In a ridiculously fast world that seemed to have come to a stand-still, all of us are competing to conquer. At some point we were all blindfolded into believing that we all need to run this race, whether we like it or not.
Competing for better grades, a better hike, a bigger home, better social status, and lots of other definitions of success was the goal. They say competition to win starts at the sperm level itself – the fastest sperm to reach the egg wins. But when the result of it is an XX chromosome, somehow unknowingly we girls seem to blindly sign up for another competition, amongst ourselves. Rings a bell?
Ever wondered why it’s always women who have difficulty with breaking the ice with other girls? Women have this pang of jealousy about other girls who are better than themselves? Mom-in-law and daughter-in-law tiffs exist since forever while father-in-law son-in-law relations are not half as bad? Questions about which of us girls are better looking? Who is smarter than the rest, more feminine, more body perfect, more of a bitch, more of a perfect home-maker and all other things comparable?
Remember the silent stench of misogyny during childhood when we were fed with this fodder that we have to be better than the others?
Who was dressed best at the party?
Whose boyfriend is the smartest?
Whose anniversary gift was a bigger diamond? … all of this.
We somehow can’t bring ourselves to appreciate or acknowledge another woman openly. Our acceptance of a female other than dear friends and close family doesn’t seem to go beyond judgmental smirks and hidden mumbles. I wonder if it’s the fear of looking inadequate by being kindly accepting or because our acknowledgement will validate them. I know…it’s probably just insecurity. No wonder, statistics say that for every 100 men promoted to manager-level roles, only 79 women moved up into similar roles. The numbers are even more abysmal for women of color, who make up only 17% of entry-level roles and 4% of C-suite positions.
Despite this, the younger generation seems to be dealing with all this way better- breaking paths and making it easier for all of us to live. Actresses air kiss with more honesty, working women support each other openly at the work place, there are more genuine efforts at home to get along with mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law.
Let’s start small: Walk up to that lady you find impressive and tell her how beautiful she looks. Tell your sister how those earrings look better on her than you. Genuinely congratulate your cut-throat competitor when she wins an award or a promotion. Refrain from commenting on someone’s private life directly or on social media, you have no idea what their life is about. Tell your friend how well she cooks while you’re struggling to make chai. Take charge of the situation if a woman is being harassed in a public place, and if she is scared to deal with it. All this will only show how mature and evolved you are as a person to be kind enough to speak your mind.
So, my point here is that we as women are already dealing with enough plight trying to find our place in the world. We won’t go anywhere at all if we are all going to be the crabs in the box. Don’t you think we all owe it to each other for being such amazing creatures? Here’s what: Be the reason for another woman to smile; be it your mom, maid, sister, mother-in-law, colleague or even a stranger.
Let’s create a sense of security that we are together in this. Never put down a woman at the cost of another, because that’s not a compliment. It’s a competition none of us agreed to.