My experience of the sisterhood has been completely and utterly fabulous: I’ve never ever been let down by a woman. But. When I do venture outside my bubble, it’s women who are the most vicious and nasty.
And I despair.
I also see so so much evidence of women being pitted against women and then I think it’s no wonder women turn on each other.
I try- on blog, media and in school- to set the expectation that women and girls are loyal to each other. I try and assume and promote it so it becomes the norm. Only because on International Women’s Day, I talked about how men have become our allies since #metoo etc and I thanked them for all their support and now the culture seems to be (more-not entirely by any stretch) that feminism is for men and it’s ‘assumed’ we have their support. It seemed to get more on board.
That’s the same with the sisterhood: I want to assume inclusion and support in a way to counter every time the media pit us against each other.
Female journalists write about who ‘won’- Kate or Meghan?
Women on Mumsnet shame and humiliate well-meaning women
Mothers scowl and judge and belittle other mothers
Girls say cruel and unpleasant things to other girls
Some of the most vicious and hard-hitting and bone-scraping insults have been aimed at women by other women. It’s women who’ve made me feel the most alone and isolated and confused.
What motivates them?
I don’t get it. I get that women can be complex and shitty and rude and cruel. Fine. We aren’t duty-bound to be lovely and petal-covered. But why would a woman seek out ways to debilitate or over-power or shame another woman?
But actually. In truth. Women have always been the best bits of my life: they’ve mopped my tears, got me drunk, listened to me moan, made me laugh, shown me the world and enriched my life beyond all measurable realms.
And maybe that’s what motivates these rotters. Maybe they’ve never known friendship like that. My granny used to think that Hell was real but it was just not being in Heaven: that you knew about Heaven and you could see Heaven but you weren’t welcomed there. And maybe that’s how these women feel? Like they can see rich and diverse and complicated and beautiful female friendship but they don’t feel a part of it. We are always afraid of things we don’t understand and hateful towards things we feel excluded from.
Well. Tell you what? Women? Come on in. You’re all welcome here. I hear your hatred and vitriol and spite and I ask you to keep them in your pocket for a cause that needs them later (inequality, injustice, poverty, and any number of bits n bobs that need some good ole sorting out).
Welcome to Heaven: it’s female friendship.
Drunk nights. Long chats. Karaoke.