As a school-going girl, I remember being more intimidated by girls than by boys. And indisputably, every girl must have a story to tell that features a ‘mean girl’. You must have had a friend who laughed together with you the other day in Chemistry, and then just walked past you with an army of girls flanking her in the school hallway. You must have dreaded going to school or college someday because you simply lacked the energy of dealing with a bunch of cool girls who made you feel like you were beneath them in some way. One day, you must have walked into a room wearing red lips for the first time and felt attacked by not men but by women. And then you grew up and stumbled upon such girls everywhere – work, clubs, cafés, parties, or even at the road as you walked minding your own business. Maybe, you were that girl yourself.
There is a reason why there are more tales about conniving girls than of such boys. Every woman you talk to, you’ll hear negativism about other women in their lives – friends, family members, or even a female celebrity for that matter. There is more hate that travels between women than by a male to one. And most women feel body-shamed and demeaned by their own gender.
There is perpetual competition amongst women – competition in terms of how they look, what they wear, who they befriend, and who they date or marry. If there is conflict at a workplace, it is usually just these trivial rivalries and comparisons acting up. You see this superficial enmity between friends and massively between family members. I mean, have you come across a family where a female member isn’t tearing off someone’s ear about another woman in the family. A classic example of this is seen in most Indian families – the evident differences between a married woman and her mother-in-law or sister-in-law. To sum it up, as a woman, you’ll feel the most daunted and undermined by someone from your own sex. And it’s not just me saying this. Research says too that most women show dislike and contempt towards powerful and successful women. And it has more to do with how they look at themselves than with how they really feel about another woman.
Social media posts of a female celebrity or an influencer will have more comments by women who try so hard to find at least one flaw in her outfit if not her face. And if calling her out on her cleavage or choice of attire isn’t deplorable enough, they will certainly accuse her of being a product of casting couch. But depravity will be there in some way or another. Now, there are two types of women – one kind who need to excel professionally to feel successful, another kind who are comfortable with having a certain level of professional productivity while also being a homemaker. What a woman chooses to be is her choice. But here, we have one successful businesswoman looking down upon a homemaker, and a housewife shredding a working woman’s ‘sanskars’ and morals to pieces. A male may ask you to behave a certain way, but a woman may force you to do so in some cases. Societal rules and restrictions against women in this country may have been first imposed by men, sure, but women for years have been taking it ahead, teaching their own on how to be, and how not to be more vigorously than them.
Now when things are constantly rolling onto the brighter side for women everywhere, and the concept of feminism is gaining clarity day by day, what this world wants is women supporting each other when needed and not taking each other down to feel better about oneself. More than anything, when it comes to societal restrictions and norms for ladies, women need to join the fight to lose those limitations and not contrive against one another.