The Envious Battle of Women

Have you ever noticed how many women tend to be the hardest on other women? Unfortunately, one of the bi-products of a sexist system is that women are constantly pit against one another. We are constantly told that the prettiest woman gets the prize—whatever that may be. This creates an environment in which women end up seeing other women as the enemy, and this is where jealousy, cattiness, and even downright maliciousness comes into play. We see this in the term “frenemies” which is most often applied to women. A “frenemy” is a person who appears to be friends with someone on the surface, but ends up doing things to sabotage their supposed friend’s happiness. I’ve experienced quite a few of them in my lifetime. These things can consist of small minor things such as telling them an outfit looks cute when in actuality it does not look good on them, to much larger things such as stealing that friend’s boyfriend. The “frenemy” issue is just one example of how women can, and often do, undermine other women, even those they are supposed to be friends with. This juvenile behavior holds us all back.
Today, women are doing and accomplishing more than ever. We are the fastest growing entrepreneurs. On most college campuses, women are outnumbering men. And women are making more progress in government positions. We are gaining ground when it comes to gaining recognition for our accomplishments, but we still have a long way to go. I fear that women will not be able to continue this momentum of moving forward unless we recognize that we are not each other’s enemy. Another woman who is working hard, and succeeding should not be a threat to you, but a sign of encouragement. It’s OK for women to compete with one another when it comes to working hard to get a better education, or to move up the corporate ladder, or other markers of success. However, when it comes to individual gossiping and badmouthing other women just to make them look bad, this is where we need to reconsider our actions and ask who this behavior is benefiting. My hope is to see more and more women encourage and root for one another to succeed, to break down barriers towards living in an equal society where we all are appreciated and respected for who we are. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what makes one women go through such extreme measures to see another woman fail, causing a division in our sisterhood?  Is it low self esteem? Is it the intimidation factor?  Are they just mean girls? What do you think it is?

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