Girl Code

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by Mattie Kahn
September 12, 2013
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We interrupt fashion week programming to bring you this on lady friendship

Oh, sure. We’re pretty fond of each other, but the truth is you all are our favorite contributors to The Man Repeller. Really! We’ve formalized that fact with “Let’s Talk About It.” This weekly column is a forum for conversation, communication, and complete distraction from the jobs you’re supposed to be doing right now. So get involved. We promise we won’t tell your bosses.

“Irregardless, ex-boyfriends are just off limits to friends. I mean that’s just like the rules of feminism.” – Gretchen Wieners, Mean Girls

I’ve never written in to an advice columnist. I’ve never consulted “Abby” or “Sugar” or submitted a moral quandary to The New York Times resident ethicist, Chuck Klosterman. In moments of crisis, after all, I’m more likely to rely on my best friends than even the most sagacious of strangers. Will an advice columnist take your desperate phone call at 2:30 AM? Will some professional guru help you craft the perfectly witty reply to a certain someone’s latest text? No. He will not.

Still, there’s no other regular editorial contribution that I anticipate more than E. Jean Carroll’s monthly advice column for Elle. In case you missed it: Carroll has been doling out her spectacularly honest brand of wisdom to the fashion magazine’s most tormented subscribers since 1993.

At this point, I think it’s safe to say I’ve been taking cues from her for over a decade. Mostly, she’s unwittingly advised me on romance, relationships, and general teenage revelry. By way of her lovingly acid tongue, she has also helped me cope with minor heartbreak and major loss. This month, she’s used her very polished platform to publish what I’ve come to accept as a personal system of belief. In Elle’s Upton-fronted September issue, “Ask E. Jean” tackled what she termed “the BLC—Basic Lady Code.”

The result? An ethos so succinct, so straightforward, and so brilliant that it may very well qualify as its own religion. One thing is certain. There would be a lot less bloodshed in the world if we all obeyed it.

Here’s the gist of it (in her own words):

Never hate a woman you’ve never met, never date a friend’s ex, never reveal another female’s secret, never leave an inebriated friend alone at a bar, never invite a friend’s enemy to a party, never dine alone with a friend’s boyfriend (unless it’s his last meal and he’s being shot at dawn).

And here’s her elaboration, or what E. Jean calls “The Advanced Woman Code”:

  • Never stay silent when a friend is falling for an asshole.
  • Never favorite a best friend’s bon mot. Always retweet it.
  • Never trust a girlfriend who dates a married man.
  • Never refuse to write a recommendation for the offspring of a friend (no matter how big an idiot the kid is).
  • Never steal your friend’s thunder at a dinner party—when she’s on, give her room! Pound the table! Bang your glass with a spoon! Laugh the loudest at her story!
  • Never give your friend’s business four stars on Yelp. Always give five.
  • Never agree when a friend says she’s flabby, baggy, saggy, lumpy, floppy, veiny, squishy, scrawny, etc., etc. Tell her to shut up. Tell her life is too short. Tell her to eat, drink, and be merry. And finally…
  • Never treat other women disrespectfully: It gives men ideas.

Since reading this some weeks ago, I’ve sent it to most of my address book and adopted these bullet points as my official creed. But their spelling out here has me thinking about what I’d add (or—better yet—what you would) to Carroll’s enumerated list. What “lines” would you never cross where your fellow female is concerned? Which have you crossed and regretted? I have good, faithful friends who have violated more than one of E. Jean’s edicts. I still trust them. Would you? Where your own confidantes are concerned, do you forgive the occasional stray from The Code and continue to trust?

Finally, in the immortal worlds of Gretchen Wieners, do “the rules of feminism” dictate that we abide by “Girl Code” or is adhering to some gender-qualified set of ethics yet another step backward for the independent, modern woman? (For the record, I don’t think so.)

But you know the drill. Let’s talk about it.

REPLIES
  • mdemaria

    I’m completely on board with all of these rules! I think that if a friend of mine dated my ex or dined with my boyfriend, I’d be veeery pissed off, because it’s just… basic. Just, don’t do what you wouldn’t want someone to do to you. (The worst thing is that, if the situation were reversed, some of these friends would be mad, because they tend to be very jealous women.)

