I don’t actually have a title for this post because well… it started with a chapter I was reading in a book and now we’re here. It’s 7:30 am Saturday morning and first the thing I do is check my phone. Now this is routine for me and a habit I should probably shake but of course I do it anyway. During my routine catch-up scroll, I see post after, after post about a woman putting down an other women who are supposedly angry and jealous women. I won’t get divulge too much information because she is not the entirety of this conversation but an example. Keep in mind that her response was in response to a certain reaction received after she made cruel, ignorant and unintelligent post about how she felt. Fair. This morning I was also having a conversation with my mother where she mentioned that a lady asked her if she was using a product with coconut in it well because she “can’t stand the smell of coconut” (interpret this conversation however you wish but please I beg that you don’t play the fool). Earlier this week I read an entire chapter dedicated to guiding the reader on “how to be friends with other women” (I will share the title of this book in an upcoming post). Honestly, at first I wondered why a book would need such a chapter but soon got a face palm of a reality check as to why such a chapter is necessary: the first two examples proving exactly why such a chapter IS necessary.
I wasn’t shocked but disappointed to see such being spewed by two women in different ways. The chapter – which I might add is something we need to read as women, as men and as a community – discusses how we relate to and regard relationships with women. This chapter hit me like a tonne of bricks (and for many reasons).
If you follow me on any social media you would know that I am a super optimistic and positive person. I always try to find the good in every situation and life is a series of lessons that is supposed to aid in growth and personal development (if you so choose). The truth is however, I don’t wear rosy colored glasses (although I wish most days I could) and I see things for what they really are. At the end of the day, we are all human and I too fall victim to my own vices, ignorance and instances of negativity, especially towards other people.
Let’s face it: we all gossip. There is a difference however when the gossiping is more than just that. If you can dish out your opinion on someone or something and move on to the next topic of conversation, you got the whole televised Wendy Williams act down pat. If gossiping is just that – gossiping, fine. The problem arises when gossiping becomes demoralizing, hateful, hurtful, or simply cruel in intent. When you take to social media and other platforms to spew hate towards another group is problematic.
We are all free to dish out our opinion. I am not one to say that your opinion that doesn’t matter because at the very least, if it doesn’t matter to anyone else, it matters to you. However, during these heightened times, it is particularly important that we think about our role in all the social, political and economic strife that is rippling through groups, communities and entire nations. While you may think that what you say or do has little contribution to the larger problems at hand, you need a reality check.
As a woman, it is dangerous to our success as group to tear each other down. Too many times do we read, hear or see other women talking and looking down on other women. I don’t know where this stems from but it definitely comes from a place deeper than we, at times, wish to recognize. I think the most important thing that comes out of this conversation and realization is that a lot of what we fear and consider a threat is often rooted somewhere in ourselves. By beginning to recognize this you have the ability to act with awareness rather than ignorance. Note: This does not excuse men nor take away any sort of responsibility on the part of men to do their part in any matter regarding women.
The benefit to you and others is that you can begin to monitor how you speak about yourself and other people. You will find that much of what you say and how you say, can a. be said in a more constructive manner, b. doesn’t need to be said at all or c. is a reflection of whatever you are feeling about yourself. Run through these questions or a set of your own the next time you’re at a crossroads with your emotions. I’m sure you’ll find that you’ll walk away from more situations, looking for lessons to be learned or experiences to be shared rather than responding with hateful bigotry and unintelligent remarks. If you’re reading this, I hope it is with good intention. Active awareness is a powerful thing.
To be clear, this conversation is applicable in different ways. As I mentioned, we are all human. You are entitled to have preferences and opinions and you don’t have to agree with how people do certain things. In trying to be constructive however, you must realize how certain words, in certain situations impact groups as a whole. All I’m saying is that its sometimes (if not always) necessary to think before you speak.
This rant was brought to you by early morning scrolls, reading and real life interactions. I need to come up with a category for these random rants.