I don’t read many articles about the fiercely competitive, caddy, petty, jealous girl-on-girl hate that is so readily visible in American society, and has been a part of most societies since the beginning of them.
In a patriarchal world, beauty is power, and women have always used this power to gain status and wealth. Women compete with one another on various levels, and it’s rarely in a form of healthy competition. We see this portrayed in stories that appear in books or movies, we see it portrayed on TV all the time, we know it’s there, but we rarely talk about it.
Why don’t we talk about it?
More important, why don’t we call it out when it happens?
Men don’t seem to want to talk about it, and women definitely don’t really talk about it. Overall, we accept misogyny as a society, but we tend to think about it as “men who hate women” when it is just hate toward women. I’d risk saying that there are more women that hate on women than men that hate on women.
There is a large movement going on at present that seems to have been sparked by #metoo and has been fueled with political discord. Female empowerment is on the rise. In the revealing of many truths that were previously repressed, as people open up with their feelings ~ there’s still a ton of reluctance and also surprise that we’re opening up to one another.
The ground is still shaky, but the essence is that harassment, primarily from men, has run rampant in our society throughout our entire lifetimes and no one has done anything about it.
That’s where the hypocrisy comes in. No one has done anything about it. Both men and women have equally perpetuated it. Neither really wants to swallow that truth pill.
There are always going to be opposite ends of the isle on this one. There will always be women who use sexual prowess to get what they want and thus encourage the whole culture of sexual harassment by creating the expectation that women putting out to get ahead is viewed as normal. Additionally, there will always be women who will stab other women in the back over petty jealousy. Until that side of the isle changes – the issues will go no where.
On the other side of the isle are women and men who want to help support a healthier societal mindset. On this side, women are supported and celebrated and most importantly, women support other women. Unfortunately, old habits are often hard to overcome and backsliding can and does occur due to conditional support. A woman will support another woman until one of them feels threatened.
Our competitive nature is not easily buried and unwavering support takes a seriously conscious effort. In other words, this requires for women to be aware of when they are feeling jealous or threatened, and to then have to ability to interrupt the thought process, remembering this is ingrained bullshit. We don’t have to be at odds with one another.
The only way to change any of this is to talk about it and call it out. Stop participating in it. Identify it when it is happening and educate the people in the situation about what exactly is happening. It takes supreme courage and true confidence.
Because can you imagine being at a party where a women is bashing on another women for (let’s say) her choice of outfit and one of her peers says, “you know, this is a great example of petty behavior stemming from the fact that she looks really good in that outfit, and it makes you seem jealous and insecure.”? Jaw drop. Awkward silence. Yes. Yet, she may think twice before bashing on someone at a party again.
Um yeah – it takes a lot of courage to call someone out, on anything. We’re finding the courage to call out perpetrators of sexual harassment and abuse, so it seems that talking about where we can also do better, as women, is the very least we can do.
At some point, women must start taking responsibility for the roles we play in perpetrating misogyny and sexual disrespect. We must acknowledge that these ideas have existed all the way back to the ancients. It is said that “prostitution is the oldest profession.”
It seems like there is no better time than now to finally decide to CHANGE the way we see our roles in society. Younger generations are already accepting a more gender neutral world. The world is a constantly changing place and technology has completely transformed global communication. The world just 100 years ago was without television broadcast. No internet. We are in the throws of a new world, and it is our job to right these wrongs now.
It would be a shame for this generation’s legacy to be the tragic story of socially conditioned robots who could not peel back the layers of human confusion and self-interest to find a warm heart inside.
Because, ultimately, we’re just looking for the compassion that should exist in each person to care for those in the household and community. We’re just looking for the meaningful aspects of human life instead of the constant focus on the superficial aspects of wealth, outer beauty, status and power.
Women and men have qualities that balance each other and it is possible for that balance to exist harmoniously. Ultimately, the key is giving up ego and being able to support others without wanting to dominate them. It’s a hard sell, but the truth is, there’s nothing bad about working toward harmony. We’ve already proven to ourselves that the traditional ways of thinking and traditional gender roles do not work in this present day society.
People are tired of accepting abuse. People are tired of entire cultures giving in to the idea that it is ok for certain people to harm or oppress certain people. People are tired of accepting the power hungry, who exert dominance. People are tired of fascism.
Yet, all of the above are a product of what has largely been accepted and brushed under the rug. So now, if we’re going to start pulling off the veil of ignorance, we also have to start looking in the mirror. It takes humility. It takes courage. It takes self-awareness and mental control.
The future is in our hands. It remains to be seen how our generation’s obituary will read.