2015: The Year of Sisterhood!
Happy New Year, Cosmo girls!
Already made your resolutions? Okay, I really, really want you to consider another one: this year, let’s promise to be nicer to each other.
We’ve all been there: gossipped about a common bestie, hated an actress because she seemed ‘too perfect’, or not told a girlfriend about an opportunity because it might make her more successful than us. We’ve giggled about a complete stranger wearing ‘too much make-up’, called that girl from school a ‘gold digger’, or uploaded not-so-nice pictures of a friend.
According to one survey, 90 percent of all female participants frequently felt “undercurrents of meanness and negativity from other women”. In another study, when a sexily dressed student walked into the room, most other female students’ reactions were snarky, as they made derogative comments about her clothes or ‘big boobs’. And a third study found that female office leaders were less likely to help out women newcomers in the industry. It’s as if we’re all starring in Mean Girls. Science suggests that women may be hard wired to compete with each other for male attention, to ensure we can make babies with the strongest male in the community. But I suspect a lot of our attitudes towards other women have to do with social conditioning and what we learned from our moms or other girls...which is something we can change.
You see, when we criticise, turn against, or hold another woman back, we are basically doing the same horrible things to ourselves. We make each other vulnerable to viciousness, and we unconsciously encourage a culture of insecurity and hostility.
If we truly want equality, we have to help and encourage every woman we know. If we want more female leaders in politics or at the workplace, we must mentor women and help them succeed. And if we are sick of being judged by our looks or body size or how many men we’ve dated, it might be wise to avoid that snarky gossip session with friends.
You often hear the comment that ‘a woman is a woman’s worst enemy’. Let’s change that.
Let’s all be cheerleaders,