Ever had a female friend say, “I hate other women.”
Did you agree?
When that ‘friend’ says how she wishes other women were “more like guys,” or how girls are “catty” and “gossip,” do you tell her she is perpetuating a stereotype and belittling the female population?
When she gloats about being “one of the boys,” do you remind her that a statement like this could be misinterpreted as an assertion that in order for a woman to be likeable, she has to be a man?
It’s easy and difficult for me to understand why women can claim to “hate” other women. Unfortunately, we are conditioned from a young age to view other women as competition that we must compare ourselves physically and mentally in order to assess our worth. This mentality starts young with TV shows like “Toddlers in Tiaras” and grows up into shows like “America’s Next Top Model.”
The need to be the “top female” is reinforced when the media measures a woman’s worth by her relation or value to a man. Watch any episode of “The Bachelor,” and you’ll get the point.
Some females believe that message and incorporate it into their reality. The result: cat-clawing each other in order to embody the ideal of being the best.
I refuse to push the blame of anti-sisterhood messages on the media or men because that is an easy cop-out. So who DO we blame for this woman-hating attitude?
The time is now for women to love one another and start treating each other with respect.
Rather than envy other women, admire them for who they are. Maybe you have a friend who’s straightforward. You could either perceive her as confident or conceited: it’s your choice.
Emulating men perpetuates an inaccurate idea that men are superior: be a woman. This does not mean you need to focus on a set of stereotypical feminine traits, just focus on being you.
This isn’t womanhood versus manhood. It isn’t a race to the finish, and life is too short anyway. Why participate in a competition that in retrospect isolates us? Camaraderie and self-acceptance seem more fulfilling. Embrace yourself, accept others and appreciate their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t buy into the women-hating propaganda. Just like violence begets violence, women-hating begets an anti-female perception.
Katherine Curtis can be reached at email@example.com.