Five Ways Women Put Each Other Down
“Women are catty”
Women are jealous of each other”
“I love watching a good catfight”
Haven’t we all heard these statements (or variations of them) several times? It seems as if this is not only a given, but a must – a stupid label that seemingly defines how we navigate our relationships with each other. Why don’t women support other women? This question baffles me every day. The problem is that many of us are unaware that we make statements that hurt and divide us all the time instead of fostering a sense of sisterhood between us. By tearing each other down, it’s as if we’ve fulfilled some kind of weird desire to be dominant, or better. If more women helped each other and understood that mutual respect is the key to pushing each other further; we’d be so much better off. The following five ways are part of how some women can inadvertently put each other down every day, and why it needs to stop.
Looking For Flaws First
To fully explain this point, here’s the following scenario. You’re with a friend and you see a woman walk by. She’s absolutely gorgeous; flawless outfit, hair, etc. and she’s turning heads. Then your friend goes: “Look at her toes! They’re so crooked and ugly”. Why look for flaws first? As a woman, I know how long it can take to get ready for an event or nice time out. Wouldn’t it suck if another woman wanted to pick out that one thing that isn’t perfect, and choose to highlight it instead? It’s ultimately better to give each other credit where credit is due, and focus on what can be admired. Nobody is absolutely perfect, and nobody seems to remember that.
Slut-shaming is something that most women have been the victim of; where a woman is called bad names by her “perceived” and real sexual experience. If a woman does it (whether it is true or not), she is shamed, spoken ill of, and considered a slut. Here’s the deal though: Women who reject sexual advances can also be called sluts. She just has to be a little too friendly, wear something a bit too short, or make just a tad more eye contact than she “should”, and she’s considered bad. Unless this woman is forcing you to watch her fornicate (which seems highly unlikely) you have neither a right nor is it any of your business labelling a woman based on what you think is “morally correct”. This is going to happen to you too. You may be as fresh as the driven snow, but one wrong move may get you called a slut. At least let’s not do it to each other.
Whether it’s a lifestyle choice, fashion choice, or even parenting choices; there’s always an unspoken competition that has been imposed on women as to who’s doing it better. Instead of applauding our respective choices and supporting each other, it seems easier for some women to tear each other down. How one woman lives or chooses to live is her business; unless you’re being directly affected by it, be a shoulder to lean on instead of someone who aims to deliberately hurt someone else. You have absolutely no idea what this woman is going through, and whatever choice she makes is something that is a byproduct of her life and experience. Walk in her shoes instead of judging why hers aren’t as expensive as you’d like them to be.
Whether She’s Stay At Home Or Has A Career – She Can’t Win
Women get a lot of unwanted, bullshit opinions whether it’s from strangers, friends, or even family. Stay-at-home moms are scorned for doing “too little” and those who have a career are seen as selfish. Just because a woman doesn’t live the way people want her to, it’s never okay to belittle her or think any less of her. Support other women despite their life choices, and the stigmas will disappear one by one. Is it really worth it to tell a mom that she should work to help her partner? Is it necessary to remind a woman with a career that she’s “missing out” on watching her children grow up? Chances are, she’s already pretty aware and by showing your support, she will be grateful for the break instead of the constant negativity.
Teaching Them To Compete When They’re Young
Instead of fostering a sense of responsibility in our girls, many mothers instead teach them to compete and tell them that they are prettier than all the other little girls. This not only hurts the girl, it hurts the mother. Friends, sisters, and cousins are constantly compared to each other in an endless game of “who wore it better and who did it better” and instead of teaching little girls how to be a friend, we create animosity between them that is a direct reflection of their mothers. The constant one-up needs to stop: Oh your daughter won the school spelling bee? My little munchkin won the STATE finals. Good for you – what have you taught your daughter about integrity and friendship today?
Women have to go through so much shit all over the world: Lower pay, men who think it’s a religious duty to throw acid in their faces, clitoral cutting or Female Genital Mutilation, honor killings, dowry killings, domestic abuse, forced prostitution, and the list goes on, and on, and on. Nitpicking isn’t going to help – remember: divide and conquer.