Foreword: No males shall be bashed in the writing of this blog.
Women…we are pretty awesome don’t you think? I feel compelled to launch into a list of our many skills, talents and qualities but I’m pretty sure that Beyonce has covered most of this lyrically and that there is little more to add to the literary word that hasn’t been covered.
My personal belief is that in western society , whilst there is always room for advancement with equality, we’ve never had the level of opportunity that we have today. Feminism and equal rights are not really what I want to talk about though. There are already a wealth of ladies shouting from the roof tops about these matters. I thank them for defending my corner but personally take a more balanced approach to being a girl . I like that my partner opens the car door for me, he is a gentleman and I see this act of kindness as nothing more that a display of respect. For he more than anyone knows that I am in no need of his protection and should my inner lioness rear her head, he would be the first to run.
So I am also keen to celebrate my womanhood whilst not verbally bashing our male counterparts. We may be from different planets, Venus, Mars, Tantooine, but I strongly believe that in the right circumstances our differences can compliment each other. Our relationships across the sexes in whatever capacity…partners, parents, siblings, friends, has been a mystery for many centuries and will continue to be so until the end of time.
I would like to talk about our relationships and connections with each other as women though. I feel as women our ability to impact each other is one of our super powers. We know how our minds work (good luck working this out chaps). We know how to influence each other. Without knowing it even when we doubt ourselves, at anytime we are role models to others. But in the words of Peter Parker “with great power comes great responsibility”.
I spoke briefly to two of my closest friends before writing this blog. I wanted to raise some taboo’s about being a women and the truths that are often left unspoken. We were all left wondering if in fact we have what it takes to admit our flaws with enough honesty to accept that we should reflect on the women that we are? I am a merciless if somewhat naive optimist and believe that we can. So here goes…
Before I start calling women out as a whole, I need to take ownership for myself. So I want to make an open apology for all of the times I have not been the woman that I should be to other women. If I’m honest that may have been more frequently than I am comfortable with. I can forgive myself for younger years, I’ve learned so much since then. But cards on the table I have not always been as kind, supportive or uplifting as I should have been. So If ever my words or actions have hurt you, then I am so truly sorry. I can’t promise to be perfect but I can assure you that I reflect often and try to improve who I am.
The truth is with women, sometimes we are not kind. Sometimes we judge more than we should and sometimes, if we’re honest we can be as far from ‘Sugar and Spice’ as it is humanly possible to be. Because of this, I’ve always kind of favored male company. It has only been since I stared reflecting on myself and my core beliefs that I started to ask myself why. It turns out it is more than the fact that the majority of boys like Star Wars more than girl’s! In fact the deepest truth for me, was that because of everything I’ve listed as a Super Power above…I didn’t trust other women. It’s sad really. But because I implicitly understood that other women would have at least a vague understanding of how my mind works, I felt vulnerable around them.
I have often watched in awe of female friendships that flow with ease. I am sure I am not alone in being the woman that feels as though they are looking through the window as an outsider? Groups of females in fact were catalysts for a whole new level of anxiety! Because the thought of being judged by a group of women was frankly petrifying.
Well whilst I have referred to the unspoken truths, lets look the ones that every woman knows and talks about. We know we overthink things. We know that we are overly self critical. We know we compare ourselves in unhealthy ways to women that we aspire to. Most importantly (if you ask me anyway) we think that as individuals we are the only woman who has not got her shit together! Everyone else is the perfect mother, wife or weight. Every other women looks better in selfies. Every other woman see’s through the fact that whilst we pretend to have our shit together, its all a snap chat filtered illusion…(the bunny ear’s give it away don’t they?)
And oh my god, don’t get me started on all the perfect mothers out there! The women who carry fruit in Tupperware for their kids, whilst I in fact have half an eaten Snickers covered in fluff at the bottom of my handbag! The women with endless time and money for endless day trips. Seriously, I’m hyperventilating as I’m writing this. My other personal Woman phobia of course is the perfect nurse, which ultimately in my head, is everyone but me.
All of these false beliefs strengthen our personal insecurities. So when times are tough…and here is the hardest truth…we can find ourselves resenting other women.
What CAN happen next is an inbuilt psychological survival mechanism…Self-Preservation. Its like a license to find fault with others and cease to empathise with their own circumstances. You see another harsh truth (I’m so sorry, I bet you all hate me); as women we can be really hypercritical. We want the right to not be judged by others, but the freedom of speech to judge them if we so choose to. We want the freedom to parent as we choose, but will triumphantly compare ourselves to others that we feel get it wrong all the time.
Because…(and this is my favorite truth)…I AM NOT PERFECT! I am not the perfect Woman! In fact I am so far from it that when I was once told that I was, I nearly peed myself laughing.
We can not be perfect. We can not stop these inbuilt perfectly normal reactions to our own inner fears. But I’ve learned over the last few years that their are so many things that we can do to improve our relationships with ourselves and other women. I’m not going to teach you how to suck eggs here ladies, it’s nothing that you don’t already know
Be kind and don’t take yourself too seriously. We need to keep our thoughts in check. I have a lovely little internal mono log that plays on repeat in my head. When I catch myself making a judgement of another woman, I ask myself a series of questions. 1. Is that true Naomi? For my own amusement, I like to answer myself in a slightly different voice ..the answer to this question more often than not is my inner petulant teenage “well I don’t know do I!” Take note if you’ve seen me looking blank and into the distance this might just be why.
2. Why on Earth did you think that Naomi? The possibilities here are endless, sometimes though, if I’m honest I may be mirroring one of my own undesirable qualities at the other person. Finally, more of a statement 3. Well that’s not very nice is it? It’s a process that works for me anyway.
Now I need to be clear here. I don’t always go through “Question time” and come to the conclusion that my instincts or unpleasant assumptions are wrong or ungrounded. Some women are frankly not very nice. So whilst I will encourage us to cut each other a bit of slack. I am not suggesting that we don’t provide an exclusion zone for toxic people.
We all have faults. When I reflect on mine and the times I may have inadvertently upset someone else through my actions or words, I would like to say that it has been done unconsciously. One of the only unforgivable qualities I think a woman can posses is tearing another woman down for sport, control or just because they can. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of meeting a few in my time. Luckily I’ve recognised them. I still send them on their way with hopes that they find peace though, for their only true enemy is themselves.
Women, we are raising the next generation of woman. We are examples by choice or not. We all remember our teenage years, those that hurt or excluded us…those whom we may have done the same to without a thought or even realising. We know the scars it leaves behind. We understand that these years can be the very foundation of the women we may have come to be. So lets lead by example.
I believe that as women we share so much. At some point we will have all felt the same, its the lack of synchronicity that causes issues.
I am currently in the infancy of a project to see how I can empower women and improve relationships with our peers. I want ideas from other women, women from all walks of life. You are important, your opinion matters. If you are interested in contributing on any level, please get in touch.
Finally, I strive to be authentic and true to myself; I’m aware though that I’ve put some strong opinions across in this blog. I do not hold these beliefs as fact. I hope they provoke positive thoughts and I truly hope they are received with the good will that they are intended. Because I want to be a better woman and I want my daughters to be saved a little personal anguish if I can.
Thank you for giving me your time
Love and light