I was one of an estimated 500,000 participants in the Women’s March that took place in Washington, DC on January 17th. Sister marches occurred in cities across the country and around the world. Women of every culture and ethnic group participated. Sisterhood was evident. The mood was intoxicating. There were some men there supporting us, too. But this isn’t about the men. It’s about us. Women.
In addition to appearing to enjoy the camaraderie, every woman who I encountered was polite and pleasant, even when we were so crushed together that we were stepping on each other’s toes. I’m not a novice to rallies and marches, but I’ve been riding the natural high of the Women’s March ever since that day. Then, recently as I was chatting with a male friend of mine, he burst my bubble by stating what I already knew.
He did not bite his tongue when he said that the irony of the situation is that some of those same women were “Perpetrating. Hypocrites and haters.” They were showing solidarity with their “sisters” but would soon be back at work or going about their everyday activities, and then the claws will come out. “They will be bad-mouthing, mean-eyeing, back-stabbing and hating on” other women. Ouch! Women know that this stuff goes on, but you feel so transparent when hit with the naked truth by a man. So as much as I wanted to disagree with him, I didn’t.
Do you wonder what makes women so cunningly (or sometimes obviously) envious and hateful toward other women? I don’t know a woman who hasn’t either been the object of clawing or has shown her own claws. It is not improbable that many women wearing those pink kitty caps during the march had their claws concealed within mittens and gloves on that chilly day.
We’ve all seen it or we’ve been IT. If an insecure woman perceives that another woman is smarter, prettier, or more popular than she, it triggers her ire and the claws come out. If she is not only an insecure but also a manipulative and controlling woman, she will do whatever she can to diminish or destroy the woman who she perceives to be her competition, her imaginary enemy. You would think that this is something you see only among immature school girls; but many grown women act just as childish.
When will women realize that your self-worth cannot be measured by someone else’s? But your empowerment can come from being supportive of like-minded women. Face it; there will always be another woman who is prettier, smarter and depending on your personality – she may even be more likable than you.
The instinct of many of my self-confident friends and my nature is to be helpful to other women; not only in the workplace but everyday situations.
Some women refused to vote for Hillary Clinton for no other reason except that she was a woman. Oh, they made up flimsy excuses like, “You know those emails.” Or “How could she stand by her man considering ….” Truth be told some women refused to vote for Hillary simply because they envied her. Hillary had the chutzpah to get into the campaign trenches. She had the audacity to do something that – given the opportunity – some women wouldn’t or couldn’t garner the nerve to do. Women need to be supportive of each other. To do otherwise is irrational.
Author Nkem Ikeke wrote, “A lady walks into a room, and some other ladies in the room start to hate for no reason…Unlike men, women will often dislike another woman for no logical reason at all.”
Will the day ever come when women stop seeing other women as their competition? Perhaps the Women’s March was a beginning.