Before going any further with this post, I want to say that I have been extremely fortunate to be surrounded by some very incredible women whom I am lucky to call my best friends. They are the people that have stood by me through thick and thin- and we have shared so many valuable memories that my life would not be the same without them. They are each unique in their own way and I have no doubt they will do great things.
That being said, however, not all my encounters with fellow females has been positive. In fact, some have made me completely reconsider what has been said about all of us being in this together, how we’re supposed to form some sort of sisterhood. Given that we already face great issues when it comes to gender inequality, you’d think we would stand up for one another.
But no, that’s just a fantasy.
You see, we women can get very preachy at times. Especially when those around us choose to lead their lives differently. We can’t seemingly understand that we can make different choices in life while neither of us being wrong or right. The world is not black and white yet we are persistent in making it as such.
For example, wanting to focus on my career instead of becoming a stay at home mother does not make me any less of a human being or a woman- and vice versa. Taking my own reproductive health into my own hands does not mean I am standing in the way of God’s plan or damaging “my future.” Not thinking of my relationship status as the main drive of my life does not undermine my abilities and capabilities: it helps me understand who I am and what I want in life.
We love bringing each other down with the goal of bringing ourselves up. Since we can’t get any sense of justification elsewhere, we tend to make everyone feel like they don’t know what they’re doing and they’re wrong, so we can feel utterly superior.
We pass on criticism and judgement so easily that it’s probably now built into our nature. We cannot accept it when someone is successful and accomplished, yet diverts from the narrative that we have been led to believe our whole lives.
When someone manages to leave a mark on the world, there will always be women that will pop up with comments like, “Oh, but she neglected her family to get here,” “she probably didn’t do this on her own,” and my personal favorite “But she’s not beautiful! No man will ever look at her!”
The internet has given us a big chance to spread this venom everywhere. You see it in comments, in posts, in photographs. Whenever you post something about your life online, you’re bound to hear a lot of ugly things coming from people who should know better, who should know that being a woman (no matter what you do with your life) is already hard as it is. It’s not just about choosing what to wear.
Whether you’ve had three kids by the age of 25 or decided to dedicate your life to exploring the world, no one should point fingers and weigh one versus the other. Doesn’t our own happiness matter anymore?
Besides, we have much bigger issues to worry about. You know, things like rape, reproductive health, breaking the glass ceiling , cat-calling, the right to an education, FGM, lack of representation, violence?