  • kirbybee

    I might be in the minority on this one, but if you need a list of rules to follow to have real and meaningful friendships perhaps you should skip the whole friendship thing.

    • Mattie Kahn

      Actually, I kind of see what you mean. Some context: E. Jean presented this advice to a woman who depicted herself as hopelessly ignorant of “girl code.” When I encountered it, I also immediately thought that anyone who needed advice on how to be a friend probably wasn’t doing too good a job at it. Still, I think that her “rules,” in general, are sound. E. Jean, for me, just gave words and shape to tenets that I already hold sacred, but couldn’t exactly name.

      • Ginte

        Funily enough, I have ex-boyfriends who my girlfriends could date and I would not be mad about it. Only few of those, though

    • Molly Hoyer

      Well, I don’t think it’s necessarily “need.” Like Mattie said, she has friends who haven’t followed the code to the letter, and she still has meaningful friendships with them. I like to think of Girl Code as much like the Pirate Code in Pirates of the Caribbean: something to respect and refer to in sticky situations, and ultimately is a set of guidelines, not rules.

  • Heidi

    I love the last “rule.” If women everywhere, heck if people everywhere, treated each other respectfully we’d have a much more livable world. I don’t think “girl code” is setting feminism back in any way, actually it could be argued that “girl code” could help unite women and the more united we are the stronger our message. That old cliche about safety in numbers wasn’t a complete fabrication.

    http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

  • http://alcessa.wordpress.com/ alcessa

    Generally, it is a good idea to adhere to sensible rules, especially if they somehow help to avoid real hurt between people who like each other, but … it is also a good idea to know when it is OK to ignore some of them. I think. So, yes, we should never ever get together with exes of our friends, but in my humble opinion, it can be OK or even sometimes better to be honest instead of just flattering our friends automatically, because they are dear to our heart. I mean: people should also be aware that we like them and that we chose to be honest in certain circumstances BECAUSE we like them (I mean situations like recommendations, auspicious praise etc. mentioned above. Such things give men ideas, too, namely that we girls need to be praised a lot, which is not true. It’s not.)

    The same goes for partners, I think. Like, I do know a breakfast spent together belongs to the list of marriage-appropriate behaviour, but I cannot eat in the morning, I cannot chat and I am not myself till I had my cup of coffee or 3. Hubby eats breakfast, likes to listen to the favourite radio station (with serious topics already in the morning) or even more, audio books on his phone. So why should we adhere to the “happy couple having lovely breakfast together” rule, if we want to spend that time of the day doing what we like, before we have to do what others expect, most of the day? And then: if he should listen to one of his audio books in the evening, I cannot expect him to hear every word I suddenly impose upon him or be ready to discuss life and all the fish immediately (these are just examples – I tend to be realistic about many things without thinking they are bad for me)

  • Grace C.

    I love the part about telling your friend to shut up when she starts downing herself. So often I find myself starting to down my body as well to make my friend see she’s not the only one. As we all know, this conversation can turn into a downward spiral of self loathing. Life is too short!

  • Jess

    It wasn’t the sole reason I stopped being friends with my best friend since kindergarten only a few months before we graduated high school, but it was the final straw when she started going out with the boy who had just dumped me only a few weeks previously. And then completely denied that she’d ever heard of “girl code”, that she thought it was perfectly fine to bang the guy who’d just broken my heart and didn’t know why I was making a big fuss about it.

    (He later dumped her after she kept bugging him to take her to prom, and I’m now married to the guy I started dating shortly after dropping her from my life.)

  • dianad

    Girl code is everything. And what’s great is that the more I adhere to it, the happier I am. It brings satisfaction to my own life to know that I can be a solid support to my girlfriends. I think the rules about supporting friends on social media (e.g. the retweet rule) are genius!!!! Let’s all go out there and like each other’s selfies! POWER! :)

    • Mattie Kahn

      I’m so into the idea that being a good friend makes you a happier person. +10.

      • dianad

        =D yes! and p.s. I find that public supporting of girl friends is THE biggest indicator that a woman has confidence, self-worth, and values friendship. What kind of man (or woman) isn’t attracted to that? It’s just wins all round y’all.

