Is it true that women can't get along?
We’ve all survived at least one mean girl experience: a girl who dismissed, put down, or even socially tormented you in one way or another. If not, you were probably the mean girl but we progress.
The research presents a variety of theories to explain the complicated dynamics of female relationships. Some researchers believe that women are sensitive to social exclusion and feeling threatened leads to competition among one another. Then there's the notion that females tend not to like other women who are seen as sexually promiscuous. It is also believed that women's negative attitudes are actually a manifestation of relational aggression. Oh, and can't forget about the studies that show women who are mean-spirited were often raised by a mother who ”probably didn't like herself and didn't feel warmly toward women, in general.”
“There’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.”
Despite what research suggests, it doesn't have to be this way. Being prettier, thinner, more successful, better dressed, smarter, kinder or more confident will not help resolve the real issues we face together, as women. We tend to build walls and obstacles for each other, ending up with pointless animosity. We’re unintentionally losing the female alliance that was such a big part of the progression of women as a whole. We simply don't benefit from competition or comparisons. Anthropologist Marcela Lagarde defines sisterhood as the concept of friendship between women who become accomplices in order to work together. It’s a relationship based on our value as a collective, determined to make true change for ourselves and all women alike. This is powerful. This is beneficial.
The truth is, women can absolutely get along and we tend to do amazing things once we come together. Like happiness, it's a choice. We can focus on our differences or we can use our differences to restore the power of women. It is important to note that sisterhood isn't meant to be perfect. It's meant to be impactful. That demands honesty which comes with self-evaluation, constructive criticism, conflict resolution, and aspects that tend to make us uncomfortable. The good news is great things never come from comfort zones. At times, coming together may be difficult but it's not impossible. Just remember the greater good. Together, there's nothing we can't do.
Written By: Jayna Thomas