Thursday, 7 November 2013

Warring Women versus The Sisterhood

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We are one bitchy, judgemental lot aren’t we?

Every day I read social media updates about mummy wars and women criticising each other for choices made and clothes worn and parenting decisions and food choices. Blogs and articles are constantly being written by women imploring other women to stop judging each other. To give a sister a break. To stop being such bitches. Our own focus on women as crap people is relentless. The negativity that we are imposing on ourselves is endless. It feels like we are all beating the same self-deprecating drum in an effort to show how evolved we are.

And it is true that we are judgemental. Many of us measure our own performance and, sadly, self worth by how we see everyone else is performing or coping or falling apart. It’s not new. We’ve always done it only now, in the information era, everyone knows about it. We used to just bitch behind each other’s backs. Now we post status updates and share articles in a passive aggressive attempt at saying “I’m doing a better job than she is.”

So now that I’ve got that out of the way, let me remind you of something very important about us 'warring women'.

We are a sisterhood. And just like sisters, we are able to bitch and insult and fight and disagree until one of us loses our shit and then we’ve got each other’s back.

Yesterday, I saw three separate women unexpectedly and spontaneously burst in to tears. They all went from smiles to sobs in less than 60 seconds. Each time they were surrounded by women they knew. Each time they succumbed to their emotions because they felt they could. And each time the women in their vicinity moved in with a speed and purpose that only other women understand... because for all our bitchiness and comparisons, we get it. We are all struggling. When we see a sister crumple under her own pressure we are fundamentally compelled to support her. When we see another woman struggle to fight her demons we stand behind her, next to her and many times in front of her. I see women rally for each other all the time. I see it online even more than I see the apparent war of women.

My sisterhood is strong and incredibly valuable to me. It is rich and full of women who represent so many different walks of life. It is diverse in age, culture, politics, religion, sexuality and geography. 

It is my anchor. It is my constant. 

I was raised by a single mum who had an amazing sisterhood. It is in her battlefield that I learnt the lessons of womanhood. It is through her and her friends that I learnt to gather my own army. Watching my mum and her friends navigate life together is where my awe of women began. In fact, from my view point, watching them around the dining room table making cups of tea and smoking cigarettes as they swapped stories and ear-rings, it was almost magical

To this day, I find magic in my friendships. My sisters have single-handedly healed gaping holes in my heart. They have saved me a million times from a million different tragedies. They have stood by me through fist fights [real and metaphoric] and I have seen my joy reflected in their eyes and heart  time and time again. I have a friend that calls me crying often and by the end of the conversation, which is sometimes only 5 minutes long, she’s laughing. 

That’s magic. That’s powerful. THAT'S what women do.

And if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself “What are you talking about? I don’t have a sisterhood!” then you’re probably a man OR you haven’t met the right women yet. 

Do not despair, sister. Start close to home and gather your army and in the meantime stick around... 

I’ve always got room for more in mine x

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