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On yesterday’s Oprah show, Oprah asked why mothers are so hard on other mothers and I think she ought not to be singling out mothers on this point.  Why not ask why women are so hard on other women?  Because it’s not simply mothers who are critical, condescending, disrespectful, and mean.  Most women treat other women with less respect than they treat men, in my opinion.  They expect more, judge more and forgive less.  Less slack is given to women by other women.  Mothers certainly don’t corner the market on being critical and spiteful.  I see it everywhere, not just among mothers. Why is that?  I do it myself (you’ll find I’m contradictory/hypocritical at times but at least I am aware of it and do not go around professing that I am blameless or superior when it’s obvious I’m not like some people do).  It doesn’t count if you put on a guise in public of being sweet and proper then in private gossip or send out emails about other women.  That’s the same thing as being blatantly critical only you‘re taking care to hide it so no one can point a finger in your direction.  I respect people more when they are at least honest with themselves about themselves.

Back to the topic at hand about why women are so critical of other women.  My guess is that inherently women expect more from other woman for some reason and when we don’t think they are measuring up to our standards, we feel it’s ok to say something about it.  We don’t fear what other women will do if they find out we are being critical because we KNOW that on some level they will be crushed and that pleases us.  We think we are elevated somehow by bringing someone else down.  Women are easy targets for other women.  I was watching one of those “fashion police” shows after the Grammy’s the other day and the delight that women take in picking apart the outfits/shoes/jewelry other women were wearing was making me nauseous.  What’s so hard about saying someone looks nice and leaving it at that?  Why must we cut other women down like that?  

In my every day life, I think that I try my best to be kind to all people.  That’s how I start off my days anyway.  I am never aggressive when I am interacting with females UNTIL they do something or say something that rubs me the wrong way then my gloves are off and I am ready to do battle.  I never feel this way with men but to be honest, most men seem to love me and don’t ever give me any problems.  On the rare occasion that they do, I react the same way—my gloves come off and I am ready to fight.

One reason I have a hard time with feminism is that I do not think that most women respect the choices other women make for themselves unless those choices mirror their own.  I admire women who work outside the home so much.  I also admire women who choose to stay home and raise their children and put the hours of hard work in there.  I believe women are much tougher than men, we‘re able to do more mostly because it seems we have no choice in the matter.  I think the strength in women is phenomenal and I wish with my whole heart that we could all be more supportive of one another.  I think the world would be a better place if we could do that.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Laurenj wrote Oct 3, 2008
    • Interesting blog.  I think women expect more of women because we see ourselves reflected.  By the same token, I think most women rely more on their networks of female friends, and count on them when the going gets tough.

      I also believe that both men and women have a hard time acknowledging choices people make that don’t reflect their own personal experiences.  It’s much harder to appreciate the hard work of devoting a life to raising children if you’ve never done it yourself.  

      Your final conclusion is a great one.  I hope we can all learn to be more supportive of each other!

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