From time immemorial, men has testified that women are complex beings. Being a woman myself, I can admit the same without the slightest flinch. Apparently for the same reasons, woman-to-woman dynamics are complex too. The relation may be of family, friends, colleagues, neighbors or simply acquaintances, it does not matter. It is only logical that women be bound by the universal bond of sisterhood. Who can understand better the pain and suffering, elation and feelings of a woman than another woman? No one.
But instead of understanding and holding each others hand, we spend our energy working against another woman. They say that a woman is a woman’s worst enemy. Well, that’s absolutely true.
Women are always competing with each other, consciously or subconsciously. And what are we competing about? Everything, literally. Husband, children, job, employer, house, landlord, vacations, electrical appliances, furniture and furnishings, garden, outings, cars, clothes and accessories, cooking skills, housekeeping skills, daughter-n-law, son-in-law, grandchildren and everything that we possess or experience. Remember the aunty who is always showing off her child’s or husband’s achievements, her clothes and jewellery or her assets. The bottom line is that people have to acknowledge that we are the best and that we have the best.
When a woman passes by, we scan her. We scan her up and down, front and back, as long as she is in our range of vision. Yeah, we put you guys to shame. And if we are with other women, we then start playing critic; whether her dress/make-up/accessories were awesome/okay/hideous/”didn’t she look at a mirror before coming out?” or whatever.
While at college, two of my female classmates shared a room in the hostel. One of them had a good sense of style while the other didn’t. Instead of pointing out and helping her friend when she wore odd combinations, the first one often ridiculed her in front of a third female.
On more than one occasion, when I have gone out with any one of my closest friends, I thought she could have dressed better. But I didn’t tell her. Well, I didn’t go and made fun of her in front of a third person either. But such memories stayed on and made me wonder why I didn’t I tell them. May be I was apprehensive as to how she would have reacted.
At work, I notice that women hardly compliment each other. Even if the other is looking great, they won’t say a word. They would just scan you. Similarly they won’t tell you kindly that your look is flawed.
Apart from clothes, we can criticise anything and everything about our contemporaries. Be it her skin colour, her body, her husband, her job, her children, her marital status, her family, her accent, her pronunciation; everything. It is because of fellow women that we are under constant performance pressure at home as well as at work.
Be it at home, work or society at large, women want to have all the attention. We want to be the cynosure of all eyes. The most popular female at school, at college, at home and at work. We want to be given importance at all times. A man gets grinded between his mother, sister and wife. All three (mostly two at a time, the wife being the common element) fight to be the most important woman in his life. Daughters-in-law play dirty games and pretense to be in the good books of the mother-in-law. Kitchen politics is the worst kind of negativity that women engage in. At work too, instead of helping each other out, women try to push the other aside and move ahead. Many resort to cheap tactics like backbiting and spreading rumours. But the competition for power is only with the same gender. Yeah, we lack ambition.
Jealousy is perhaps the worst trait in women. It leads her to do incredibly bad things. A jealous mother-in-law tries to poison her own son’s mind against his wife. A jealous sister-in-law plots to gain the upper hand in the household. A jealous sister tries to malign her blood sister’s reputation. A jealous co-worker sabotages her colleague’s work to move ahead. Older women don’t support younger ones’ aspirations and ways just because they didn’t get resources, support and opportunities in their own lives! Jealous women even resort to black magic to ruin other women and their families.
In the race to be the most superior, popular and important, we fight and destroy each other, completely oblivious to the fact that they are failing miserably in the race of life. We say men are against women. But honestly, it is more women who are against women than men. Read history, look around you; you will see ample examples.
But why? Why can’t women support each other and move ahead together? Men all over world move together ahead with a spirit of brotherhood and comradeship. Why can’t women? We are so busy in pulling each other down, that we fail to see that together we can be invincible. Together we can work wonders. Together we can create happier homes and societies. Together we can make workplaces more creative and positive. Together we can build a happier, safer and better world.
We talk about gender equality. So many people, groups, communities, forums and organizations are working towards gender parity and equality. But World Economic Forum predicts that the gender gap would not close entirely till the year 2186. That’s almost 170 years from now. I believe that if women start working together, this gap can be bridged much faster.
Let’s pledge to empower womanhood by empowering each other. Let’s mentor younger women. Let’s support each other in pain and suffering and uplift one another. Let’s lead as well as enable other women to lead. Let’s help each other by being truthful and honest in our opinions and advice. Let’s give our daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, younger colleagues what we didn’t had or get. Let’s be each others’ strength and inspiration. Let’s march ahead together, hand-in-hand, leaving no woman behind.
Cheers to universal sisterhood!
P.S.–The skeleton of this post had been sitting in my “Drafts” for two years. And finally it sees the light of day! Happy International Women’s Day.