Why Women Need to Treat Each Other Better Outside the Bathroom
Have you ever found yourself talking to a stranger in the bathroom, telling her you wish you could pull off a dress like that while she squeals about how you look just like Blake Lively? We all have that moment, usually the bathroom of a dirty bar, when we embrace total strangers as long lost friends. We find a cute boy or favorite song to bond over. And once we leave, that moment of friendliness and understanding is often gone.
This year, solidarity among women is trending. It’s cool to be nice. There are more women in society, on our television screens, in politics, or in our daily lives who are not only standing up for women, but showing what solidarity for women looks like in their actions and words. Yet, there is still judgment for how a woman shows herself on social media, how she is as a mother or a daughter, and how she chooses to dress. Despite all the girl power seen in this new wave of female empowerment, women are still pointing fingers at each other.
Maybe it’s not entirely our fault. Society teaches us to see fellow women as threats. As women gain more success in their careers—like the women CEOs on the Forbes 500 list—there still are challenges women face. Ideas of what a “woman should be" and having women compare themselves to other women still occur. When a woman moves up in the working world, she still is expected to “act like a lady,” and she is told to think before speaking because she could come off as a bitch. Or she is told to think about what she wears because you never know what others might think about her, or even worse, do to her. She experiences cattiness that started on the playground and continues into the boardroom. Over the years I began to hate that part of me. I hated that when I saw a girl wear a cool outfit I would hold it against her. I have learned that empowering other women is how we further ourselves and our society as a whole. Empowering other women is how we further ourselves and our society as a whole. Let’s treat our peers like we are Adele and they are Beyonce.
If you view your female coworker as competition for that new position, that’s not a bad thing. You can be a driven, successful, boss-ass bitch without tearing other women down on your way up. If you know someone whose life is going pretty well, you don’t have to feel jealous of what they have; instead, be happy and use their determination for success as inspiration for your own. If you see a woman struggling with balancing a career, a life, and relationships, don’t put her down; applaud her, because she’s kicking ass through it all. We all know being a woman comes with unique challenges. Why make it harder on ourselves? Work on developing a greater understanding, friendliness, and support. It's time all women can be friends outside the bathroom.