There is a moment in every woman’s life where she feels threatened by another woman. Whether it happened during a childish dispute over Barbie’s in the first grade, or it is currently happening in competing for a promotion at work, that moment has occurred. So what if that moment didn’t exist? What would happen if women did not feel minimized or self-conscious when interacting with one another? At any point in time, we have all had a negative thought towards another woman. Maybe you didn’t like the color of Jessica’s sweater, or you thought that Sarah was a little sassy in that board meeting; whatever it was, it happened.
As women, we need to first address the fact that these moments are very real, and understand that they can function as catalysts for change. How do individuals blossom if they do not realize where they need to grow from? We live in a society that is focused on the idea of “the self” – how we can learn to love ourselves, how we can help our bodies, our minds, our souls. So why don’t we take this approach to self-love and learn to love each other as well? Why should women live in a world where we can feel threatened by one another, when we have the power to come together as one?
There are so many reasons why women put other women down. These reasons sometimes stem from jealousy, a feeling that is imperative to let go of in order to move forward. Boy drama, fashion rivalry, thoughts about body image, whatever the case may be, let us use these moments to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Despite our desire to be girl bosses, every one of us can find ourselves in a vulnerable state. Maybe that guy you liked ended up with a woman that’s not you. No matter the situation, do not indulge in making that comment or fueling that rumor. Instead, simply let it go, breathe, and know that this moment of vulnerability is making you aware that women do have an impact over one another. Take this moment of intimidation and use it to realize that no good comes from making other women feel vulnerable.
We have the ability to tear each other down by using the most vile words and offensive names. We call each other “sluts” or “bitches” when we should be focusing on empowering one another. We are in this together, and we need to remember that we are all under enough societal pressure and speculation as it is and should not waste our energy and amazingness on degrading one another. We should be helping each other through this time, proving how bad ass us ladies are!
Treat others how you would want to be treated. How many times have you heard that before? But sometimes, in the most impulsive moments, we do not have a second to internalize this mantra and act accordingly. We should not only treat others in this way, but we should actively work to make a positive impact on the lives of other women. Let us work together to make moments that will resonate with someone, moments that will help each other and that will be embedded in our minds.
That one compliment you give Katie about her new haircut? Well, every time she looks in the mirror and feels self-conscious about it, it is going to remind her to feel beautiful. That time you told Emily she made an interesting comment in class? She now walks into her seminar rooms confidently, more prepared each time because she remembers how empowered she felt after she spoke to you. These small acts of kindness, these seemingly miniscule moments where positivity is put forth, these are the “baby steps” we must take to make a change.
We should not be enemies; we are reflections of one another. We have all been graced by aunt flo’s presence, we have all had our first heartbreak, we are all exposed to that damn glass ceiling, and we are all in a constant struggle every day with loving ourselves. We should not put each other down. We should use every interaction to be positive, to share ideas, to explore emotions, to understand how we are all feeling. If we can do this, if we can get rid of the “who wore it best” and the “hottest woman of the year,” if we can believe in one another and our ideas, we will be able to do great things.