#sharedgirlhood is a Twitter hashtag started by the feminist blogger Smash the Patriarchy in May of 2013 in response to an article by the third wave feminist Mia McKenzie called The Myth of Shared Female Experience and How It Perpetuates Inequality, which posited that girls have no universal experiences and that shared girlhood is a myth. In Smash’s words:
Many of us object to the article’s claim that shared female experience is a myth or perpetuates inequality.
What is shared girlhood?
Shared girlhood is the idea that girls growing up under patriarchy are all oppressed based on their being treated as girls when they were younger.
For example, we’re told we exist to please men and be pretty, or we experience unwanted sexual harassment or contact, or we’re told to be small and eat less than boys.
There are obviously huge differences based on race, class, nationality, etc. But there is shared oppression based on sex.
When we grow up and become women, our experience as women is shaped by the way we were oppressed growing up.
Thus, growing up as girls is an important part of being a woman.
The journalist Victoria Brownworth began tweeting on the tag on or about December 12, thus causing a new round of consternation from Men who believe they are Women. Men who believe they are Women necessarily need all to deny that there are common experiences of being socialised female, for if we start recognising these common experiences, you will also notice that Transwomen are socialised as boys and are male. The blogger at Culturally Bound Gender also has an excellent analysis of shared girlhood.
Interestingly, the homophobic blogger Chiller, of #misshapenarm fame, also tweeted on the hashtag, probably not realising how utterly “transphobic” it is for girls to know we are female.