Girl Power

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Us women folks get a hard time don’t we? We give ourselves a hard time. ‘I’m not good enough’, buy viagra ‘I’ll never achieve that’, ‘I’m not as beautiful / funny / clever / wealthy / skinny / curvy / creative / artistic / educated / powerful / wise / selfless / witty……’
We try our damnedest to teach our children about the important things in life. We love our friends more than we love ourselves. We put others before ourselves as we try to carve out a path in life that’s meaningful to us, our own journey. We rise up together when tragedy strikes, we come together in unison to fight for causes and make the world a better place. We believe in girl power. We try to show our daughters (and sons) that they can be anything, do anything that they dare to dream. Why wouldn’t we?

Yet sometimes, amongst all this, lurks something borne not of goodwill, something radiating negative feeling not positive vibes, something unpleasant and unnecessary. Something downright mean. The woman vs woman challenge is nothing new, and it’s not just restricted to the workplace where women grapple to gain and retain positions generally the reserve of their male counterparts. It’s much more widespread. It’s the snidey comments about what another woman is wearing, it’s the gentle digs at another womans’ choices, it’s the compliments to their faces and the jibes behind their backs. It’s the passing of a comment about someone or something they really know nothing about.

Women get it in the neck in the media daily – ‘too skinny, must be anorexic’, ‘needs to watch her weight, have you seen that cellulite’, ‘breast feeding in public, how dare she’, ‘bottle feeding her baby, not doing the right thing by her child’, ‘staying at home to look after the kids, giving up on herself’, ‘going back to work full time, thinking only of herself’, ‘seeing another new man, shameless’, ‘never goes out and meets anyone, will end up on the shelf’. I could go on, but I don’t need to.

Women like to play down the choices other women make. But I’m curious as to why? (And hey, I know I’ve been guilty of this*) Is it a touch of the green eyed monster? Do we minimise other women’s choices to make us feel less guilty about ours? Is it an attempt to cover up the fact that we didn’t pursue our dream, that we ‘sold-out’?

Having been on the receiving end of this lately, having heard some ‘Supermummy?! Pah! Who does she think she is?’ type chat behind my back, I was surprised, REALLY surprised, with myself and my reaction. Where once upon a time I would have stewed, and fizzed and felt stupid, and stewed again, and worried, and then worried some more about what people thought of me, I only did that for about 5 minutes. I grumped to some of my girls, they shared their experiences of similar sh*t from fellow women, and then, I moved on.
Because, my choices, are my choices. I write for me, I work for me, I pursue other opportunities for me, and if I can’t be true to myself, then something is far wrong.

*So, I’ll fess up.
I skim over Facebook posts on my timeline from a friend of a friend, because I’m annoyed with myself that I didn’t pursue a similar business idea to that which she had, and seeing her success makes me crosser with myself for not being brave when I needed to be. I wish her all good things.

I see women around me in the workplace, on social media, doing their own thing, for their reasons, for themselves. And I’m going to buck the women bashing women trend, and support, and champion what they do.

Who’s with me?

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