These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Women. My Girls. We Chicas. What are we doing?

I wonder why women so often can't be nice to each other. And don't come shooting through the internet and hurt me over that statement until you read on. I'm not bashing My Girls, or at least not all of them and not always. Truth be known, however, we are all guilty from time to time.

So what am I talking about? Something has been rolling around in my head for several weeks now, and when I recently read this post, it made me realize I need to get it out.

We women are often not supportive of other women. I'm guilty at times, and I know you are, too. We should be tuning into each other, listening to each other and helping each other to get through life. We are all fighting to make our marks in life, marks that are often ignored by others. And by "others" I mean men, yes, who already have a step up on the ladder, but I also mean other women whose remarks and actions are perhaps even more stinging. Why? Because we understand more about another woman's struggles than men can possibly perceive. We get it because we live it. And yet I hear ....
"Well, if you can wear that and get away with it, so can I."
"Those jeans you are wearing are size 14? They must be mismarked."
"You're going to do what? You can't be serious."
"Can't you talk about anything but him? Nobody can be that happy."
"She's not that smart. She must have had that promotion because she in 'in' with her boss."
"She's a know it all, and I'm tired of her running everything." (from a person who declined to be part of a committee to "run it.")"She seems so perfect you know it has to be a front."
"You can't do that."
Do any of those sound familiar? I've heard all of these said to myself or to other women, with a few adjustments to make sense without giving details of the circumstances. Every one was said at a time that detracted from an accomplishment of the person to whom it was directed, or a time in her life that was particularly happy. And every one took away from the joy of the moment. Every one withheld encouragement for the woman who needed and deserved it.

I'm not saying that we should let our sisters go out in public with her skirt tucked in her pantyhose without telling her or walk into a situation that is a sure disaster without a loving caution about some fact(s) that she may not know. No, that is as bad as the uncalled for put downs. But I think we need to be better at supporting each other as we try to get ahead. It should be possible for us to express concerns without being critical and to be supportive without jealousy.

We've lived a long, long time in a world that had decided that women couldn't keep up with men and thus were a rung down on that ladder. The thing is that women have a different measure for our successes. We shouldn't be compared to men. There IS a difference, thank goodness. The world is gradually learning to rate each person for his/her accomplishments and successes in various categories. Stay-at-home-dads have given us a tremendous boost, showing that the stereotypical roles are over emphasized, as have the successful rise of women in public positions in business, politics, etc. But sadly, it seems to me, we chicas haven't learned to support each other in a loving spirit. Unfortunately, it seems we still feel a competitiveness among ourselves that is terribly destructive. And it trickles down to the most basic and simple .... kicking each other in the knees over daily successes and happiness, and jumping on the negatives with gleeful hunger. Can we stand for other women to be happy? Happier than ourselves? More successful? I don't know.

We women are jealous of each other. I think we often are jealous because we have to try so hard to succeed (especially in a world traditionally led by men), and giving anyone else recognition for a job well done, a talent, a skill, seems to mean we take ourselves down. Why is that? That is faulty thinking! I learned something while serving as a department head .... The group is only as strong as the leader, and the leader is only as strong as the weakest in the group. A good leader builds a group that is strong enough to stand on their own and function well in her absence. To lead otherwise is to keep others beneath us, as we so often do. Yet, to be honest, every time we lift one of our sisters, we also lift ourselves. So why, why, why do we beat each other down???

I'm reminding you, me, all of us .... When you have an urge to snipe at another woman, stop for a moment and ask why? Even if she is less than honorable about her life, her behaviors, do you want to be on her level or would you rather elevate yourself by elevating .... or at least not denigrating .... another woman? I'm trying to chose the latter. I'm not perfect, by a long shot, but I'm working on being a better sister.


  1. I think women are harsher on other women than men are. We think we are dieting and fussing over our clothes because men want us to look a certain way but really it is our internal critical voice and other women's critical voice which causes it.

    Do you think it matters if women are gay or straight? Are lesbians more supportive of each other? My sister is gay and I would say she and her chick friends can be critical of each other.Which to me proves that we women cause our own competitiveness. Straight women like to blame men for expecting too much but it is not their fault.

    I consider myself a feminist but as I get older,the more I realize that women are not taking enough responsiblity for our selves and that the revolution has to come from within (which I think is a title of a book by Gloria Steinem)

  2. (M)ary, I agree that we are hard on ourselves and each other. And yes, we dress for other women. I think we fear the criticism of other women. If you think about it, many women ask a husband or boyfriend how they look, but aren't convinced till another woman assures them. The critical voice is internal and external from other women, and I don't get why.

