Commentaries | Nov 20,2021
Nov 13 , 2021
By Eden Sahle
I tremendously respect and admire women who live within the incredibly rewarding value of supporting and encouraging other women in life and career development. At the same time, some hold their fellow women to unrealistic standards and are overly critical of every aspect.
Most of the time, women often blame others instead of being the ones to understand and be compassionate. Culturally, we have often been taught and raised to be competitive and critical of one another. We are told the false story that there is scarcity for this particular gender. Most parents compare their daughters to others, belittling their achievements and highlighting things they thought are missing.
Women endure much from every angle and the last thing they should do is the same for one another. I find it surprising whenever I hear a woman judge others and blame them for everything wrong. Without facts, they are handed over the fault, forced to be responsible not only for their actions but of others whose actions they have no control over.
Take my own family. Whenever my older brother has not called or visited home, my mom would blame his wife, who is always reaching out to check up on the family. She is held accountable for my brother’s busy work schedule even though she has nothing to do with it. Many other mothers do this.
The problem is grave to the point that unborn girls are handed blameworthiness. A friend, who is going through a challenging pregnancy journey, and her husband decided not to find out the gender of their baby until after birth. She used to tell me the overwhelmingly scanted gender predictions she is receiving from women. They told her that she was having a girl because she had excessive morning sickness, prominent mood swings, gained weight in the middle, and weak hair and nails. On the other hand, they associated smooth pregnancy, positive experiences, and skin glow with a baby boy. Nature proved them wrong and my friend had a beautiful baby boy.
While women have much to carry unjustly, living to the prejudicial expectation of other females makes it all worse. It is common to hear women say that although they have close female friends, they get along better with male friends because most of the time, the latter do not criticise them and tend to be more understanding. I have close female friends who have had awful experiences of being emotionally tormented and bullied by female friends who intentionally avoid friendship with most women.
Their experience is bad enough that when they come across supportive and admiring women, they say this is different, not judgmental like most other women. The goodness and qualities that they see in caring and compassionate women causes them to believe it is the exception rather than the rule in terms of womanhood.
Raising each other and channelling the power of collaboration is how we can eliminate bias that comes from every angle. I have female friends who greatly advised me, shaped my career, and created a network that elevated my access to opportunities. They are living proof that there is a benefit to collaboration and support as I see them succeed in everything they do. These women are often the most successful and represent the examples we need to set for others.
All women should rise up to eliminate for themselves and all women the cultural and systemic hurdles that make it harder for them to advance in anything they want to do. Female mentorship and uplifting mean a lot to women because they can relate on many levels.
Women should be the ones girls go to for advice to be picked up at times of discouragement. Women have the most ability to help and allow females to succeed. Unrealistic expectations are not helping anyone. Treating others the way we wish to be treated is a lifelong skill. Having a heart that supports and strives to see the best in others is the right personality.
It is in our hands to help close that gap faster as women and treat others as equals. Women need to be uplifting, supporting, and celebrate other women instead of trying to bring them down for any reason. In doing so, we will take down one challenge at a time.
PUBLISHED ON Nov 13,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1124]
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