I wanted to write about an annoying phenomenon that I have observed in my life countless times (and even used to participate in…): Girl on girl hate.
Here’s what I’m talking about, women saying things like…
· “I’m so glad I’m raising sons and not daughters, I could never do it!”
· “I work with mostly women…so you know how it is.”
· “Well…you know how mean girls can be.”
· “I just don’t get along with women as well as I do men.”
And so on and so forth. Chances are you’ve probably said something along these lines or had a conversation with a woman who has.
What I’m wondering is WHY? Sure, there are probably a few guys who have said something about not getting along well with other men, but they are very few, and very far between. It’s just not commonplace to hear a man talk about how glad he is that he doesn’t work with mostly men, or how happy he is that he’s not raising boys.
I could launch into a whole theorist perspective about how because what is masculine has forever been deemed RIGHT, and what is feminine has forever been deemed WRONG, people tend to overemphasize the virtues of things associated with men, but I’ll spare you. My basic point is that if women want to be equal with men in all the important areas, we have got to stop breaking ourselves down.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million times: A woman can be women’s greatest enemy. For a man to hate women and everything considered feminine is one thing (and a problem no doubt). But for a woman to hate women and everything considered feminine is a huge blow toward elevating the situation of ALL women.
It’s one thing men figured out long ago: solidarity. Women are socialized to rage mind battles upon each other, each one trying to socially damage the other, breaking each other down…it’s where we get the gender stereotypes surrounding cattiness, gossip, and other forms of relational aggression. While men are much more prone to physical aggression, they are much less likely to carry on pure hatred toward each other for extended periods of time. (When was the last time you knew of guys who were in a “fight” with their best friend, and not talking to each other?) They are much more likely to adhere to a sense of brotherhood. (A “bro-code” for you How I Met Your Mother fans.)
Now, I’m speaking in sweeping generalizations. We all know there are women who have a strong sense of sisterhood. Nevertheless, relational aggression is undoubtedly socialized in us at a very young age.
What I'm getting at is this: unless and until all women can simply agree to stop the self-bashing speak, it’s going to be very difficult to get everyone to agree that feminism’s purpose is legitimate and needed. So long as there are women who buy into the idea that women are just harder to get along with, women WILL have a harder time getting along together. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts, and one that makes it very difficult to work together toward a common goal.
And trust me, when a group of women come together, truly believe in something, and drop the ideas of how women are “supposed to” act to each other, it can be the best environment of all.