“We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.”—Beyoncé
Societal Expectations Are Full of $h!T
In a woman’s world expectations are everywhere and in everything-but always with a contrast.
We are expected to look perfect, but not fake. Ambitious, but not head-strong. Outspoken, but coy. Driven, but cautious. Motherly, but sexy. The list goes on.
If you don’t already know, let me tell ya’…these are impossible to execute at all times. If at all.
Coming from a woman I can tell you, all of this pressure is taxing (and I haven’t even peaked yet). There will be those who attempt to be the “perfect package”, but because we know that’s not possible, their insecurities find a way to surface. For some, this insecurity will come in the form of anxiety and/or depression while others cope by hating on other women.
Yup, many women feel better when they make other women feel terrible about themselves.
There will be those who attempt to be the “perfect package”, but because we know that’s not possible, their insecurities find a way to surface.
I’ve always found this coping mechanism to be especially disheartening because this approach hurts others who are innocently trying to live their lives and falsely empowers those who are clearly hurting inside.
The Real Effects of Cattiness
Real life isn’t like Mean Girls. In the real world, catty women can affect the livelihoods of others and can compromise reputations that have taken lifetimes to build. I myself learned this lesson soon after turning 23. I began working my first corporate job, and for some reason, my direct superior decided she had it out for me. She purposely sabotaged my position by withholding information and speaking poorly of me to others but she never once took the time to get to know me. Instead, she saw me, the young college graduate with cute hair as a threat and decided to X me out.
Luckily for me, after a few weeks of feeling worthless and broke, I realized she did me the biggest favor! I eventually got tired of feeling bad for myself, so I went back to the drawing board and honed in on my passion. And guess where that led me?
For many women though, they are not able to shake off that female bully. These experiences can hurt the overall mindsets of otherwise happy-go-lucky individuals, and that’s what makes this cycle that much more distressing!
Living In A Patriarchal System Is Bad Enough
It’s no secret that historically women have gotten the short end of the stick in society. Men dominate the high paying jobs, positions of power, and for whatever reason even get to decide what women can and cannot do with their bodies. The amount of perks that comes with being a man is inconceivable.
With that being said. Isn’t it clear that women already have to fight to get a seat at the table? So, why should we also have to worry about each other getting in the way? Wouldn’t it make more sense to work together to break barriers and create opportunities for each other?
Um, yes. That makes a lot more sense.
Shifting the Culture
Ladies, we have nothing to lose but everything to gain when we empower each other. Let’s remember that. Please. Competition can be healthy, but we need to make sure it stays conducive to the growth of us all as a collective. There is something about female togetherness that breeds excellence- no matter the circumstance. We open doors for each other. We lend insight on problems only we face. But, if we’re too busy talking shit about one another and tearing each other down for arbitrary reasons (i.e attention of men, status, ego) we will never know the power of true sisterhood.
I dream of a day when women are fully aware of their power and how beautiful it is to make each feel unique and full of purpose.
Till then, I promise to do my part.
Much love sis