Judging Women – Ourselves & Others
One of the things that stand out for me in the everyday world is how women judge themselves, and other women, so harshly.
It happens between friends when one is unintentionally hurt by the words of others. In a friendship, for the most part, although there are exceptions, no one ever wants to hurt the other, but it happens. You apologize and, with hope, move forward.
Stop a moment and think about how much and how often we judge others; those we know, and more often, those we do not know. This is especially prevalent in women; women judging ourselves and women cruelly judging other women. We do it; we ALL do it, even those who believe we are “enlightened” and feminist in our thinking, whether we wish to admit it to ourselves or not.
I am of the opinion that this is the way this patriarchal culture, this male-dominated society, has trained us to be so. I am not going to go into the many wrongs done to women and to people of color by a white-male privileged society, not here anyway and not yet (fair warning). This is more to the way women are trained from birth to judge and to distrust other women.
It would appear that the most important thing any female can do in this culture is to find a man, keep him, marry him and raise a family. We are told this continually, we see it daily in movies, on TV, in books (for those fortunate enough to love to read). This is the life we are trained for. Little girls get toy vacuums, little plastic kitchens, tea sets; we are the ones who are taught to set the table, clean the house, do the chores, and maybe get taught how to cook, at least the basics. As we grow older, we shave the unwanted hair on our bodies, make ourselves up like kewpie dolls, all in the name of “getting a man”.
As we look around at the men available to us, the women who should be our friends, our allies, somehow become our enemies, our rivals, in the getting of a man. So, we look at them. What do they have that I don’t have? What color is their hair? Are they fat? Are they thin? Who looks at them and who looks at me? We slowly begin to judge ourselves – how do we stack up compared to them. Media and culture being what it is, we NEVER come out on top. There is something wrong with us, because we are TOLD something is wrong with us. We begin to judge the other women. If we are not perfect, then neither are they. This does not make us sympathetic to them because we can relate; this makes us judge them even more harshly. It becomes “she’s ugly”, she’s so fat”, she’s easy, whatever the hell that might be. The names being “fatso”, “slut”, “whore”, bitch”. How often do the “mean girls” stop and think about how they may feel if these words were hurled at them in hatred? Unfortunately, words like this are said by even those who are not considered the mean girls and it continues into adulthood. When women, themselves, judge each other, see each other as “enemies”, how hard does patriarchy need to work to put us down? Not very hard as we put ourselves down.
This, I believe, is one of the biggest problems faced by feminism, and, really, it does not matter if you are a radical feminist, or a liberal feminist or anything in between because we are all affected. Seriously, how do you get a woman raised to believe they are second-best, inferior, not-good-enough, to get rid of the judging, get rid of the distrust and band together, stand together to fight the status quo?
I don’t pretend to have the answer, but I believe it starts by teaching little girls they are valuable, they are worthy, they are important. We teach them that the Divine once was, and still is, a woman. We continue this dialogue that has already begun, with each and every woman we meet in real life and online. We create sacred circles of women to stand together and be strong and TEACH each younger generation of women what is right and what has been wrong for so, so long in the treatment of women and it has to change and it has to begin, and continue, with women.
About the Author:
Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is [email protected]
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