‘Sisters don’t always get along.’ A very wise friend of mine said this (and I know she’s laughing as she reads that, but it’s true so there), and it’s been ticking over in my brain for a little while. Twitter’s been getting grimmer and grimmer for the last month or so, and it finally exploded in my little circle this week, so now you’re all going to be subjected to my thoughts on this subject. Lucky you!
I have a sister, you know. She’s twenty-two years old, incredibly beautiful, fiercely talented, passionate beyond words. I love her more than I can express.
She also pisses me right off. We disagree on, well, just about everything. She’s extremely religious, for a start, often convinced that her way is the best way, sometimes a bit holier-than-thou… And when we fight it is fucking biblical, let me tell you. We know just how to push each others buttons, know just where to twist the knife to hurt most, know all of each others’ deepest insecurities.
We’re sisters. I’ve told her that she can run away to my house if she needs to – and she’s very nearly taken me up on it. When I forget her birthday she laughs it off. She was the bridesmaid at my wedding. And no matter how bad things get, no matter how much I hate her, when the chips are down and I’ve got no one else, she has my back.
Feminists love to talk about The Sisterhood – which I think is great. What I don’t understand is when the idea of sisterhood is used to silence dissent. Sisters disagree! We bicker, and argue, and FIGHT.
There are feminists that are transphobic, that are racist, that think bisexuals don’t exist. There are feminists who think all we need is love, and those that want to kill all men. I don’t agree with all of them. I won’t talk to all of them, because I can’t abide them. I’ll fight some of them tooth-and-nail, I will call them out, I might even insult them because they piss me the fuck off.
But at the end of the day, when the patriarchy’s destroying them, when they’ve been raped, or fired for being a woman, or told they’re worthless for their gender, I’ll have their backs. I’ll stand next to them and call them sisters, and kick men in the shins for them.
Sisterhood doesn’t mean getting along. It doesn’t mean always agreeing, or not calling out bigotry, or letting trans (or black, or gay, or disabled) women be thrown under the bus for the sake of unity.
All it means is that the patriarchy is screwing us over, and that I will help you fight it.