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A woman writes about the multiple times she has seen women putting down other women – in personal and professional spaces.
Over the years I have realized and experienced this adage fully that “a woman is another woman’s worst enemy.” I know a lot of feminists will be appalled at my conclusion but quite a few from my fellow gender would definitely agree with me.
They say men have tortured and dominated women for ages as it is a male dominated society, but, a lot of times, women have dug their fellow gender’s graves out of sheer jealousy and malice in their hearts.
Since I was little I experienced my grandmother’s malice towards my mother and me, and the instigation of my father against my mother and her family. Unfortunately this behaviour of hers caused our family to regress by a number of years until she left us to live with my cousin sister. But the damage was already done.
Another one of my maternal aunts destroyed my maternal grandmother’s family and still leaves no stones unturned to doing bad or bitching about my mom and her family. A lot of conflicts are due to women in the families.
Studying in an all girls’ convent was no less traumatic. Never in my dreams had I thought fellow schoolmates could be so mean and hateful and jealous, and this is something I kept experiencing over the years as I grew up. There was this girl in my design institute, who started out as my best friend and then turned a whole group of friends against me just out of jealousy.
Or a girlfriend who thought it was okay to pull me down because of my social status and the area I lived in, and another friend who decided to sleep with the guy I liked all the while pretending he was just a friend. Or a cousin who thought it was okay to ill-treat and dominate and throw her weight around while we travelled together on some trips.
I also had the misfortune of working under and with some mean and controlling lady bosses along with some jealous female colleagues. Working with them was no less than a nightmare. Some of them thought raising their voices and throwing things around would prove their point. Or conniving or gossiping behind my back would help them grow in the organization.
It’s funny how a woman can pull down or destroy another woman out of mere jealousy. After marriage I had thought I had gotten another set of parents. But I was in for a rude shock, my mother in law tried to pull me down and dominate me at every instance possible. Being a woman and a mother, I had thought she would support me, but I was so wrong.
Similarly, a good friend of my husband’s turned out to be my greatest nemesis. I had thought after marriage I had found a friend but it turned out, while being friendly on my face, she was actually trying to wean my husband away, despite her being married. That she had a hidden agenda, I wasn’t aware of.
Messaging and calling him day and night, notwithstanding my presence. She pretended to be his sister but used to write romantic messages to him. She was in the habit of extracting huge sums of money from him for years and wouldn’t let him get emotionally closer to me. Nothing that I did impressed my husband.
I know my husband is to be blamed as well but being a so called good friend, she had the onus of making my relationship with my husband stronger. Instead she just did the opposite. I had to put up with this every single day of my life since I got married. Thanks to shifting places and making it clear to her that she was no longer welcome in my life, she backed down for a while.
We blame men for the plight of our society and for women being ostracized. But we are to be equally blamed for not only standing up for ourselves and but also for fellow members of our gender.
While this post raises issues of how women at times devalue each other, it is not meant to be a generalisation of all women, but an illustration of the ways in which both men and women need to overcome patriarchial bias.
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