When it comes to women, there are certain things that inherently leave people, even women themselves, befuddled. What is this befuddling thing, you may ask? Brace yourselves: it is women elevating women, fact or fiction?
Over the years I have been honoured to sit with some of the finest women in my short lifespan, and the one thing I always say to them is that it is high time the archaic brainwashing, generational delusions of a woman in and out of power not helping other women like her, because they may be, or are, competition must stop. Women sharing power collectively amongst themselves can have major positive impact(s) on not just their life but society as a whole.
For years from birth, women have been deluded into seeing one another as a problem, especially during their career years. We have been taught to cat-fight at every opportunity with one another, or nit-pick – because, why not? In fact, it is devilish fun for some very scary women. Though gladly, yet slowly, this strategy is starting to fade; it will not happen overnight but eventually it will happen. The truth is that raising up one another can be challenging, and sometimes we can filled with unearthly disdain for another sister simply because backgrounds, opinions, desires, etc., differ. It is okay to have differences in lifestyle and opinion; what is not okay is to wilfully destroy another in the pursuit of personal advancement. As a public relations and media consultant, I have strived to teach women about the endless opportunities and possibilities with effectively harnessing the power of collaboration over competition. I truly believe that we can change the old negative narrative to a future of positive one.
Ah, girls’ club, when it comes to this, a lot of women are extremely wary, even though the creation of these “clubs” were meant to aid, connect and grow a woman in business. Now here is where it gets tricky. Men generally are more concerned with profit – how much you make and how much you can make for them; those are usually the grounds for acceptance into exclusive circles, but women (get ready because it’s about to be a brain or two full) judge things very much different unlike conventional groups, such as: where are you from; where did you attend school; where are you working; who do you know; who are you married to; who are you dating; who are you sleeping with; how often do you slay; do you even slay; where do your kids go to school; where is your house located; how fancy are you; do you get your nails done; how many nannies do you have; who are your friends; what kind of connections do you have; how often do you travel? And so much more (I warned you the list is long).
Now, here is the thing; women generally respect women in some aspects of life, while women fear women when it comes to social circles and work (who’s the boss type scenario, just more high heels and boobs).
The concept of a girl’s club is essentially on a 50-50 level. I say this because on the one hand it can be extremely beneficial in growing your career, while on the other hand your self-worth, self-esteem and mental prowess may take a brutal beating if you don’t have an iron will.
With millions of working women (and the numbers are rising) – be it the corporate woman or entrepreneurs – the continuous growth of respected women-led groups like: IVow – led by Favour Ademokoya, Women’s Fest –led by Tengi George-Ikoli, Women in Media – led by Omolola Oladimeji, Mommy Moves and Magic – led by Chika Chukwu, Luminer Women – led by Chinenye Onyemaizu, Brunch and Bond – led by Yemi, etc., these women strive to grow as well as tighten the bonds of sisterhood in business, power and the home. The evolution of such groups which focus more on usefulness and growth than the glam and pizazz is definitely welcome and a pure fact.
When you hear the word catfight, what automatically comes to your mind is two women having a crazy one-on-one Spartacus-type ‘royal rumble’. I mean – hair pulling, nail scratching, name calling, possibly biting, open palm slapping felt in the heavens and in some parts of hell – over a man. It’s ridiculous, really, that a lot of women may have open conflicts over a lot of trivial things. Trust me, the pettier one of them is, the nastier the fight. For years, women have been consistently portrayed as cats fighting over catnip. The evolution of cinema definitely didn’t help the situation at all. Thanks to the boom of social media, a lot of the physical bum kicking has significantly reduced to a much more terrifying weapon of war, and that is exposing one’s secrets or weaknesses online (you know the internet never forgets…) Ah, catfight beyond borders.
In recent years, however, calling any conflict between women a catfight is understood to be sexist, and enthusiasm has generally dampened for women fighting (extracted from an Article in the New York Times based on Kayleen Schaefer’s “Text Me When You Get Home,” a book about female friendship).
Concerning catfights and fighting of any kind, this is 50-50 for me as well, and here’s why; women ripping into one another is absolutely crazy because of sharp tongues and sharp nails on a battlefield of wits and endurance (whoosh, even Hercules will stay away), yet somehow women who fight end up most of the time (rare, but it happens) defending each other. Have you seen two warriors who have a common foe? You know that foe is done for. Amidst the madness of snarls, there is still an unspoken yet very loud rule where you never ever leave another woman hanging. Now, I would happily pay good money to see a lot. Call me crazy, but united women are the best kind of women even if they do not like one another.
ON HER KNEES
Insert deep eye rolling sigh…
Why is it that any woman who gets to the top of the food chain – or any chain for that matter, means she got there on her knees? For those who may not know what this means, let me explain in filtered terms. The concept of ‘on her knees’ stems from the notion that a woman’s true worth and rise to success are created from her ability to have quick or consistent sexual acts with men or women as gratification either to start a job, earn a position or get anything at all. This is from archaic, backward thinkers or jealous people who think or deem it fit to think that success is only achieved through “manly” prowess. Simply put, she has to be a prostitute or ‘generous’ giver of herself to get far in life. So, first-off: and so what? She ‘worked’ hard (pun intended) to ensure she survives. Did she do it the right way? To you – NO, but did she get what she wanted – YES (don’t bite your tongue trying to think I support corporate prostitution…I don’t, but who am I to judge). The second is: why would that be your first line of thinking in regards to the success of a woman in business or power?
Unfortunately, the majority of women who bash other women are disappointingly high. Going online and surfing women’s pages, you will see that a lot of the nastiest trolling comments are made by women who know absolutely nothing about the other women. I get that demons can live in people, but why give them full control? Why not shine a light on the darkness and cast it out?
Some women honestly need to learn how to just focus on themselves, their growth and, if they can’t say something nice, be quiet and move on. This irks me because it sets women back to the dark ages, making women supporting women a thing of fiction. Oh, I have so much more to say but I will be taking a bow for now. Maybe a part two later on.
In conclusion I would like to firmly state that there are a lot of amazing and wonderful women who support other women today, whether it is fighting for human rights and choice (Roe vs Wade), or bringing together former First Ladies for the first time in the history of the world while still catering to local women and their development, like Her Excellency Aisha Babangida, or giving women a platform to speak, like Nikki Khiran (Editor, Leadership Le Vogue), or helping to rehabilitate women from the streets, like Favour Ademokoya or Tengi George Ikoli, who does her best to remind women that our individual and cumulative success can only come from being united. The list is endless. Women will always have a vital role to play in one another’s lives. For some, it may be a thing of fiction; for some, it’s a fact; for me, I am here for all the positive things that a woman can do, be it today, tomorrow or the distant future. Women supporting women is a thing of beauty. What do you think?