a bad feminist, but I’m still working on it, and identifying the problem is the first step to the road to recovery.

Here we go!

Mennecke can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Writer
Rebecca Mennecke, Currents Editor

Rebecca "Becca" Mennecke is a second-year creative writing student with a minor in journalism who is thrilled to spend her third semester on staff as The Spectator's Currents Editor. When not editing for The Spectator, Becca can be found with her nose behind a book, watching an ultra-cheesy Hallmark movie or improving her nature photography skills by being in the great outdoors.

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