In this society where we live in, it is often said that women are their own worst enemies. The very same women fighting for women rights, feminism, girl power, women empowerment, who ought to be role models and mentors to younger women are the very one waging these battles. Why is it that we are more comfortable with male bosses and vulnerable with females? Why is it that we prefer our future families with more male members than females? Why is it that female friendship don’t stay for long? What’s at the root of this unhealthy rivalry?
Is it that we think there is scarcity of opportunities for women in this male focused arena and we cannot afford the fellow woman to outshine us. Or maybe it is easy to put down a woman and prove yourself. Or may be we have a soft corner for the opposite sex or we think men are stronger and don’t feel the need to compete with them.
There is no denying the fact that for a woman, it is hard to listen anything good about the other woman. Though most women hate to admit it, they still judge each other on looks, age, physical appearance, social status and sex appeal. This is terrible, but true. Women are relieved when another woman is not more attractive than they are.
To be very frank every woman including me could relate to this weird feeling. For many women, high school was where we cultivated our first real thoughts of society, our first inklings of how life worked. Too often, what we learned was an emphasis on competition and comparison. We spent our days wondering how we could get that boy’s attention and why that girl was prettier or smarter or better than we were. We secretly hated them because they secretly hated us.
This is something we have grown up watching, the “saas-bahu” tv serials which profoundly exclaims that they are a reflection of the social stature of a woman-to-woman relationship, adds fuel to our wrong belief system. Jealousy, hatred, mistrust, competitiveness, apathy etc. are part and parcel of the weird feeling we share among each other.
It’s not that we are taught to feel like that, but subconsciously every woman has this feeling in them. A woman never trusts another with any piece of advice, her compliments, her distress, her exaggerations etc. We often notice that women are very outspoken and wherever they go are easily able to jell with others and soon finds out something to gossip about with their spying skills. This little group of the eavesdroppers presumes that they are the bosom buddies not knowing that one of them becomes the new masala topic as soon as she gets up from the conversation. Or may she know but still sticks around because all women are the same.
There can be nothing more miserable than to have an irked female boss and if you the unlucky one, she leaves no stone unturned to ruin your life, and there comes us trying very hard to flatter her to spare our lives from her evilness because the guys wouldn’t have to do much, you know what I mean!
However, there is something else to be more worried about; the relationships you cannot avoid living under the same roof. The “saas-bahu”, “nanad-bhabhi”, “devarani-jethani” are the few deadliest combos which you are gifted along with your wedding vows to live upto for the rest of your life. The obvious obligation to please one another starts from day one; whether you like it or not. Even if you do things by heart you are judged with every gesture & reaction and you too judge back and make false opinions of your own.
Whereas on the other hand, we can have various examples of the closest bonds women share in terms of “best girlfriends”, “mother-daughter”, “sisters” where there is no room of that weird feeling I talked about. You share your deepest secrets, guilts, gossips, sadness, happiness, advises, tips, ideas, future plans, personal and private matters with one another. Even if you make the other angry, shout, steal or betray- it is all fine. You are more than happy to see the other flourish and progress in life.
So why is this weird feeling not for everyone but restricted to some tagged relations, as we never get the opportunity to pick and choose any of the relationships for us, it’s just happens and comes our way and we have to accept them as it is. It is the fact that a woman is the only one who could understand exactly what the other goes through but it affects only depending on the category of the relationships she falls.
This is something to be worked on and this time we got to learn something from men because for them whether it is a friend, a cosin, a brother-in law they have the same empathy for all of them. Things are not that complicated for them but we make them complicated for us. It needs to be understood that the social comparisons with which we are engaged into is always done with someone whom we subconsciously believe superior to ourselves undermining our self-worth and our confused place in society. Unfortunately, we end up in making comparisons with even people close to us.
The fight against gender inequality can never be won if we ourselves continue to propagate gender injustice. Women need to stand together in support of each other and work together to bring about a change in attitude of the society.