This past weekend I worked with rising star and Cambodian singer Nikki, who I featured in my last post for her VEVO music video “Home For Dinner”. She had decided to cover Sia’s song “Titanium” to add to her growing collection of YouTube vids and wanted to create a video that showed her take on women of today and the power they hold: to please, to hurt, to change.

I’ve written a few pieces on bullying of all natures whether it be physical, emotional, cyber, etc. and what she wanted to do by putting this together struck a special chord with me. As I wrote the introduction monologue before the song begins, so much came to mind and it was difficult to keep things short enough to work with the video cut. In a city as small as Phnom Penh, a place that attracts both the most psychotic and/or selfish birds and blokes and on the other end of the spectrum shockingly wonderful expats, women eye each other up like a hungry wolf sizes his prey. Of course I have met some truly gold women here who are down to earth, transparent, and open- but it’s a rarity. I spend time with very few (really only about 2) which is extremely different from my closely knit group of girl friends that I had back in Washington. Oh pizza nights…sigh.

After laughing at the plenty of bloopers that I’m sure were caught on film Nikki, Casandra, and I chatted about how competitive, insidious, and crafty the female species are. Sure, it may be innate and in our blood as an animalistic rite to some degree- but there has to be a point where we start to think like humans instead of animals. To release from the green grasp of jealousy and view other women as sisters and confidants rather than some bitch tryin’ to steal your man, strip you of your “title” as Queen Bee, outshine you, or steal your thunder. Honestly, it’s rather selfish to even think that many people actually would go out of their way and take the time to do that. Of course there are the random girls (note: girls, not women) who will continue to spread gossip, spin webs of lies, act like they’re above everyone else, and generally just try to cause trouble- but with a smart head on your shoulders it shouldn’t even affect you after a while. More than anything, if someone is going out of their way to try and hurt you it’s only taking their precious time. Dwelling on it is only wasting yours.

It’s a strange world we women have created for ourselves, whether in Phnom Penh or Seattle. It’s a well known saying that women dress for the other women in the room, not for the men- and for the most part I think that’s true. And if a woman is dressing for the male gaze the rest of the ladies in the room will start side eye-ing, mentally tacking a scarlet letter to their mini skirted behinds, and begin the slut shaming! We’ve created a trap for ourselves that we can’t get out of unless we actively try to create bonds between the women around us. This isn’t to say I won’t continue to complain, whine, and throw shade but I hope to at the very least keep in mind that every woman I come across wages their own personal war and within that, they are both the enemy and the safe house.

Sure, there are some of us that other women just don’t like- and there are some that other women are simply drawn to. It also doesn’t mean that we should start hosting ice cream fueled sleepovers every weekend and having girl’s night out every Thursday just for the sake of it, but rather uplift our viewpoints, broaden our horizons to see beyond the silly little world that so many think is important here (MUST. GO. TO. EVERY. EVENT.), know the strength we have to make an impact on another person’s life, and show that women aren’t just out for each other in an estrogen driven extravaganza.

We are so much better than that. We are worth so much more than what we label each other and ourselves to be. We are intricate, strange creatures that should be celebrated. We are titanium.

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