When women support each other, they build a sisterhood that is focused on fighting off social norms. But when women pull each other down, they give a chance to patriarchy to divide and rule. While the former attitude paves a path for women’s empowerment, the latter leads to a dent in sisterhood which is crucial for any development of womankind. But why do women end up pulling other women down? Why don’t they understand the value of sisterhood and hyping up other women? Are women incapable of trusting and supporting each other? Or have we simply internalised a toxic social stereotype about our gender?
In our society, it is a common conception that women don’t jam well with each other. They indulge in bickering, plotting against each other and setting up each other for failure. A common example of this is the fight among women in a family. Saas plots against her bahus to bring them down in the eyes of her sons. Bahus plot against nanads to bring them down in the eyes of their brothers. Jethanis and devranis bicker to earn a higher stature in the house and gain more control over its wealth. The plotting and shaming among women in a family are so common that at times they even fail to draw any attention. But since these disputes are almost a norm in every household, society uses them to spread the notion that women are their own worst enemies.
Women supporting each other: Why it matters
These disputes do consequently weaken the roots of sisterhood which robs us all of a support system that’ll be by our side through good or bad phases of life. One of the major causes of the fights among women is the lack of space for women in positions where they have power and agency- be it at home or work. Many women have to fight for the one seat that is dedicated to them among several others reserved for men. And so to achieve that one seat, many women fight, compete and pull each other down. The second major reason is that in our society women are considered good if they are liked by men in society, offices or families. So to have a good impression on men, many women take the path of shaming other women in the eyes of men and gaining their trust and kinship.
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But dear women, it is not the fault of the womankind that there is less representation of women in positions of power and authority. Or the fact that women need male attention and support to succeed. Patriarchy is behind all this with the aim to give less representation to women and make them fight and compete with each other. Why are you giving patriarchy the chance to be successful? Why are you satisfied with one seat rather than fighting for more? Why do you want male attention when you can be successful on your own?
Women need to start supporting each other to build a strong sisterhood. It is this sisterhood that will topple the gender hierarchy in society and provide every woman with equal opportunity to grow and brush shoulders with men. So start supporting other women, show them the way to empowerment and learn how to tackle jealously and insecurity which are detrimental to our ultimate goal of achieving gender equality. Only strong women can break the social norm of having one seat for million women by supporting each woman to grab their own seat in a male-dominated society.
Views expressed are the author’s own.