        • http://alcessa.wordpress.com/ alcessa

          So if I publicly support all my friends all the time, at the highest measure possible (like, giving 5 stars, always using superlatives, grammatical and/or other, loving and caring expressions etc. – does this signify I have a lot of confidence and value friendship? I am not sure I understand how… I mean: if someone can be relied to always praise me, I’ll stop noticing, because as a realistic human being, I’ll know I am not always spot on, the best etc. And I’ll know my friends know that, too. And any foreign observers of such public behaviour will know that, too, because noone is simply the best. So what is the value of such excessive praise when it is obvious I can get it by the simple act of appearing in a public space? And the informational value? It only means I am a girl who might or might not need a lot of praise, but it says nothing about my real merits. No? I am just asking – I prefer realistic behaviour and feel liked and supported when I reap information and realistic reactions, while unconditional public adoration would … alienate me somehow. But then, we are not all the same, which is great (I love that).

          • dianad

            Good point, for sure. I think the idea is that it does have to be genuine. Don’t support just for the show of it, but find a way to ACTUALLY love your friends so much that you feel compelled to show that kind of support. Also, I don’t think there’s a need to be absurd or overbearing about it to the point where you are just embarrassing haha.

          • Mattie Kahn

            Agreed. I think the idea is to be generous without being disingenuous. But, yes, it’s definitely a fine line.

          • dianad

            well said ^

  • Amatoria Clothing

    I think some things on the list should be looked at case-by-case…. What you define as an “ex” makes a difference. I have had a few friends who ended up dating my exes. I think if you are mature and are really over the relationship, then it is not a huge problem. I do think there should be some communication about it first, though.
    In my case, it was someone that I had deeply cared about, so it was a little strange at first, especially because my friends did not talk to me first. However, if it was some boy that I was never “in love” with, then go for it girl! I’m not going to call dibs on every man I ever kissed. That seems selfish.

    • Danielle Nordahl

      I’m so glad someone agrees with me!

    • Blaire

      I completely agree! I don’t think every ex is off-limits. To me, it depends on the kind of relationship my friend and the guy had. I know I wouldn’t be upset if one of my friends dated an ex-fling.

    • pamb

      At my brother’s wedding, at least 3 men (attending with their wives) were exes of my new SIL. It was hysterical as she kept introducing me to men and saying “oh, he’s an ex boyfriend!” She is good friends with their wives as well. Obviously, the dating happened many years ago, and there are reasons the relationships didn’t work out. But if you can really be friends with an ex, I think it’s great!

  • Maura

    Here’s one to add: Never cackle over or make fun of another girl’s outfit, haircut, shoes or weight. It makes you look petty and mean. Everyone’s got their “something”…

    • Astrid

      och mann yes! that’s not cool.

      • Lisa Thomson

        I actually had girlfriends (or should I say wives of my ex-husband’s friends) who made fun of my haircut. They told me it was terrible and that I should find a new stylist. I laughed it off at the time but it was only the beginning of bullying, mean girl behavior that continued. I divorced them too!

        • Astrid

          good choice, Lisa! You’re better off without assholes :)

          • Lisa Thomson

            :) !

  • Ralu

    Well, the unwritten code is finally out there, black on white. I mean, none of that is new and no matter how independent and rational we try to look, we all care about stuff like that. I think it’s already transmitted through our DNA.Our maybe it’s just our common sense? Do we all break the code? YES WE DO!..do we all feel bad about breaking it..well..some of us do! Maybe at the end of the fully written code the last ‘law’ would sound something like: ‘Always be honest to your friend when you broke the code. A real friend will come around.’

  • http://jessjoycej.wordpress.com/ Jessica Joyce

    Ok, although each friendship has its own rules, you can just feel what’s right or wrong. There should just be transparency between friends, especially best friends. Maybe I’ve just been too influenced by TV shows and its “reality.” On the other hand, I totally agree with all these Girl Code stuff, for the most part, it is all TRUE.

    Your Friend, Jess

  • SSL

    I think one rule to add would be if you’ve made plans with a girlfriend, don’t bail last minute when your not-really boyfriend calls.

  • Guest

    I sat by and watched my best friend fall in love with an asshole

    • Amelia Diamond

      We all have. Here’s my thing with “letting” your friend fall in love with an asshole: you can’t stop anyone from doing anything. You can voice your opinion, step back, let them make their mistake and then have your shoulder ready when they need it to cry on.

      Any time I’ve liked a guy that my friends have warned me against…I never listened.

      And any time I’ve told a friend, ” HE IS A SOCIOPATH DOUCHE-LORD WHO WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE FOR AS LONG AS YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH HIM,” they were like — ok.

      … and then did it anyway.

      • Ludapris

        “douche lord”–amazing, haha

  • Danielle Nordahl

    The only one I have ever wondered about is the one that is probably most controversial and well known/iron clad. I’d totally let a friend date an ex of mine. I’ve actually set friends up with exes before. Sure, there is always the one guy who is always going to be off limits, and the guy you just recently dated should be as well, but otherwise, if it didn’t work out with you two, they could be perfect for your friend. Think about it, we share at least some similarities with our friends, but the differences may be what makes it work where you and your ex didn’t. Life is too short to stand in the way of anyone’s happiness, just because he’s technically an ex. Saying someone can’t date someone you dated five years ago for seven months is nuts in my book. Of course, as previously stated, unless it is that one guy who is off limits, which your friends all know who that is.

    • liz

      I completely agree with this notion. There are certainly earth-shattering break-ups that should never yield a union between your BFF and the man that ruined your life. But if you had a good run with someone and it didn’t work out, why not set him up with your friend?! This is kind of going on with two of my best friends, who are also best friends with each other. One has hooked up with a guy a few times, but nothing has ever gone past that. Literally nothing. The other friend is being aggressively pursued by said guy and is completely terrified to let anything actually happen because of our other friend. SUPER AWKWARD. However, I completely think it’s ok. Whatever. My friends are [awesome] psychos. Stop shitting where you eat if you’re scared of awkward situations.

  • Brie

    I like that not all of these “rules” necessarily pertain to friendships. They set a standard for how we should view/treat our sex as a whole. EVERYONE is guilty of bashing/hating a woman that you don’t know. Miley C, Kim K, Amanda B, Sarah Palin (for me), etc. It is really great advice to try your damnedest to not tear down women who are just out there in the world trying to make it….even if their attempts are terribly misguided. I know….sometimes this is really hard. But it is so worth trying to rise above.

    As far as my other failures, I sat by and watched my bestie fall for an asshole and she wasted the last two years of her twenties on him. It took me one year and 11 months to speak up and I regret it every day. I thought I was being supportive but really I was an enabler. Never again.
    The Baby Giraffe

  • Whitney V

    Ooooo it’s all so true, loved this article! Only insecure women treat other women badly. No need.

    http://www.whitneyswonderland.com

  • Astrid

    I have been in the situation of trying to make a failing relationship work with someone who wasn’t a straight up asshole, but just a cowardly, indecisive and self-centered boy, and I do wish some of my friends had voiced their concern they all told me (after the fact) they had, because I wasted last year being really upset (even living in Berlin!) most of the time. Because of that experience, I’ve decided to always be honest when my friends come to me for advice. It’s possible to tell it how it is while remaining respectful and caring, and I think a lot of people don’t realize that.

  • E. Jean Carroll

    What a joy to appear in this wonderful post, Miss Maddie! Thank you!

    • sarah

      and isn’t everyone here being so nice and agreeable! it must be working ;-)

  • Savannah Martin

    In such a brilliant group of readers, I’m sure someone has already mentioned this, but I’ll add my own two cents anyway: I think a good friend, female *or* male, should never let their friend continue to do something that is either harmful to themselves or harmful to others. I would want my friend to tell me if I was doing something that had negative consequences, rather than say “well, that’s just what she does” and let me carry on. I believe that good friends are the kinds of friends that want you to be the best version of yourself, and that are committed to helping you get there, even if it means dishing out some (constructive) criticism.

    Great post, as always! Thank you for sharing!
    Smiles and all the best,
    Savannah
    untetheredasacloud.wordpress.com

    • raina break

      I have a friends who have witnessed me do stupid shit and when i come up for air and realise i have made huge horrible decisions… they have said ‘oh thats just something you do, right?’

      I realised recently that these are the kind of people i need to focus less on and spend more time on the ones that are straight talking…you know the whole be cruel to be kind thing, totally true.

