My Friday, I'm in love links will be a little late this week but I have a lot I want to share so stay posted! One of the links I was going to include is this post on female misogyny by Jamie of I Am Not the Babysitter. You may recognize Jamie as "that mom breastfeeding on the cover of Time" but she really is so much more! I started reading her blog this past January when I began researching interracial adoption and have been hooked. She's not your typical mommy blogger and I love that she's so passionate about her causes. Anyway, her post really made me think this week and I figured it deserved more than a passing mention.
My confession: I have totally been that “all of my friends are men, I just get along with them better” girl.
The last very close female friends I had were in high school. We had a falling out which I don't regret at all. They got into drinking with older boys, partying and sex much sooner than I was ready for such things. Those friendships couldn't continue after that and of course ended with nastiness, gossip and lots of hurt feelings. I went from having a large group of close female friends to being totally excommunicated. I think I was a bit scared of girls after being treated so cruelly by those I trusted.
During college and later as an adult, I made a lot of female acquaintances and even borderline friends but always had such a hard time getting relationships started. Approaching other women was terrifying. There was so much judgement and jealousy to get over in the beginning. Women have to find their ranking so to speak... Who is the most attractive? Who is the smartest? Best dressed? It can be quite the power struggle with wars raged quietly in perfectly timed comments and backhanded compliments. I quickly learned that bitchy, cliquey, competitive behavior doesn't end in high school. It was easier just to keep my distance.
So I gave up for a bit. I was tired of feeling betrayed by other women. I was afraid of being judged. But the deeper problem was that I was becoming exactly the same way. I had learned to judge and be jealous before even getting to know a woman. I started to think of them as rivals instead of compatriots and allies. And I'm totally done with it. I'm with Jamie and I'm not buying that "I get along better with men" line anymore.
I'm going to get over my fear of befriending women. I am going to squash those jealous and competitive feelings, because there is no competition. I am no longer going to be one of those women who tears other women down. I love this simile from an article by Rosjke Hasseldine:
It's so true and so sad. I don't want to be like that anymore. Female relationships are worth fighting for and getting outside of your comfort zone, as Jamie said, and I for one am going to stop being that bitchy little crab at the bottom of the bucket."Without this depth of understanding about how patriarchy has got under our skin, women are in danger of being like crabs in a bucket. As soon as one tries to escape and manages to get to the top of the bucket, the others pull the escapee back down. Fear of not being liked, of being alone, of the consequences of escaping and standing up for your rights and life, are strong motivators that make women pull each other back down to where it is sad but safe and familiar." -Why are Women so Critical of Each Other?