Why do women feel the need to attack other women? Lately, I experienced an instance in which a woman called to complain about something I said incorrectly in a voicemail message. She then forced me to listen to the message on speakerphone to prove to me that I said it wrong. After going through ten other messages to get to this one, and then hearing myself on the other line saying one thing incorrectly, I was nearly in tears. Why was it so important to prove I was wrong? To place blame?
Over many years, I’ve seen women compete against other women. With the definition of “feminist” being such a huge topic today and with so many people saying that MEN need to step up and be different–I want to know how long it’s going to take before WOMEN will be different.
So often, we compare ourselves, put others down for their interests or looks, slander other women and talk down to other women. Why?
As often as not, it comes from a woman who is a Christian. But I’ve also seen many instances in the secular world. “Did you hear what she said?” “Did you see what she was wearing?” “She’s such trash.” “She just thinks she’s better than everyone else.” Spoken from the mouths of people who think they’re better than everyone else.
That’s not okay. We as women, and even more so if you’re a Christian, need to quit shutting each other down. We need to stop competing, slandering, hating other women. We need to support each other. And I believe that starts when we stop comparing. These actions are a result of our jealousy, anger, envy. Those are a result of us comparing ourselves to other people.
How do we stop doing that? How do we stop hating people?
I could say, “It’s easy. Simply love them.” But it’s not easy. We have to first love ourselves. We have to stop comparing ourselves to other women and realize–her curves are beautiful in her way. Mine are beautiful in mine. Her thoughts are part of her own unique perspective. Mine are, too. And both are just as valid. Her past is no worse than mine. We need to find the positive things in other people as much as we can. And we need to look at ourselves and what we’re doing. Not at other people and what we perceive they’re doing better.
This is so hard. Loving someone, being kind to someone who sometimes genuinely is rude, or does think they’re better than others–that’s tough. I’ve experienced that firsthand. It took me a long time to realize that the best I could do was be myself, be kind and when offenses come, ignore them and pray for that person.
Sometimes, we have to be strong in the sense that we ignore the fight. T.D. Jakes said:
We think that forgiveness is weakness, but it’s absolutely not; it takes a very strong person to forgive.
It often is the stronger person who is able to walk away. Martin Luther King Jr. is honored because he did not fight with his fists. He fought with conviction, love, faith, well-thought-out words and peaceful protests.
Yes, we do have to stand up for ourselves at times. For civil rights, absolutely! But fighting against another person just to be fighting, making fun of another woman’s hair or clothes, “winning” an argument just because we don’t like someone, and looking down on and talking about other women behind their backs is not okay. Those things don’t make us brave. They make us cowards.
I can’t say I’m completely innocent. I’ve talked about people before. I’ve disliked people before, women who weren’t like me. But it’s been a long road of learning that everyone isn’t like me. That doesn’t make them less of a person. And it doesn’t make them less loved by God.
He forgave us. He doesn’t fight us. Maybe we should take a cue from that.
Have you seen women fighting other women? How have you sought to change that? How do you practice loving, supporting and getting along with other women, especially when they’re not like you?