If nothing, the saying “United we stand, Divided we fall” stands true for at least us, women. We have been put against each other since ages and this hatred, jealousy or whatever we might call it seems to be working so well that hardly do we look at each other as sisters. Our mothers, grandmothers, aunties, girlfriends and sisters never gave a thought to how they have been treading over each other when they should have nourished each other to grow strong and independent.
A middle-class 10 year old girl stuffs her mother’s dupatta in her t-shirt and pretends to be pregnant, when her mother sees this she slaps her instead of talking to her. Later, when she grows up and colors her hair red she is rebuked again for being so silly. When she buys her first pair of shorts her grandmother and mother tear it off and shout at her saying, “Are you a hussy that you want to wear such clothes! Concentrate on your studies rather than fashion.” When the girl enters the general compartment of the metro, many women label her as “loose”.
In college, a girl in skirts or dresses or with makeup is termed as characterless by other girls because they are jealous of her freedom and confidence. A girl who doesn’t talk much is a snob whereas one who does is called clingy. If one sees a thin girl she is said to be living on cigarettes and if she is fat she is given all kinds of advice to lose weight. Short women share posts reading “advantages of being a short girl and disadvantages of being tall” whereas taller women share posts about advantages of being tall and disadvantages of being short. There are questions piled across the internet where girls put on pictures of themselves and their friends or sisters, asking random strangers if they are prettier than the other girl or not.
Once i met an old female colleague on the metro station who kept staring and commenting about how this or that woman is wearing too less clothes or her shoes do not match her top or that girl thinks she’s hot but is not or how that girl is getting too close to her boyfriend.
If you notice carefully you’ll see that every woman on the road is trying to find flaws in every other woman. My friend confessed to me that she used to look at other women to compare herself and any flaw on them would make her feel satisfied.
If you drink or smoke or go on night outs you are “a mad woman in the attic” and conforming to the norms of the society i.e. being demure, devoted and doing as your elders preach makes you “the angel in the house” which should be your real aim.
Women are always on a defense when it comes to introducing their male friends to their female friends. I confess, even I do that sometimes. There is an instinct which keeps shouting, “What if she steals him from you?” We consider every other woman a competitor so, if a guy can beat us it’s not a big deal; but a woman cannot.
Tell me one thing truthfully, don’t you women stalk other women’s profiles and compare yourselves? Don’t you feel jealous of other women more than you are of men (yes, of their progress)? Don’t you feel a sudden delight when your friend’s male friend or any other guy for that matter, gives you more attention than to your friend. I know all this sounds evil but this is actually true. You will give up on your girl friend rather than your boyfriend and trust him more than you trust her. Yes, there are some amazing women who will stand for each other but that is rare.
I’ve heard many women from girls colleges chant, “Girls colleges are boring. Women are boring. We are from co-ed schools and it was so much more fun.” Seriously girls, don’t you think talking endlessly about every stupid thing in the world, wearing anything to everything, bitching about your boyfriends, showing off your bad hairdo or skipping classes with your girl friends any less fun than the talks you had with the guys? I think my college days were so amazing that today i would prefer a world trip with my bestie than a stupid boyfriend.
Overall, why I started from women’s criticism and ended with our fun-days with our girls is to tell you that women are worth it. Cherish being with other women, love them, care for them and be their friends forever because even if you are jealous, even if you want to protect your daughters, even if you have been brought up conservatively and can’t accept the so called ‘westernization’ of thoughts, the world is moving at a pace where either we catch up or we lose forever. These small nit-picks or envy because of a guy who cannot understand you as your girl does will never let you grow and get the real freedom. Real freedom begins from your own mind and this is something women need the most: Internal freedom from menial issues. We need to drop these senseless trappings and grow as equals to take control of this world which has been using divide and rule since forever. So, let’s breathe and stop branding each other because the world is already so stifling that if we do not care for each other we might soon be hollow souls walking the earth.