Myth: Why Do Women Tear Each Other Down?

As much as I’m all for women empowerment, I can’t help but feel that often times we are our own biggest enemy. Although I may be biased, I strongly believe that it’s a prevailing issue.

A very good friend of mine worded it perfectly when I asked for her opinion on the topic:

“I feel like a lot of ladies feel like they are competing against each other. It’s the same for every disenfranchised group. You think there isn’t enough (love, money, power) to go around so we claw and fight each other for it”.

Yes, this doesn’t apply for every woman, but it is important to just focus on the word ‘compete’.

From personal experience I have witnessed that amongst most friendship groups, there is usually that one person that has to pit herself against everyone else. Essentially, a recent experience is what has sparked this blog post.

My instinct is to support other women, I love seeing fellow ladies succeeding and doing well; it inspires me. And so, I am frustrated in understanding this aspect of femininity. Why are we so hard on each other?

In an ideal world, the idea should be that seeing as women experience sexism, we should have an awareness which should inherently lead us to actively support one another.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie perfectly encompasses this point in her short book ‘We Should All Be Feminists’

“Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competition not for jobs or accomplishment, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. “


In the past decade, sociological findings have sought to demonstrate that bullying among girls takes the form of relational aggression – verbal and emotional abuse; as opposed to the physical aggression found among boys.

Why do we take this form of aggression?

It is thus important to deconstruct whether or not the dislike we may have towards another woman is driven by misogyny or other forms of oppression.

The resting bitch face: How does this phenomenon affect women’s first impressions of each other and maybe as a result impact their relationship with each other?

There is a concept amongst women which has in the millennial era been classed as ‘The Resting Bitch Face’ (RBF).


The Urban Dictionary amusingly describes this as being a phenomenon in which the resting face lacks animation and appears to look bitchy at all times, thus leading people to believe a person must be upset, a snob or a bitch.

I’ve myself fallen victim of being classed as unfriendly based on a first impression glance. Although, I feel it is imperative to make it clear that being constantly expected to smile, be pleasant, and be approachable is a struggle that I believe a lot of us face and are expected to deal with.

If a woman portrays any of the latter, she may be seen as a ‘bitch’. Interestingly enough, this face when acknowledged by other women as being a RBF is automatically viewed as being a form of competition.

Presuming a woman is being unfriendly due to a sexist preconception of other women, is in itself, a judgement one shouldn’t be making.

Perhaps she’s guarded, or certain places make her anxious.. or even better it’s none of your business.

But you must admit that a part of yourself still says “but still…”. Why do we feel this way? Our society perhaps…

Point being, it may seem easy to apply a label to certain situations, but they may require more thought than that.

Overall..

Indeed men also exhibit competitive tendencies towards one another, but not in the same way we do. Although that isn’t the focus of this blog post.

The aim of this blog post is to inspire us women to try and do better. Myself included. Let’s support one another, let’s lift each other up and celebrate one another’s success. Confident women don’t hate for no reason.

Ignore what everyone else is doing and don’t let the achievement of others dampen your goals. Your life is about breaking your own limits and outgrowing yourself to live the best life. You are not in competition with anyone else

Similarly, your friends should motivate and inspire you. Your circle should be well rounded and supportive. Keep it tight – quality over quantity, always.

With that said,

“If we are to be truly empowered as a gender, then surely we need to support one another, rather than judge, or criticise, or project our way of doing things on to others.

In today’s social media world, where snap judgements seem common, that hope may seem unrealistic, but the more we imagine walking in the shoes of others, the kinder I think we can become” – Jo Malone

Yours Truly,

🌹V.O.L 

** Coedited by Jelilat Adesiyan

** Find out more about Victoria’s Bubble Blog

Posted by

22 years old & lover of all things good✨

20 thoughts on “Myth: Why Do Women Tear Each Other Down?

  1. This was great! Thank you for the encouragement. Us women should be uplifting one another and stop living like society says we should be. I really liked the paragraph when you said we shouldn’t the accomplishment of others put a damper on our life. We need to be the best we can be and compete with ourselves! 👍🏾 thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. yes!!!!!!!!!! ive been a victim too of lookiing mean apparently, when its just my normal face y’know haha. i get what you’re saying and i honestly think it comes with ignorance….if you know we’re not in a competition then you should not be trying to make me feel bad or what not. actually i think you’ll be more eager to boost me if you know we’re on the same team.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree 100%!! This was a really great post. We all need to encourage and compliment each other more instead of comparing and competing. Accept that we all bring something unique to the table✨

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Women not being friendly towards other women because of sexism is definitely a real thing. However I believe we need to really learn where that is coming from, and a lot of the time its coming from ourselves. We have been socialised to not support each other, and the conditioning runs deep.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That a question that the answer is hidden in every woman’s heart. The society has made it easy to tear each other down, it’s up to us not to succumb to that deceit, this piece was great, I like the fact that you advocated for an ending to it, a change which we desperately need. We should be shoulders for each other, not stabbing eachother on the back. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At some point, I think most have been guilty of it☺️ .. as long as one can evaluate themselves and realise that being supportive is a lot more effective, we just have to learn from our experiences. Thanks for reading🌹

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post! It’s not just women going through this. Girls at increasingly younger ages are competing against each other as well. My daughter just turned 5, not even in kindergarten yet, and we’re already dealing with mean girls. It’s heartbreaking when I see her in tears because her best friend is yo-yoing between friend and bully. We as parents need to teach these values, to uplift and support one another, to be loving, to be a good friend from a young age.
    – Christine

    Like

  7. What an excellent post! I think at the back of my mind I became conscious of this fem on fem competition/aggression, and being good at living in my head I’ve imagined scenarios where I took the step to approach otherwise seemingly unapproachable women and have it work!

    I totally agree with Christine.My little sister was going through hell before we got her transferred to another school. We, as parents, need to teach our girls to be supportive to one another while at the same time teaching our boys to respect especially the girls.

    Like

  8. Exactly! Well said!
    I do agree with your words 100% !!! That is part of what I’m doing too! I’ve a travel blog and my aim is to inspire female solo travelers to don’t be afraid ! Happiness is not just getting married or building something that others expect to see, but it’s something you want deep inside you’re soul! ( obviously I’m not saying that marriage is something bad, but that it’s a great and special thing if it starts from you and not from others ) ! By the way great post! Loved it!!! 😜💪💪 #girlspower!!! ❤️

    Chiara
    http://www.apocketfullofwanderlust.wordpress.com

    Like

  9. Love this! I will also blog on this topic since I’ve had first hand experience of most of what you spoke of and it’s around me. Girl power!! Am all for the girls too! 👊🏾

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s