Female Empowerment: Build Each Other Up
“That girl is super anorexic!” she proclaims in a whisper in a dark bar. I can feel the judgement excitedly spew from her mouth. The nugget of gossip hanging in the air, as she leaves our table to happily say hello to her childhood friend.
I hate that women do this to one another.
We point out other women’s insecurities and weaknesses, and do so to seemingly strengthen our own self-worth. We preach female empowerment: lift each other up, support one another, celebrate our uniqueness and our struggles. But in practice we tear each other apart: we ostracize, we threaten, we disown our differences.
We gossip and criticize, and then turn around and act like we’re best friends.
“She married a billionaire who’s 30 years older!”
“She cheated on her husband.”
“She used to date this guy who said she’s crazy.”
The female energy of love and support shifts—from connection to separation, to me versus you.
Everyone gossips. It’s practically how the human race communicates. We talk about our relationships, what’s going on at work, with our families, with our friends, with our lovers. We brag and complain. And in that muddied mix of words and emotions, trying to make sense of our place in a noisy world, often we also judge. We use gossip not as a means to connect, but as a means to destruct. In fact, we gossip and criticize what we fear and judge inside ourselves. They say a superiority complex comes from an inferiority complex.
I’ve written before about mean girls (read that blog post here),who judge one another based on attire. That’s the most obvious way women beat each other up, yet we also do it with dirty looks and comments about our bodies, our jobs, our relationships—it’s everything and anything. And I wish it would stop.
I wish I could write a blog post that said, “Stop it! Here this is the quick fix.” But there is none. The only remedy I can suggest is self-development. If I don’t myself feel insecure about a particular flaw, I don’t worry about others’ (assumed) downfalls. It also is on me, the bystander, to speak up, to say, “Hey, that’s not kind. You don’t know necessarily what’s going on in her life.”
The more people are aware of their words and glee from others’ pain, the more we can turn inward and challenge ourselves to heal those parts of ourselves we’re judging so tirelessly in others.