Lying, backstabbing, cheating on partners—this is all just a part of the illustrious life created in the TV show Gossip Girl. I have always felt a deep-set aversion to the show, without any outright reason why. Most other teenage girls and young adults eat up this show, loving the debauchery and scandal. However, what they don’t realize is that this show is slowly brainwashing them into what I like to call a “girls will be girls” mentality—and that isn’t a good thing.
Society has long focused and fought against the “boys will be boys” mentality—which suggests that a male’s action can be excused based on the fact that he cannot be expected to overcome his natural male tendencies. This attitude, obviously, is false, and you’re in the wrong century if you still do not know this.
However, what the feminist movement fails to address is how girls act, and how this negatively impacts society too. It is easy to push blame on others, rather than to accept our own blame. With that mindset, it is easy to argue and reel against the flippant attitude toward male behavior, all the while overlooking the horrible actions performed by females.
And if there was ever a show that highlighted how horrible women can be, it’s Gossip Girl. For those who don’t know, Gossip Girl revolves around Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf, two of NYC’s elite. Other ‘protagonists’—if you could call them that—include Nate Archibald, Chuck Bass, Dan Humphrey, and Jenny Humphrey. All these characters, to be frank, are altogether some of the most wretched and awful humans in existence. And yet, Gossip Girl seems to suggest that this is the type of person we should crave to be. This is the life of the rich and famous. This is the end goal.
There are some feminists who argue in favor of Serena and Blair. After all, they are two of the most take-charge female characters in today’s media. They both know what they want, and stop at nothing to get it. Their moral compass may be off, but they do show what it means to be a female who takes no crap from her male counterpart. So what’s the problem then?
Gossip Girl teaches girls that it’s perfectly okay to do the very same things society simultaneously frowns upon men doing. After all, it’s quite all right because “girls will be girls” and they are simply taking back what has been withheld from them for so long.
With a “girls will be girls” mentality, it is quite all right for a girl to take possession of power by any means—especially using a woman’s sexuality. Time and time again, Blair manipulates men to do their bidding, promising to basically prostitute herself for her will to get done. As society says, however, a girl’s sexuality is her own and what she chooses to do with it is her choice. So Blair Waldorf, sell your body for the power you receive. It’s perfectly justifiable, since women have been repressed in all areas of their lives for ages, after all.
This “girls will be girls” mentality also suggests that there needn’t be repercussions for all the backstabbing and gossiping that encompasses the girl world. I mean– we can’t expect more from women, can we? We can’t expect honesty, integrity, and open communication…it doesn’t matter anyways, they’ll simply grow out of it. That’s just what girls do.
After all, the show is entitled Gossip Girl, rather than Gossip Boy. That’s because society deems it unacceptable for boys to gossip—it’s not in their nature. But for girls? Well, Blair, Serena, and Jenny are shining examples of the lack of discipline that comes with gossiping. In fact, girls brought up with a general distaste for gossip are not rewarded for this behavior. Instead, they get eaten up by the vultures who have a taste for vengeance and blood—much like our beloved Blair Waldorf.
Girls are vicious. Teenage girls especially can be some of the cruelest predators a teenage girl must face. Shows like Gossip Girl makes it seem okay. But it isn’t okay, nor will it ever be.
It’s time that society shifts its focus from attacking boys alone, to a more holistic view of society. Let’s not chastise boys while ignoring all the hurtful things women are doing. Instead, let’s look at society as a whole, and lift both sexes to a better place together.
It’s time women are held accountable for their action too. It’s time this double standard gets rectified. It’s sad to think that shows like Gossip Girl receive so much publicity and viewing, as they negatively reflect the type of women we should feel called to be. Next time you get righteously angry at the Chuck Bass’s of the world and the “boys will be boys” mentality, reflect on the Blair Waldorf’s too, and what the phrase “girls will be girls” really means.