I am a woman that loves other women. I also love other men. And those I know that are somewhere in the middle, or don’t consider themselves either? I love them too.
But something really bugs me that I think is really relevant, is that I know a whole load of women who I feel let other women down. Now before I carry on, let me just clarify that this blog is not intentionally about the F-bomb (Feminism, that is.) I honestly don’t really understand what Feminism is or how it affects me. I feel quite alienated from it as a subject matter to look into, as every woman I’ve ever met that uses this word throws it around to support things I don’t really agree with, and presents it as something I don’t feel I want to be a part of.
However, what I do know is this. I’m proud of being a woman, and feeling as though I’m on an equal footing with men in terms of culture, society and rights. I’m sure there’s people who’ll tell me why I’m not on an equal footing, but that’s by-the-by. I’m aware that genders have not always been equal, and there’s been all sorts of hullabaloo in the past to align this. I know people in the past have died so I can have the life I lead today, and that is something I really do feel grateful for.
My real irritation is this. I see many women that shit all over the idea of sisterhood, and do other women a real disservice by helping to promote this idea that women are, by default, all these negative things.
Lets take two examples here of women I know; The Tease, The Thief, and The Adulterer.
The Tease is the woman who will flirt till the cows come home, expect foolish men to buy her drinks (or on the wider scale, gifts and a lifestyle). But it’s all an act to obtain material goods, rather than actually being interested in the man.
The Thief is the woman who is out for all she can get and it doesn’t matter who she can squeeze these things out of, whether it’s a man or a woman. She is happy to lie, gossip, meddle and steal in order to get what she wants.
And finally, The Adulterer. This is the woman that will try it on with a man, knowing full well that they are monogamous and taken, so therefore should be off her radar.
Unfortunately, these three types of behaviour are ones I see too often and has sadly led me to become cynical and judgemental of many women in general. In my past, I have been no Angel and could be rightfully accused of exhibiting all three of these on occasions, so I’m aware that it’s not set in stone, for example, that once you’ve been The Tease, you’ll always be The Tease, and there’s no room for change or leverage. And that actually, forgiveness of others is important and that you shouldn’t judge others by what they may have done in the past. (I wish I was able to implement this 100% of the time!)
So now I’ve got all that negative stuff out of the way, here is the overriding positive point. Sisterhood is special, and massively important too if you consider all the years before us when women have been treated unequally. It’s important for us to stick together if we want to move forward into an even more gender balanced future. My five closest friends are all women, although 99% of my other friends are male. Why? Because, to generalise, I find men easier to navigate, understand and response to. I find women to be more complex and less transparent.
So what can we do to move forward into a better future? Everyone, genders and sexualities aside, needs to work towards being less complex and more transparent. Myself included! As women, we need to consider how our behaviours impact on society’s understanding and stereotyping of our gender and that the things we do wherever we are – be that when sat in the bar, or in the office, or just on the street – actually have a social impact on a much larger scale.
Here’s a little home-made metaphor that makes sense to me, so hopefully you too!
We are all bricks that make a wall. If we make sure as best we can that our brick is an all-round good brick (e.g. strong and well balanced) then put together our wall will be the strongest, tallest, longest-lasting wall. If our brick fails then it will impact all the other bricks, and therefore the wall will collapse.
So basically? Whoever you are, be a good brick yeah? And all will be good in the world.
This video makes me feel empowered to be a woman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBmMU_iwe6U&feature=relmfu