We Need a 'Sisterhood' (and we need one now...)
While an attractive woman was walking to her brand new Range Rover, I immediately made judgments about her. I assumed that one, she was married to a rich guy who bought her that car, or two, she divorced someone rich. I mean, why should an attractive woman be able to attain success and buy her own car, right?
I caught myself making these unfair judgments about her and wondered why I felt the need to bash this woman for no reason. I didn’t know her at all. All I made were presumptions about her because I was jealous. I was walking to my Pontiac Grand Am in sweatpants, while she looked like a supermodel. Would I have made the same judgments about a man walking to an expensive car?
I’m not the only woman who has made unfair judgments of another woman. I can back this statement up because I play on the golf team at my university with nine other women, which is a breading zone for jealousy. Nasty comments are thrown left and right, especially about girls on other teams we hardly know. They range from whether it’s about how a pair of shorts fits a girl or if her golf is shirt is too tight; yet, in reality, that particular girl really just has an amazing body.
Women constantly seem to be competing against each other. The word “bitch” is thrown around and used as an adjective to describe anyone we don’t like. There seems to be an apparent need to elevate our self-esteem by bringing down other women who have done nothing personal against us or whom we haven’t even met. And truthfully, it completely sucks that women have found themselves pitting against each other, rather than lifting each other up.
I don’t mean to generalize all women, because not every woman is catty towards one other. For instance, I have a wonderful group of lady friends who encourage me in all my endeavors, that never purposefully bring me down, who only offer constructive criticism when they see that I may be making poor choices, and from what I know, they never act as though they’re jealous of my personal success. I can only hope that they feel the same about me.
While I’m lucky enough to have found this group of friends, some women aren’t so lucky.
My friend, Monica, has repeatedly told me, “I’d rather be friends with guys because they won’t go around telling my business to everyone and there’s a lot less drama.”
My other friend, Erin, once told me that she was very cautious of women she allowed into her life because she trusted them less then men.
Our culture even encourages this behavior of women vs. women. Look at shows such as, The Bachelor, where 25 women are fighting for the love of a man they’ve never met. They will literally say and do anything to win his heart, even if it means spreading lies about other girls whom they simply feel threatened by. Or the Bad Girls Club, where a group of seven women live together who are shown at their meanest and nastiest moments, getting in physical fights with other women and showing who’s the “main bitch” of the house.
I began asking around to see why women feel the need to constantly be nasty towards each other. Several different people responded with the same assessment: women compete with each other because of a deeply rooted insecurity about themselves. Instead of being happy for another woman, she showcases how truly jealous and insecure she is through her cattiness and by trying to prove that she is actually better than the woman she hates.
While that all seems apparent, my sister pointed out something very relevant, “I think the reason women cut each other down so much is that they feel they still have much to prove to move forward and progress.”
And, it’s true. Women are still on the quest to attain equality with men. We still get paid less, we are still put in roles that stereotype us to the fullest extreme, and many of us feel forced to use our sexuality as our way to garner success.
But, what can we do about it? Instead of seeing each other as the ‘enemy’, maybe we could actually try to support each other. There is no reason to bring another woman down simply because we don’t have what she does; whether it’s looks, success, brains, or a significant other.
If women have the desire to attain equality, maybe the quickest and easiest way to reach that goal is to treat each other with respect. If society can see that women actually like each other and that we want each other to be at our best and happiest, then there will be no reason why others won’t start treating with us the dignity we deserve. It has to start with us. We can’t expect that things will get better or change if we don’t create a real ‘sisterhood’ that is centered around women lifting up other women. Until then, I suppose we’ll be in the ring fighting it out? But, throwing punches is only going to mess up our manicures.