As I read an article written in 2015 by the New York Times, Why Women Compete With Each Other , I could not help but remember how difficult it was at times to fit into a culture that seemed to always find ways to count me, and others, out. As I look back I wonder, “Is this the nature of women and how we have been created?” At one point I had read somewhere that ancient women used to live in villages and protect one another while their men went out on long hunting trips to bring back food for the winter. As I read, I had a visual of women caring and nurturing one another while protecting the young within a tribe. I believe God instilled within us, as women, to care for one another and make sure we are all safe. It makes me wonder what happened to that instinct along the way.
We see glimpses of it when we gather together to pray, network, and console each other when one is going through a hard time. Of course there have been women’s causes to lift us up along the way in history but not all of them were the example of caring toward one another we really need to see. Where did our sense of competitiveness come from? Is it because there are more women in the world than men and we feel like we have to compete for attention from them?
Honestly, I believe we lost track of our purpose as women. If God placed the instinct within women to rally around one another ,to care for and protect each other, then it must still reside within our reach. Somewhere along the line women have taken on the idea that we are in some sort of contest to be better than one another or to undercut each other. Of course, it’s not true of all women. I don’t want to generalize here. Yet, it is true of many. There often is this silent competition within families, friendships, work places, and especially politics. Seems to me if we want to be lifted up we should stop the stomping and do some lifting.
Since when are we a threat to one another? The most common times I personally feel like I have the need to stand up for myself, it’s usually due to the actions of another female. Why is it that some females love to make others look bad, feel down, or cut each other apart? Is it because of society and the way women are portrayed, and is there some silent competition that is supposed to be displayed in front of men? They don’t even have to be our men, they can be any men.
This is not “rag on women day” so please don’t take it that way. I have been wondering how women can remember our God-given instinct to love and care for one another like the village tribes of old. I can’t help but ponder how women can become more empowered together in a way where we stop undercutting each other and lifting one another up instead. I mean in a global sense. I do know there are a lot of wonderful and amazingly loving women in this world and they give their lives over to making the world a better place for all of us, just by virtue of their love and caring.
Is there a solution to this sometimes unspoken competition and sometimes right out in the open loathing? Where does the secret lie? Is it in our self-image and the need to push others down to look better and can we stop that if that is the what is happening?
I am hoping we can. Where is the village mentality in women? Would you love to see that caring and uplifting to happen globally again? Can we ever overcome society’s ideas of what we should be and just be as we should?
Loving you from here,
Dr. Jenine Marie Howry