I actually and legitimately don’t get it. It confuses, annoys, angers and troubles me. I’ve aggressively tried to get to the bottom of it with the hopes of hitting upon an “aha” moment, but repeatedly come up empty-handed. With so much at stake, so many unending benefits and so many opportunities on the daily, why on earth would it not be embraced? Why, for the love of G-d, is women being unkind to other women even a thing?
Aside from never being without a perfect manicure, I am not a girlie girl. I swear like a sailor, burp like a teenage boy and have been known to make an off-color remark or two. I am also, however, fiercely loyal, rabidly protective, ardently supportive and often an outspoken advocate for anyone in the sisterhood, even if I don’t know them. I often randomly compliment women on the street (that sounds creepier than it is). I see a gal wearing cool glasses and tell her that she is rockin’ them. It always makes her smile. The lady with the toddler losing their shit at her feet: “you got this, mama!” It always gets a sigh, a smile and a thank you. It’s not hard. I’m not special. It’s just the way it should be, am I right?!
My expectation is not that anyone go out on a limb for me. Nor do I believe I am entitled to anything from anyone, vagina or not. I guess all I really ask is that if you, as a woman, cannot find it in your cache of available human interactions to be supportive of one of your own, you should perhaps consider exploring why.
I happen to love guys and have been blessed with wonderful ones in my life. My father was a prince among men. I have two outstanding brothers, a tender-hearted son and a kind and benevolent husband, all of whom I cherish. They have loved and supported me. They’ve picked me up, held me when I cry and enlightened me on the way men think and why they do some of the shit they do. These wonderful fellas are not, however, girls.
As kind, gentle and renaissance as the men in my life are, they are not, nor will they ever be: mothers, sisters, aunts, wives or daughters. They will never give birth, feed a child from their breast, experience monthly periods (which, if we are being honest, is among the most obnoxious “privilege” of being female), endure a gynecological exam, be subjected to wage discrimination, awaken in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat as a reminder that they are getting way older and that their bodies are no longer set up to do what they used to. No, those with penises will never know what it is like to have a mastectomy or hysterectomy or to be told they can never have a baby. (To be clear, men have plenty of things to deal with that we don’t: erectile dysfunction comes to mind.) My point? Members of the sisterhood need to stick together. We are a powerful bunch, but without one another, we are fighting the good fight all alone. That ain’t right.
Just this afternoon, I had lunch with five wonderful women – that’s them in the picture above. It was a perfect afternoon. We covered: sex, parenting, former and current husbands, sex again, UTIs (see the sex conversations), a few women who have disappointed/appalled us in their unsisterhood-y behavior, breast cancer, the frequency with which we urinate and sleep…who needs sleep? I can assure you, had there been six men, sitting at the very same table on the very same afternoon, the conversation would be decidedly different (expect maybe the sex part…)
Ladies: be kind to one another. Support one another. Accept another woman’s offer of help, in whatever form it may be. Trust me…it’s the way to go.