Sometimes…I prefer the company of men. There. I said it.
Men are simpler and (usually) what you see is what you get. They can take a joke and there’s minimal risk of them regurgitating your deepest darkest secrets to their mate.
I’m a bit controversial, aren’t I? Especially in this day in age. The age of the sisterhood. The age of the relentless campaigning to put women on equal standing in the workplace. The age of the handing of power to women. The age of telling our daughters that being a woman means they can do anything.
I’m not in disagreement, quite the opposite. I just see a problem.
The problem with women is women.
We will never rise to the heights we can, and should, rise to unless we drop the bitching, the gossiping, the backstabbing. Unless we shake off the age-old stereotype.
In my opinion, the “mean girls” culture is still alive and well. It’s more clever and subtle than it was before the rise of feminism, but it lives on. It’s the sinister figure lurking in the shadows of the campaigns for women to unite. It’s the whisper that plants the seed of doubt in young female minds who are being told they can be anything.
It’s never a shout. Never loud and boisterous. Just a quiet, thinly disguised evil. It’s the snigger in class from a group of girls at another table. A whisper in the queue for the Tesco checkout. A snide remark from a friend. A subtle exclusion of the “new girl.” A lack of genuine support. The two-faced conversations annihilating someone behind their back. Deliberate little subtle words and actions. Always there. Always lurking ready to topple good work.
We call ourselves a sisterhood. In my experience, we are anything but.
I see it everywhere. In my daughter’s social circles, in my own social circles, on social media.
We are our own problem.
So by all means, tell your daughter that she CAN be an astronaut, a physicist, a neurosurgeon, a retail assistant, a postal worker, a bank manager, a lawyer, a doctor, a nurse or a stay at home mum. For she can. But don’t forget to remind her to include the “new girl.” To work out ways she can help empower female friends and colleagues. Not to perceive other girls as her competition.
I firmly believe that women possess the power to run the world but we’re not there yet (sorry Beyoncé). We’re still too caught up in tearing each other down. Our focus needs to be turned away from that and towards doing what we’re best at…being brilliant.
For women ARE brilliant. We possess all the ability of our male counterparts but with an added dash of compassion, of motherly instinct. What an amazing combination.
Let’s stop feeding into the stereotype. Let’s look at and notice the women in our lives (metaphorically speaking that is…actual staring would be uncomfortable). Let’s look at our mother in laws, our friends, the new girl at work. Let’s search out their talents, their gifts, their contribution to the world. Let’s force ourselves NOT to see them as our competition but as our teammate.
We’ve come a long way but we still have a long way to go. Let’s leave the bitchiness behind eh girls?
It doesn’t suit us.