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Women should stand by other women, not pull them down. It is the competition between women in a patriarchal society that is the problem.
Women are the embodiment of compassion and calmness they say, but strangely it does not take long for all that womanly care and compassion to evaporate into the chaos of crony competition and veiled vengeance that is embedded onto our other side.
Oh the patriarchal society we cry! But oftentimes women are the enforcers of strict social norms and approvers of another woman’s appearance, beliefs or behavior to ensure that they fall in line with the male perspective.
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If you mind your business and remain focused on your work, chances are that you will be branded as too tough or the touch-me-not type, if you are dressed in modern clothes you are too westernized, if you are in a salwar-kameez then you are the Behenji types!
Knowingly or unknowingly women are their own nemeses! But aren’t we women tired of this acquired ugliness? Isn’t it time we stood by each other’s side?
No amount of jingoism about equality will take women to greater heights unless fellow women come out of their xenophobic cocoons about that better looking, better performing woman in the office, or at college, or in the neighbourhood, who they fear will stride past leaving them far behind, uncontested!
Although the social scenario for women has bettered substantially, in terms of opportunities and recognition and networking, the ground reality of societal expectations mostly remains the same, both from men and women. This to a large extent has been a challenge for women, to achieve what their male counterparts would otherwise scale with ease.
Researchers suggest that while women are more prone to classifying any given situation into either something that is exceptionally right or categorically wrong. Opinions once formed will linger and often interrupt and influence our decision making/relationship matters but unlike women, men are found to keep their options open and experiment around with any given situation. Probably it is this openness that aids them to perform without any prejudice.
Criticism is never liked. But somehow women are more critical of criticism unlike men who take criticism on the chin and stride past awkward situations to compete instead of taking it personally or feeling offended, especially in workplaces.
All women might not be the same, but the fact remains that women passively compete even among their close circles about matters ranging from their wardrobes to their drawing rooms to their travel plans to kids and even husbands.
Even if you did not indulge in this ugly race, there are times when you are criticized by other women, and if you don’t succumb then you may get on their hate list or isolated away, as the group might not approve of your appearance or aura and will secretly rejoice when you stumble.
But such unproductive competition and resentment often leads to interpersonal aggression and a negative atmosphere.
While there are numerous cases where women have been best friends for life, it is also true that beautiful, successful and smarter women are often met with green eyes and countered with passive traits like social exclusion, bad mouthing or hostile gestures but the best way to counter it is to grow thick skinned and totally ignore it or boldly penetrate the uncomfortable zone of your offenders and befriend them.
Yes the change will not happen overnight but to change this one has to first become aware of the actual problem to counter it and talk about it in a healthy way.
If only we women didn’t see each other’s success or talent or even presence as a threat to one’s survival, if only we didn’t feel our status is being hijacked, there would be no rueful mother-in-law or daughter-in-law diaries!
But is it too late in the day to embrace change?
Image source: tired woman by Shutterstock.
Homemaker by choice and blogger by passion!
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