Saturday, January 2, 2010

Is the enemy us? Girl-on-girl crime - part two

(This post title was a bit confusing. Part one is actually my News Year's Day post.)

I’ve had some additional thoughts on the way we treat each other as women. What motivates this kind of girl-on-girl infighting that holds us back? This is an issue I want to further explore throughout the year.

Could it be jealousy? Could it be because we ourselves are threatened by a smart, assertive woman? If we adjust our thinking, we should see that these are exactly the women we need to align with. We can learn from them if we can be open enough to do it.

But it’s hard. Feelings become deeply engrained in our heads and hearts. It’s even harder when others are doing it to you, or you’ve had it done to you.

Perhaps we do it just to join in gossip behind someone’s back simply to join in a conversation or establish common ground with other women. In this case, would be better to remain silent or walk away than to do it at the expense of a third party and the bigger picture?

What my late mom, Marie, used to say seems trite, but true, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

We can expend a lot of energy on negative feelings – energy that can be channeled to other more important work and causes.

The postmodern feminists, who look to language as a way to women’s liberation (and speech is certainly part of it), have it right. The language we use each day profoundly affects our relationships and perceptions. “Pomos” are also constantly critiquing themselves and making appropriate changes in their platform. We personally should do the same.

Of course we don’t have to like everybody. We are drawn to certain personalities more than we are to others – that’s just human nature. However, it is possible, as Aristotle said, to be “a partner in virtue and a friend in action” to work together in unity for the sake of progress.

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