  • Lisa Thomson

    I love this! The code is excellent. It makes one realize how easy it is to offend someone and sometimes it’s better to just do the ‘favor’ (i.e. the offspring reference)…also keeping a secret is a must and no boyfriend stealing…ugh I had a friend who did that and it’s a betrayal that is hard to overcome (if not impossible, if you loved the boy).

  • channeling

    Addendum: Always like your friends’ Instagram posts to increase their likes.

    On a different note, I need ADVICE. My friend just stopped casually hooking up/pseudo-dating a guy (he ended it, she’s heartbroken). I just found out via the guy that he is going on a date with someone 6 years his senior. My friend isn’t dating anyone and is very much pining after him. Do I tell her, or pretend that I don’t know anything?

    http://www.thechannelingboard.com

    • Leandra Medine

      I think tell her — will be stinky if she finds out that you knew previously.

    • Amelia Diamond

      Tell her. Be like: HEY, wanna know why you should get over him ASAP? Because he’s dating a cougar.

      • anonymouse

        You say that like it’s a bad thing to be dating an older woman. Why does everything have to be the man’s fault? The woman in this scenario is 1005 responsible for her unhappiness. She was casually hooking up with a guy and he ended it.
        1) She needs to take responsibility for her expectations – did she expect a proposal? If she can’t handle casual, don’t being in the first place.
        2) He has every right to break things off

        The sooner women as a whole stop blaming the guy every time our relationships don’t work out, the happier we’ll all be.

        • Amelia Diamond

          @anonymouse You said a lot of interesting things…

          1 – “You say that like it’s a bad thing to be dating an older woman.” — You’re right, my comment did come out this way. Nothing wrong with dating someone younger or older. I’ve dated guys a few years younger and my friends joked that I was a cougar… I think it’s just sort of a funny term that’s become part of our vernacular. I also think the word can be celebrated.

          2 – As for your other point, you ask why everything has to be the man’s fault, and say, “The sooner women as a whole stop blaming the guy every time our relationships don’t work out, the happier we’ll all be.”

          Now I agree in that placing blame on others almost never helps, usually we find healing and answers within ourselves.

          I will say, however, that sometimes… maybe this is totally wrong. Sometimes the best medicine for a broken heart is having your best friend tell you how lame he was, even if the excuse is TOTALLY ridiculous. For example, a friend once made me feel better about a guy by pointing out all of the weird shoes he owned. It was so dumb, but it made me laugh. And sometimes that’s all you want.

          I think mine is a fairly common…though perhaps childish? approach, and I’m actually really really interested to know what other approaches you (or anyone else on this thread!) take. Tough love, maybe?

          • sarah

            I married a guy 6.5 years younger, so obviously I think that fact is totally irrelevant. and definitely you should tell her. nothing worse than misplaced hope, and she can put an end to it in her mind – and find mr right ( now)..

      • A Future Cougar

        I agree with anonymouse – the age of the guy’s new love interest shouldn’t factor into the matter. Age discrimination is exactly the kind of behaviour this article suggests we work to avoid.

        • Amelia Diamond

          @A Future Cougar I just wrote a novel above in regards to this! (sorry it’s so long) My comment wasn’t meant to discriminate, I’m all for love crossing the boundaries of age.

  • yo mamma

    relationships are not so black and white which makes any sort of “code” problematic. i think the best we can do is be ourselves, kindness and politeness are always a big plus, and accept that which we are not. finding friends who love you even if you break the code or slip up on it – to me, that’s far more powerful than having friends who stand by you just because you reverently follow it.

    • Amelia Diamond

      i really like this. i also really like that your name is “yo mamma.”

      • yo mamma

        thanks, Amelia Diamond. sometimes these types of “lady codes” inspire knicker twisting because they’re like neosporin for a gall bladder infection. not a real solution and not addressing the real issue – which to me, is the belief that we need to keep ourselves in check OR ELSE…we’ll be unfit for friendship, socially ostracized, punished. i say – be who you are, do what you think is the right thing, don’t judge (yourself or others) too harshly and accept that life/relationships are messy and there’s no way around it.

  • Weir(d) Fashion

    When a guy friend brings around a new girlfriend he’s serious about back off of the dude and let them breathe. Talk about making #frienemies

  • Lauren T

    Also worth nothing that the girls that “can’t stand girls” and “only have guy friends” are the ones who most likely don’t adhere to, or understand, anything on this list.

    • Brie

      I will never understand how a woman can say this about her own sex. It truly breaks my heart when I hear a woman/girl say that they “can’t stand girls”.

    • Mattie Kahn

      I find those women SO suspicious. I also pity them. My female friends are the loves of my life. I feel so sorry for women who have lived their whole lives and never experienced such magic.

      • grace0213

        Since I moved to a new city, I’ve had so much trouble making good girlfriends. The result is that I do “only have guy friends” – honestly, they’re just easier to make quickly! You can walk up to a guy on the street and – boom – you’re friends. I hate looking like the girl who only has guy friends, but I don’t know *how* to make girlfriends now! So take caution in being suspicious of all these ladies – sometimes it’s not our fault.

    • One of those girls

      Perhaps it’s the other way around. Those girls you speak of may have only ever had “code-breaking” friends, thus giving them a negative perception of girl-girl relationships. You have to admit, without the etiquette these rules suggest we abide by, girls can be really nasty to each other. Try not to judge the girl who has never benefited from the same positive relationships you’ve been fortunate enough to experience.

  • Poe

    I definitely abide by E. Jean’s list and I always treat people how I expect them to treat me in return. I don’t allow people who I don’t trust close to me. If you spread your time, energies, and resources too thin, you can’t give enough to the people who truly matter. I’ll have a million and one acquaintences and be saccharine and kind to everyone I meet but friendship I take seriously… it might be swift or harsh to some but if you don’t have what it takes to be a good friend, then you’re “fired”.
    Life is way too short to be in bad company.

  • http://www.fancyalterego.wordpress.com/ Heather P.

    This code seems fine to me – it allows women to be themselves, but make sure to be mindful of how hurtful we can sometimes be toward each other, whether we know we’re doing it or not.

    I would also like to add that one never, EVER posts unflattering photos of one’s friends online – even if you look your absolute best in the photo, do your friend a solid and choose another one. Your vanity is not as important as protecting the self-esteem of others. :-)

  • Enna

    I would expand the “never agree with [self-deprecating put downs]” to also include “never complain about your weight/hair/boobs/SAT score/whatever in the presence of a friend who may be more sensitive about those things than yourself.” One of my dearest friends and I were among the bridesmaids to a third friend. The bride was extremely slender, a former ballerina, and my friend had semi-recently had a baby and not lost the baby weight. The bride spent almost the entire series of pre-wedding events complaining about how much weight she’d gained and how gross her (still size 0-2) body was. She could not be dissuaded from the topic. (I think she intended it as a hint.) My friend fought back tears. The bride was lovely, clever, and charming, but I discovered how thoroughly devoid of kindness she was. (The marriage lasted 6 months. The bride left the groom for his best friend who officiated the wedding. Now they are married – he married her twice, once as the officiant and once as the groom.)

    • liv

      I totally agree with your point about kindness and being sensitive with certain topics around certain friends. But, really, as delusional as your bride/friend (?) may have been, it WAS her wedding. Isn’t that the only time in our lives that we can go psycho over how perfect we want things to be? It’s one of the few days (if not the only) in her life that everything is about her. What I’m saying is, I think that context matters, too.

  • Micah Scott

    “The rules of feminism” most certainly dictate we abide by the rules of the The Code. However, it isn’t simply the rules of feminism, but the rules of having a freakin’ heart! If you’re a good friend, you’ll have a heart and use it to follow the few generally effortless rules of The Code! You know, guys have codes they follow too, but they don’t have to speak of them because unlike many of us (women), their hormones don’t flip, flop, fly or fold as much as ours. Just sayin’. ;-)

  • anonymouse

    I refuse to buy into the notion that I have to support a woman who’s being an asshole just because she’s a woman.

    • Mattie Kahn

      fair, but do you have to support a friend who’s being an asshole because she’s a friend? (especially, as I’m inclined to think, if telling her that she’s being an asshole is the best support you can offer.)

