WOMEN
03/18/2014 09:41 am ET Updated Mar 18, 2014

Feminism's Un-Celebrated Weapon: Kindness

David Lees via Getty Images

The first time I remember knowingly screwing over another girl, I was 10 and it was so I could be May Queen. Every May Day, my school would celebrate with an outpouring of rural British tradition that means, even now, I only feel truly at home when I’m watching The Wicker Man. There would be country dancing. There would be a May pole. There would be Jack of the Green, voted for from the year six boys.

But Jack of the Green was a subsidiary role, and the competition to fill his prancing position was always muted compared to the real contest. Because there would also be a May Queen: one girl elected from all the oldest girls, who would wear her best dress and be decked with blooms, honored at the revels and attended by the runners-up. One May Queen. And when I was in year six, I wanted to be her.

Read more on New Republic

CONVERSATIONS