TRUTHFULLY, hand on heart, do you?
Or do you secretly envy other women or perhaps even despise them because they have something which you do not. Because you view their lives as being better than yours. Or because you view them as being better than you.
Celebrating. Praising. Supporting. Loving.
When it comes to other women, do you do these things? And if you do them a bit, or at all, do you think you do them enough?
A few weeks ago my daughter Elsie, who is three, was watching a programme on Netflix. I can’t remember the exact name but it was some ‘My Little Pony, ‘Rockstar’ kind of show. You may even know exactly which one I mean.
I’d been allowing her to watch it for a while, popping it on for ten minutes here and there, as I cracked on with making the tea in peace or loading the dishwasher.
But then, one day, I sat down with her to watch a bit. And within a few minutes, I was damn right livid.
For here was a show aimed at young girls, that was rife with many of the worst perceived aspects of female behaviour – bitchiness, envy and nastiness.
And quick as a flash, I stopped her watching it right there and then.
It wasn’t easy to turn it off and tell her she that can no longer watch it. There was a tantrum and many tears.
But why would I let me daughter watch this kind of crap? Why would I allow Elsie to watch something so detrimental to females? Why would I think it’s OK for some TV makers to think that presenting female behaviour like this to children is acceptable?!
I have met lots of women in my life. I have made friends with many. I have three sisters. So sure I’ve come across these kinds of negative behaviours. Who hasn’t?
But I’ve also come across them from men too.
And yet, still the world likes to pit us against each other, as the common enemy, does it not?
In a newspaper. In an advert. In a bloody kids cartoon.
From a young age, girls, teens and grown women are given the message, that it’s our fellow women we need to watch and be wary of.
That for us to win in life, we have to beat them. That for us to succeed, any other woman must not.
There’s an attitude that exists, that makes us fearful of our own gender. There’s a message that exists, that women cannot possibly treat another woman well.
And once those little seeds are planted? Well they’re hard to get out. And they remain and grow, fed and watered by our own fear, envy and insecurities.
But regardless of what we are led to believe, I know that we are not each other’s enemy.
I know that this is not our truth.
I know that women can be – AND ARE – supportive, inspiring and warm.
But if we want the world to take us more seriously. If we want the world to show us the respect and treat us the way we deserve, the buck has to start with us doesn’t it?
We have to stop competing and viewing each other through mistrustful eyes.
And instead start viewing and treating each other better, not just as acquaintances or friends even, but as comrades, team mates and sisters.
Today on International Women’s Day, I am celebrating all the remarkable women I know or have known and I ask you to do the same.
And not just today, but on any day!
Tell a woman that you admire her. Tell her that she is brilliant. And whilst you’re at it, make sure you tell yourself these things too.
Because it’s time we told the world a different story about women. And it’s time we made people listen.
It’s time to help and raise each other up instead of putting our own sex down.
It’s time to celebrate.