Me and my cousin Makenna
This week one of my favorite blogs in the whole wide world, Roots of She, challenged women everywhere to write about female relationships. Honestly, I can’t say I’ve thought too much about it, but relationships between women are super complicated and often laced with aggression on some level.
How often have you bashed a friend’s clothing choice behind her back? How many time have you heard a girl say “I hate girls. I like my guy friends so much better.” Have you ever said that yourself? Have you ever openly disliked a celebrity or even someone you know because she’s skinny (she needs to eat a freaking sandwich!) or because she’s “slutty” ? Have you ever told a guy to “stop being such a girl” when he’s whiney or sensitive?
I’ve done some of those things too.
Roots of She also posted an amazing article about aggression between women and how it occurs because women aren’t taught the skills for handling conflict properly because anger and confrontation aren’t “ladylike”. Instead of working things out, we backstab each other. We compete. We compare ourselves. We pass judgment based on appearances. We hold grudges. Is that any way to treat our sisters?
Roots of She presented the following three questions for us to answer. If you have a blog, I invite you to copy and paste them and write about them yourself. If you don’t, copy and paste into the comments and answer there. I think all women should think about this, because Mean Girls style cattiness is no way to feel empowered as women.
- What is it that you most desire in your connections with other women?
- If you knew it were possible to create the kinds of relationships between and among women that you really want to see in the world, what qualities would those relationships have?
- What’s the most tender, vulnerable thing you could ask for?
Here we go, I’ll start.
What is it that you most desire in your connections with other women?
Support and understanding! All women understand the female experience, though we all experience it differently. We have such basic things in common, yet we compete and compare. We try to be skinnier, prettier, richer, have a better partner, etc. Why not support each other in this journey? We experience so many of the same things, we understand each other at least a little bit, why not take that and run?
How amazing does it feel to stay up late with your girlfriends talking about anything and everything and feeling heard, validated? That’s what women have to offer each other, even if we seem extremely different.
If you knew it were possible to create the kinds of relationships between and among women that you really want to see in the world, what qualities would those relationships have?
Joy, love, acceptance, safety, and respect.
Respect is a huge. Too often we trash talk an actress because she’s skinny or a girl who wears something she “can’t pull off”, which reduces us to just something to be looked at. Haven’t we been trying to break that mold for at least a century now?
Let’s get rid of the cattiness, the put-downs, the quick judgments and instead see ourselves as part of a sisterhood. We’re all women, we struggle with a lot of the same things no matter our size, race, relationship status, wealth, etc.
Women are so strong. Imagine how strong we could be working together instead of against each other.
What’s the most tender, vulnerable thing you could ask for?
Honesty. I think women fear other women because we know how powerful we are. So, we hide ourselves or try to appear different to avoid reprimand for breaking social code on some level. If we respect and support each other, wouldn’t we feel so much more free to be ourselves? We could be completely honest with each other and celebrate each other’s uniqueness instead of raising eyebrows at appearances or big dreams.
I also want to point our that not all women are openly catty with each other, I just notice that it’s something most of us tend to slip into, and I think it’s all social conditioning. We can un-brainwash ourselves and reclaim our relationships with each other, bong together and change the world. What’s more powerful than that?
Check our the original challenge at Roots of She, and please participate! Answer these questions on your own blog or in the comments below. Thanks!