I was at the park with my neighbor’s three-year-old child, Autumn yesterday when a boy walked onto the playground.
She shrieked as if the sky was falling and said “Ahh! It’s a boy! No boys!” and ran to find female companionship for the slide.
At what point in our childhoods do we forget how wonderful the fem is and retire our fear of boys ? Nowadays most women have cooties.
Where did the yah, yah sisterhood go?
Why did we stop riding in our pink basket biker gangs with pigtails, snapping bubble gum with our sisters? Running away from boys like they carried the plague, playing truth or dare in a tree house, wearing those ridiculous “B and F” heart friendship necklaces? Taping our boobs and thinking if we French kissed a boy we’d get pregnant?’
These days I find it common that women are stinking mean to one another.
Why do we feel the need to compare, undermine, feel jealous, resent, alienate, seclude, bully and judge the women in our lives at the drop of a hat?
Most of us have experienced being in a pack full of woman and heard them throw another woman under the bus or have done so ourselves.
The University of Ottawa did a study on women’s reactions to an attractive woman dressed to emphasize her beauty in 2011.
Results showed that almost all women were aggressive toward the attractive female whose only indiscretion was to dress in a sexually provocative manner. The women in this situation were more likely to roll their eyes at their peer, stare her up and down and show anger while she was in the room. When she left the room, many of them laughed at her, ridiculed her appearance, and/or suggested that she was sexually available. By contrast, when the same attractive peer was dressed conservatively, the group of women assigned to this second scenario barely noticed her, and none of them discussed her when she left the room.
I am sick of hearing women call other women “sluts” because their legs are breathing. I am sick of women placing unjustified judgments on other women’s sex life. I have great news—it’s not your vagina.
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt.
I too know the compare game. I have been there—struggling awkwardly to pretzel my leg behind my head in yoga and caught sight of a tanned, mala goddess with flowing long hair swept in one of those perfect buns effortlessly lift her manicured toenails behind her head in one swift movement and felt the green goblin of jealousy manifest in my belly.
When we feel jealous of someone we should spend more time with them.
What?! Oh yes.
When we see someone we admire deeply we can either play small and feel jealous, insecure, disempowered, and intimidated or we can play big—we can spend time with them and bring some of that shiny brilliance we saw into our life.
You know what I did with my goblin? I asked that yoga goddess to hang out.
I told her later in our friendship how freaking fabulous I thought she was and exactly how I felt the first time I saw her. She confessed hidden admiration for my own beauty and mutual moments of jealousy on her end too.
We had a wo-mance moment and now she’s a sister in my life—we have an indestructible, glorious friendship. She is a constant source of joy and inspiration to me. I might not ever be able to use chopsticks with my feet while in headstand, but I did form a life long connection with an absolute queen who makes my life rich and nourishing.
You know what wouldn’t have given me the gift of a sister in my life? If I would have chosen to become green with envy, resent and play into my own insecurities.
Telling a woman she’s beautiful or acknowledging the divinity of another goddess does not take away from our own brilliance as woman. If anything, it adds to it.
It echoes that we are at home with ourselves and that we have spent enough time getting comfortable in our skins. It shows that we encompass enough self-love that we can see a queen and salute her confidently.
So my fellow queens, can we reinvent the Ya-Ya Sisterhood?
Let’s just own our shit and all play nice again.
See you in the tree house, sisters.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own