THIS is the question too many women ask themselves far too often.
And not in the healthy, “hmmmm, I wonder why?…” pondering kind of way.
But in the, “I’m jealous, disgruntled, hate-her-guts kind of way.”
We’ve all done it and I’ll be the first to hold my hand up and say yeeeees, I’ve made this mistake on occasion in the past.
But why do we do it?
Why is it so hard for some women to be happy for another woman’s success? Why do so many women find it hard to say anything pleasant or complimentary about another woman or their achievements?
Do we really hate and despise each other that much?!
I don’t think we do.
I refuse to believe that this is the case.
However, I do think that women are taught from a young age, to be wary of their female friends and to view them as threats and competition.
Sad but unfortunately true.
A couple of years ago I had the absolute pleasure of listening to Germaine Greer speak in my local town.
So much of what she said, has stayed with me, but one thing in particular, stood out.
She spoke about women, often being their worst enemies and how as an oppressed group of people, we have turned on each other instead of fighting the very system or people who oppress us.
And how, by women doing exactly this, we are contributing and have contributed to our own oppression.
Women – we are contributing to our own oppression!”
Makes you think doesn’t it?
This is one of the main reasons why, I believe, so many of us often find it impossible to be genuinely happy for another woman.
It’s so not much that we don’t want her to have something, to have IT, but that we want IT for ourselves.
And if we can’t steal IT?
If we can’t steal her brains, beauty, achievements, life or charisma?
Well we can always refuse to acknowledge it. We can refuse to celebrate her. We can ignore her. We can keep schtum.
Or worse, we can mock or gossip about her. We can berate her and her choices.
Over the past couple of years this blog has started to bring all kinds of incredible opportunities my way and I’ve achieved some pretty wonderful things.
And during this time, as life has become more exciting and fulfilling for me, I have noticed something.
I have noticed a pattern which has worked out, time and time again. About women and their behaviour, which is this.
Women – in my experience – tend to fall in two camps.
They will either celebrate with you, congratulate you and make you feel brilliant and awesome.
They will say nothing, absolutely nothing at all.
This blog has seen me win an award, feature in the national press as a cover girl and achieve a career ambition of having my work published on The Huffington Post.
Am I bragging?
No, I’m not.
But yet, simply by mentioning these things, I already instinctively know that some of you may have a problem with this.
That some of you may hate me right this very second.
That some of you may feel envy.
That some of you will be wishing I’d just shut up about my ‘success’ because you find it offensive.
Is it you?
Do you hate me a little?
Are you sat there thinking; “Why you?! Why has this stuff happened to you?! Why YOU, and not me?!”
If it is and you are, hey, look, it’s ok.
But, before you switch off, please listen. Just for a few moments.
Because I need to tell you that among these highs that I’ve celebrated, I’ve also experienced many lows.
That among the blogging highlights, I’ve had periods of feeling lost, confused and like a failure.
Because I need you to know that it’s taken a very long time to get to where I am now. As well as plenty of hard work, dedication and self belief.
Because I need you to understand that it hasn’t been easy. That I haven’t been given all of this. That I’ve had to go out there and earn it.
And that without the support of some of my closest female friends and blogging pals, I’d have shut up shop on this blog of mine yonks ago.
Finally, I need you to realise that you too will get your moment to shine.
That good stuff happens to all of us. At different times.
That sometimes it will be your turn to shine. And other times it will be mine.
So why can’t you let another woman have their moment in the spotlight?
Do you think that by trying to snuff another woman’s light out, it will make yours stronger?
Do you think that by trying to deny another woman’s blossoming, your bloom will fade in comparison?
Because if you do. If you really do, then my oh my, you’ve got this so very wrong. Because this is not how it works. Trust me, it’s not.
I have learned that:
If you support, encourage and champion other women, you will find that more women will champion you.
If you do your best to be happy for another woman, you will become happier as a result.
If you try and boost a woman’s shine by celebrating her life or achievements, your shine will continue to shine, probably even brighter than before.
Call it karma. Call it goodness. Call it sisterhood.
Call it whatever you damn well want.
But this is how it works. This is the magic that can happen when we support and love each other. It is your duty as a woman to help other women shine. And it is also a wonderful thing to do.
So, don’t be a light snuffer. Don’t be a person who tries to clip somebody’s wings.
Don’t be that woman always ready to pop another woman’s balloon.
It’s not sisterly, it doesn’t help our cause and it sure as hell, won’t make your light shine any brighter.
No matter how hard you try or how often you get your pin ready.
Just imagine how bright our overall light could become if we all celebrated one another.