A few months ago, my dear sister and her beautiful daughter approached me about working on the website for their suddenly-exploding photography business. Trisha was about to take a giant leap of faith about her photography skills, and was taking Lindsay, and her amazing talent for photo editing, right along.

I’ve built and maintained websites for a very long time. Either by hard coding in HTML or using FrontPage to make a design more easily maintained by the site owner, I’ve been there and done that. But I’m a WordPress holdout of sorts. About a year

The past few months have been enlightening if you’re a woman.

We’ve seen countless high profile men come to terms with their behavior toward the female sex. We’ve seen brave women, sometimes even famous, come forward to tell their story of “me too.”

This got me thinking about “girl code” and everything that goes with it.

We women flaunt around this secret society of sorts. We preach about how we lift one another up, we don’t let another woman wear anything unflattering, we hold each other’s hair back if we’ve had too much of the good stuff, and we definitely don’t steal each other’s man. Heck, girl code goes so far as to have secret eye signals about food in teeth or a rogue nose clinger.

A couple days ago, my daughter and I were putting ourselves together to go grab a bite to eat. I yelled from my bathroom that I wasn’t doing much to myself – just throwing my hair up in a bun, grabbing leggings and maybe putting on some perfume so I didn’t offend anyone with my ode to “I just woke up like this.” She yelled back a quick “hell yeah” from her bathroom, so I knew she was on board.

Next thing I know, I’m hearing the rustling of her makeup brushes.

“Are you putting on makeup??” I yelled from my end of the house.

“Ummmm….” She’s soooo guilty.

“You said you agreed to only putting up your hair.” I reasoned, feeling the threat of stabby ire arising.

Her silence told me she was doing a lot more than throwing her hair up. Twenty minutes later, my foundation has been applied, eyebrows are coiffed, and my two favorite mascaras are perfectly brushed on for that perfect plump and lengthen.

That right there is girl code. We don’t let one bitch out of the house without making sure both bitches match glam.

Here’s the rub – girl code, and everything that goes along with it, is somehow secretive. Like, when you’re born into the femmedom, you suddenly somehow know not to blow your BFF’s ex ten minutes after they break up. You automatically know that you’re breaking code if you take a girl’s image and spread it around to everyone in an effort to make fun of her. (We pretty much think that girl should have her womanhood card revoked, because that’s just a bitch move.)

Girl code really transcends gender. It’s all about being a decent human being. You don’t steal shit that doesn’t belong to you. You treat people the way you want to be treated. And you look out for your fellow humans in the face of danger.

With this whole “Me Too” movement, suddenly it’s okay to bring girl code into the spotlight. It’s okay to talk about the shit that goes down behind closed doors, because on some level, each and every one of us women can relate.

If anything, the fact that we women weren’t speaking up about what we were battling is a breach of code in and of itself. Instead of coming to our girls for rescue, we hid our experiences in a shroud of guilt and shame. We felt like we somehow were to blame for what transpired. 

“I should have seen the warning signs.”

“I should have known he was bad news.”

“Maybe I did bring it on myself.”

I’ve had several instances of sexual harassment, from being told that I was hired only because of my looks to having a coworker harass me and a fellow coworker directly. She and I had a “Me Too” moment while chatting about work one day. All of the sudden, we were both shaking at the realization of what was truly happening. And let me tell you, blowing the whistle on a very influential man is not easy. I felt all the guilt and shame any one person could feel during that investigation, even by the line of questions from HR. Each day I sunk a little lower into the fear that I had somehow brought this on myself.

The “Me Too” movement has sparked a movement amongst us women. It’s no longer okay to feel devalued because we have a vagina. This doesn’t make us less of a person. Now it makes us even more valuable. And now it moves us lightyears beyond girl code into “woman code.”

We now have the opportunity to stand up to any egotistical, pompous asshole who dares believe we are less than and open to be taken advantage of. We are women. 

A girl is someone that hasn’t yet experienced real life. Sure, we can all categorize ourselves as girls. Hell, there’s even a country song about “meeting a girl.” And we’ve all heard guys joke about “their girl” with their buds. However, a woman is a higher power. A woman is beautiful, strong, confident, empowered, and exquisitely beautiful in her pure essence.

Right now, we are in a woman’s movement.

Right now, we are creating a woman’s code.

Right now, we women get to write the rules.

It’s time for change, ladies. Are you ready?

Me too.