  • Samantha

    The thing that came across strongly for me about the ‘rules’ of girl/woman code is that it’s about respecting each other and treating our girlfriends (all friends/people in general) the same way we all deserve and wish to be treated. The last ‘rule’ is the one that I agree with the most: ‘Never treat other women disrespectfully: It gives men ideas’. Its pretty simple really, respect goes a loooong way!
    So does telling your friend to eat the damn cake if its going to make her happy or buy the damn shoes!

  • K.H

    Love it. Posted on my FB as a bit of a wake up call to a girlfriend.
    ‘never dine alone with a friend’s boyfriend (unless it’s his last meal and he’s being shot at dawn)’

  • Bad_Ash

    “Never treat other women disrespectfully: It gives men ideas.” Love love love!

  • aliette

    love this…..

  • http://www.abstractorganza.blogspot.com/ Idalia

    this was honestly the holy commandments in my girlcode book! Unfortunately, when all of these are implemented, at times you lose out. for example: speaking up on a friend that is falling for an asshole. You do what is best and in the end a friendship is lost. Its sad but you do what you can do. But for the most part, these rules are a must in my life to stay happy and with a great conscious.

    excellent post again dear.
    cheers,
    http://www.abstractorganza.blogspot.com

  • Emily514

    I’m 16, and I can tell you this list is a means for survival in my world. But beyond high school, and your 20s, and probably trough ’till the day you die, this creed reins true. Even more, I think the basic morals of Girl Code: loyalty, encouragement, and friendship, can apply to all genders and all ages. Is “petty” girl-on-girl crime that far off from corporate powergames and international episodes of he-said-she-said? I think we as women should feel proud to have come to our senses and even gone so far as to establish a universal code in order to ensure our humility and prosperity.

  • liz

    I’m late to the game, I know. I had a busy work week. Whatever. I am OBSESSED with this post, Mattie. Way to go, sister. I am sifting through comments, and I think it is interesting that MOSTLY no one is admitting to breaking girl code. It’s all about how they had a friend who violated the code and now they don’t speak, or how if everyone followed this code (like them) Syria would be like the hippest place on Earth. I have several close girlfriends, who have been in my life for years. Some came by way of elementary school, others I met in college and beyond. That said, I am by no means perfect, and have certainly made some major mistakes when referring to Ms. Carroll’s list – be it taking a joke way too far in front of others (including men), to stirring the pot in dramatic situations. I am no saint, that is for sure. But I think instead of harping on about how every woman needs to follow this list because we have been wronged by so many of our friends/frenemies, we should use it as a way to self-reflect. Recalling that ex-friend who stole your boyfriend in ninth grade will open old wounds, and who needs that shit?! Let’s not use this list to condemn women from our past, let’s use it on ourselves to be better friends, coworkers, daughters, sisters, cousins, aunts….. people! We can all do better, not just in our relationships with our lady friends, but with all of our relationships.

    Also, I think Ms. Carroll should add two more tenants to the list, however. 1) Always forgive your girlfriends (the good ones at least). Everyone makes mistakes, and a little grace never hurt anyone. 2) Your girlfriends will most definitely outlive your husbands, so keep them close. They make better soul mates anyways.

    • Mattie Kahn

      Oh, Liz. You NAILED this. The List isn’t just some rubric by which to judge our friends’ behavior. It’s like the ultimate social contract. It only works when we all buy into it. As for extending a little generosity to our true better (bestie?) halves? I’m all for it.

  • sNOW

    Im just confused on why there are lesbians on girl code. why would they put a gay person on that show? ANd many of the girls are attractive and have a bit of an unattractive ego, but theres one girl who is very obese and always goes on about how she has sex all the time. Who the hell would have sex with a whale. I know that is a terrible thing to say, but why does she do that! Nobody wants to touch that!!!

  • Amanda Day

    I tend to dislike females. And its because these rules aren’t followed. Women should be kind to other women; life is short.

  • Kasia

    I’d love it if my friends were comfortable enough with my boyfriend to ‘dine alone’ with him! If you’re comfortable with your relationship and your friendship, it should be a joy to watch the main people in your life get along!
    Obviously if I didn’t trust the girl, or the boyfriend, I wouldn’t love to hear they were having dinner, but that’s the point at which I’d have to tell them that I didn’t trust them etc. and that’s a whole different issue!

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