It’s an all-too familiar scene, a woman walking into a room greeted by the other women with only harsh stares and whispered comments. It’s a strange defense mechanism we ladies have picked up over the years – to find, even if by force, as many faults in others as we find in ourselves; to make ourselves feel better by making others feel like s**t. But does it really make us feel better? Or does it just make us feel as bad about ourselves as we’ve made someone else feel about herself?
It was not so long ago (and this will be a broad generalization) that women had little choice but to band together for a greater cause, for something real – to fight for equal rights, autonomy, respect. These women embraced any female’s success as their own, and celebrated each other, knowing that if they didn’t believe in a woman’s worth, it would be hard to convince those men to do so. Today, now that we have the vote and all, women have turned on each other, with egos insatiable, trying to get to the figurative top by standing on other women’s heads.
Last week, Wendy Williams did exactly this. In anticipation of an upcoming Beyoncé documentary, Wendy announced during her show how grateful she is for closed captioning as it would enable her to understand Beyoncé in the film. Apparently, Beyoncé “can’t talk.” Actually, according to WW, Beyoncé “sounds like she has a fifth grade education.” Unprompted, unnecessary and just plain unkind.
This incident with Wendy Williams acts as a reminder that women clearly need a refresher course in the art of positive encouragement. Actually, it acts as a reminder that women need a refresher course in kindergarten-level manners.
I’m sure because of the magnitude of celebrity involved, Wendy Williams is going to take some extra heat for her callous statements, but this intra-female bashing is nothing new to pop culture. This aggressive movement, this notion that only one woman in a room can be beautiful, only one woman in a room can be smart, has become commonplace in our media and our personal lives. Why can’t we learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and enjoy them instead of covet and destroy them? Mean Girls, every season in every city of Real Housewives, even episodes of Glee all show women who not only refuse to be happy for another woman’s accomplishments, but also actively spend time trying to defame one another. (The greatest irony of all being that this poor behavior – the attempt at tearing someone down – ends up making the aggressor look worse than the person they were originally attempting to slight.)
To women, there are few things more intimidating than another confident woman. But there is also nothing more attractive. Strive to be like those women you envy instead of loathing them for possessing qualities you wish you had. And if/when others come after you, well, there’s no better revenge than success.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock