I grew up in a feminist home. Both my father and mother were feminists. They wanted to see women enjoy a higher status in society. They advocated that women be better educated. Women should have as many opportunities as possible to improve their lives. At an early age I acquired feminist ideas and, like my parents, became involved in different activities to bring about equality between men and women.

After working for many years on gender equality and with women and for women, I have come to one conclusion which you may agree or disagree with me. My conclusion is that women are often treacherous and harmful to themselves and to other women. I have seen women hurt other women and try to put them down. I have seen women consumed with jealousy and envy and then do things to hurt themselves and other women. I have myself experienced meanness and unkindness from women and I have seen women being mean and unkind to others. Perhaps I too may have been mean and unkind at times. Is this because of the insecurity that we, as women, surround ourselves with or because of the conditioning imposed on us by society as we grow from girls to women? It is my belief that until, and unless, women are more generous to other women, less envious of other women and more kind towards other women, we women will find it difficult to work together to improve our lives and to cope with challenges that face us.

Ten Examples

Let me share with you ten examples of what I mean by the treachery and meanness of women. You will probably recognize many of these examples and may have met these personalities in your life. Example One is Ms. Selfish. In one particular organisation, the woman in charge of human resources would go out of her way to see that other women were not promoted. She would listen to gossip and she acted on the gossip. She surrounded herself with favourites and she indulged male colleagues who flattered and flirted with her. Typically, Ms. Selfish enjoyed her place as HR Director and, as she was close to the Chief Executive Officer, she could influence him very easily about the other women in the organisation. She had a thrill making the lives of women colleagues difficult.

Example Two is Ms. Success. Ms. Success believes that as she has achieved success and has done well at her job and her life, then other women can do so as well. Ms. Success is often the first to say that there is no glass ceiling for women. She will not admit that there are pressures and restraints that prevent women from developing.

Example Three is Ms. Dishonest. One such woman who was envious of the achievements of another woman in the same organisation lied and wrote things in a report that were incorrect and the other woman was made to look bad. This caused a lot of unhappiness, animosity and distrust within the organisation. Example four is Ms. Groupie. Such women often behave like girls in primary school. They will rally around their “friend” and treat the one they do not like poorly. They cannot apply objectivity and instead they will behave in a most irrational way, like children. Ms. Groupie can sometimes be a bully as well.

Example five is Ms. Political. This is the woman who does not have the courage to publicly associate with another woman whose company and values she appreciates but who is someone not approved of by others. So she will hide her friendship and support for this woman. Instead she will publicly associate herself with the women she believes will help her reputation and her work. Example six is Ms. Jealousy. Overcome by jealousy for another woman to whom her boyfriend has become attracted, she is not able to behave rationally and later takes her life.

Example Seven is Ms. Nasty. Ms. Nasty walks into a party and goes up to a bosom pal, another Ms. Nasty. They start whispering to each other, obviously talking about you or someone else in the room. They make you cringe and feel awful. These women then stick together throughout the evening. However educated women are, they can behave in such a childish way when they wish to make other women feel small and awful.

Example eight is Ms. Know-It-All. She is usually ignorant and lacking in knowledge about the work in hand or about the issues being discussed. However Ms. Know-It-All will try to impress you with her grasp of the information. In no time she puts herself forward as the one who knows best and who is well versed about the information. Example Nine is Ms. Query. You will find such a person among your family members, colleagues and friends. They question you about your marital status, your lack of boyfriends, your inability to have children, or keep a good job, own a designer bag and the list goes on. They make you feel small and uncomfortable. Example Ten is Ms. Gossip. This type of woman loves to engage in gossip. She will say things about other women and tarnish their reputations. Ms. Gossip will embellish her stories and make the women she speaks about sound bad, ugly and pathetic.

I believe that it is this lack of charity among us as women and our tendency to be mean and cruel to other women that holds us back from going forward as a powerful group. We lack the threads of substance that will bind us together to form a formidable mass. We need to move away from this petty, mean-spirited attitude. We need to support and care for other women a lot more. Women must be gracious towards other women. They must be more compassionate and helpful. Women of the World, be kind to each other!

2 thoughts on “WOMEN CAN BE SO CRUEL”

  1. You’re spot on Zaibun.

    I had a similar experience 25 years ago when I went around my school to do a survey on “Women Stereotypes”. All (and I mean every single one) of the women I surveyed said they would rather their husbands work even if they earn more than their husbands. Even if it was economically more effective that these women work and have their husband look after the kids, they would still rather the role be “wife-look-after-kids, husband-work”.

    I must add that this happened in 1989, so perhaps times have changed. And I reckon it has to a large extent.

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