Friday, November 15, 2013
Over Ellis' door hangs a sign that reads:
Here's to good women.
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them.
It was given to me when I was six months pregnant by my mother-in-law. She's a good woman and she raised two good women as well. This is comforting to remember right now as I am faced with yet another woman who, bless her heart, does not seem to be a friend to other women.
This may be an unpopular post. I may look conceited after this and perhaps I may expose some of the stories I tell myself about why other women don't like me. This will be embarrassing and terribly exposing and yet, I feel compelled to write about it because I know I'm not the only woman who has dealt with this.
So here goes. I am pretty convinced that there are two types of women. The kind that help other women and the kind that do not.
I have been lucky to know a few of the former. I have also had the opportunity more times that I care to, to learn how to interact with women who do not have my best interest at heart, who do not want to see me succeed and who will actually hurt me to help make themselves feel better. Even though this happens on a personal level as well, I am speaking mostly about my professional experiences. Particularly with women who could be mentors. They are older, they are "wiser", they are more experienced, they could teach me, make me better, their legacy could live on in the good work that I do because of them. This is sadly, so rarely what happens. I can count on one hand, the women who have helped lift me up professionally. The women who have knocked me down, diminished me, fired me, made me doubt my abilities are too numerous to count.
I can not, for the life of me, understand why we do this to each other. Don't we see that competing with each other is the big lie. We are so fierce, so powerful, so brilliant in all ways, we will never reach the heights we seek if we kill each other off. What are we fighting over? Money? Power? Oh God, men? Really?
I am dealing with a woman at work who is angry about my age and my achievement. She is jealous and sabotaging wherever she can. I feel powerless to address it because it seems so insane to me. I can't help but feel sorry for her because it must feel so lonely to look at other women as the enemy.
I have been spoiled by my current boss. She has lifted me so incredibly high. She has inspired me in so many ways. Before her came Laurie and Susan. Before them, my professors. Before them, my mom who is such a fierce champion of women, their behavior has driven her far into her cave for solace.
I suppose all I can do is continue to love women and raise Ellis to do the same.