Why women need to ditch the ‘bitching‘ and start lifting each other up.
I’ve often read (and written) about the fact that women can be mistreated by men in a variety of ways. From catcalling to discrimination in the workplace, women seem to get a raw deal. But one thing I’ve noticed through my time in various workplaces is the way women mistreat other women.
Having been a victim of bullying from other women in the past it’s ultimately pushed me away from the company of females in general. I tend to stray more towards a seemingly safer, male environment. My best friend growing up was a boy and even now my best friend of over ten years is male. Alex is my go-to, my emergency contact: My ride or die! He’s reliable, non-judgemental and, without being harsh, he’ll tell me what I need to hear.
That’s not to say I don’t have female friends, I do. They’re just fewer and the friendships often last shorter than that of my male friends. In fact, I’ve only managed to retain one female friendship in all my life and that would be with my university friend, C.
“When women support each other, wonderful things happen.”
Women can throw out ‘shade’ to one another on an almost constant basis. Our gender is notorious for forming tribes or ‘cliques‘ that often push out others who don’t meet the desired criteria. Just look to the movie Mean Girls for the perfect example. They’re all pretty, thin and white. They talk about their fellow students like it’s going out of fashion and even lay into each other at several points throughout the movie.
How is this helpful or empowering? How is this supportive media for young girls to take in?
It might only be your typical ‘chick flick’, and it may sound like I’m being overly harsh about an admittedly very entertaining movie. But, do you realise just how many young women suffer the reality of bullies like that every day?
I could give you a list the length of my arm full of comments I’ve received from other women in the past about my choices.
Why don’t you wear makeup?
A girl like you can’t wear that!
You need to be more ladylike.
Sit like a girl! Cross your legs!
Girls shouldn’t say things like that.
Even my choices in regards to my partner and family have been under the scrutiny of other women. I’m met with comments about children and marriage that men in my position wouldn’t receive, all because of the ideology that all women want babies and a husband.
Although not all subtle comments are intended to be rude, judgments or comments we make towards others stay with a person. Hearing them on a near-constant basis can lead to a potentially lethal decline in a woman’s self-confidence and identity.