    Are gay women any better at this? I would say no, but I hope one of my lesbian friends will chime in and say what their experiences are. My observation is the same as yours .... no, they have the same situation, as far as I can see, but since not only most of their friends but their loves are women, it seems they often get it from everywhere. Let's hope to hear from someone with first-hand experience.

    I agree that we have to take charge. And it is hard, because while I believe that we should be equal with men, I also enjoy many characteristics of being "a woman." I know other women who feel similar. So how to we throw out the bathwater without tossing the baby? IMO, the first steps are to quit trashing each other, to learn to support one another, and to recognize that "different" is good, it is not more or less beautiful, more or less important. Our being different as women is a good thing; it makes us fit together like pieces of a puzzle, and how boring would that be if we were all blue or yellow? I'm the puzzle piece that has a pebble and bit of the ocean and you are the piece with a tiny bit of a cloud with a green leaf in it. We are both beautiful, in our own ways, contrasting yet part of the whole. That seems simple, but we can't seem to make it work.

  3. Amen sister, I think teen girls are the meanest to each other why do I say this Sarah is 12 and there are clothes that she has worn that other girls have commented on like that makes your butt look big or something along them lines. But Sarah has the confidence not to let the comments bother her. I think girls and women need to support each other cause its a hard world.

  4. I could not agree with you more, and it starts at such an early age. For the life of me, I don't understand why this happens time and time again. I'm guilty of some of these things myself, but I'm truly making efforts to be a better sister. We are all in this together, struggling with the same issues, needing support and friendship. Excellent post, it is something I have thought about a lot.

  5. This is on my mind quite a bit actually. When I was younger, I assumed this kind of thing would go away as we age. It hasn't. With my own recent battle with a few mean coworkers, I believe the universe through a softball at me and made me the target so that I could really understand how hurtful I'VE been in the past. (and if I am to be honest, the very recent past.) I catch myself thinking the worst, and the Real Housewives show is one of my favorites. So I expect a few more softballs need to be thrown at me.
    It bothers me that my best friends are male. It bothers me that at this age, I have to be reminded.

  6. Bobbie, you're right, girls are very mean. And I think back to my childhood, and I wonder if I was in my own little world and just didn't see it, but I don't remember girls being mean. Not like today. When one lost a boyfriend to another girl, she could be mean, but not just to be mean. I wonder how we've gotten to where we are now?

    Cheryl, yes, I think we are all guilty at times. I know I am. I just don't understand why? Read my reply to Bobbie above. The thing is that over time I believe all people, not just women, have become more cold, uncaring. It is past time for us to quit beating each other up. The world is doing enough of that!

    Julie, as I said to Bobbie, I didn't see it when I was young, but certainly began to see it more over time. Standards are set when we are very young, and they don't often change, unfortunately. Karma? It can be a bitch, can't it? I'm a long way from perfect, but I can say that I try, and except for a few times in my life, my "bads" have been in retaliation, not that it makes it OK. I started out watching Real Housewives, and at first I thought it was funny, but at a point, I quit for 2 reasons: first came the situation of a grown woman having an affair with a teenager (which revolted me as a SW and as a woman), and when I realized the lack of integrity among the women, the meanness and the moral and ethical/moral void. IMO, it is one of the worst possible programs because of the example it is putting out for the "mean girls" out there. I'm really worried about our future.

  7. Oh, Julie, I was thinking of Desperate Housewives, so ignore that part of the comment. duh.

  8. It's almost like we think there are only so many guys/jobs for whatever to go around...

  9. Mary Ann, that's a good point, but why?? It just doesn't make sense, does it?

  10. I was trying to remember when someone had an affair with a teen on the Real Housewives! LOL! I've never watched Desp. Houswives and now glad I let that one slide by me. The reality version is just as catty and mean though.

  11. sighh. One of those moments. I went away and was doing other things, and all the sudden the light in my head clicked on.

  12. I read this post right after you posted it and I have been trying to think of what I want to say in my comment.

    I have no idea why women are so mean to each other. Most of the gay women that I have met have always been very nice and I have never had any problems. I have always felt more at peace with gay women (even when I am not dating them) and I feel like they accept me more then straight women. Sometimes I feel like straight women are judging me because of my weight or style, but I never really have felt that with the lesbians I am friends with. But I also know that this all could just be my own issues.


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!