Women are amazing, aren’t we? I mean, we are the vessels of life, the well-springs of nourishment, the glue that holds the family…ah, hell. We’re pretty frickin’ awesome, if I do say so myself. All of you women who are reading this are nodding or possibly raising your fist in solidarity. Am I right? I am WOMAN, hear me ROAR!
So then, why are we so shitty to one another?
Don’t make that face. We’ve ALL done it. We size up the other women in any given room. We are catty about one another. We gossip about one another. We secretly feel that our parenting is superior to other mothers. Even worse, we feel that our parenting doesn’t measure up to someone else’s and then beat ourselves up by eating whole sleeves of Oreos or drinking too much wine. (Not that I know anything about that.) We put down our own hair/thighs/breasts/feet, you name it. We criticize women for looking too slutty or plain or unkempt or whatever. (Did y’all ever notice that our appearance is judged far more harshly by one another than by any men on the planet?) If another woman happens to be overly kind or gracious, we often question her motives or call her “fake” in order to retain our “bad-ass bitch” status. We say things like, “I get along better with men” or “I’m not into that whole ‘girlfriend’ gig.” Granted, we grow older and hold our friendships more dearly and keep our circles a little tighter than they were in junior high, but in many ways, we keep hanging on to that strange need to one-up each other in order to retain ourselves. What’s the deal with that, anyway?
Do we blame glossy magazine images? Our upbringing? Our lack of self-esteem? A UCLA study found that the more friends a woman has, the less likely are her chances of developing physical impairments as she ages. If that’s true, we need to cut out the bitchiness and build one another up. Women outlive men by A LOT, y’all. The numbers don’t lie. We really need to get it together.
Recently, I spent a glorious afternoon floating in a pool with two other smart, savvy women. We are all of a certain age and our friendships are close enough that we feel completely comfortable with one another. Comfortable enough to ditch the makeup and pretty hair. Comfortable enough to not worry about hairy pits or jiggly thighs. (Damn it. I’m doing it again.) Anyway, our conversation ran the gamut from talking about our children (the good, the bad, the annoying), our appearance (we spent way too much time focused on what we wanted to improve), music, movies, and life in general. We questioned our mothering decisions. We laughed at how crazy life is when it’s invaded by pesky husbands and children. We cried about how life sometimes deals a blow that we just don’t understand. It was one of those sun-baked evenings with plenty of wine flowing that made all the cares of the week fade slowly into the distance. We were in solidarity, if only for a couple of hours. The next morning, the three of us texted one another to expound on the greatness of our evening and make a tenuous plan for another “date.” And we will get together again, because we know that, together, the three of us are funnier, smarter, sexier, and more likely to build (and thereby, validate) one another.
In Galatians 5:13-15, Paul says “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.”
Ladies, let’s all stop being shitty to one another. Instead of sizing one another up, look around and find the beauty in the women around us. Tell another woman that she’s beautiful. (Those words are powerful when they come from other women. They just ARE.) When, as the case may be, some woman is totally deserving of our shittiness, perhaps we could look beyond our anger/hurt/betrayal and figure out why that mean bitch is lashing out. Then forgive her, even if only in your own head. BE that sisterhood.
Most importantly, look in the mirror and tell that beautiful goddess that she is more than enough. YOU. You are MORE THAN ENOUGH. Anyone who tells you otherwise deserves neither your faintest breath nor merest of utterances. They are sand underneath your sandals. DUST. Look at yourself in a mirror and I want you to fucking ROAR!