Tag Archives: women

“I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.” ~Mean Girls

As I get older, I’ve seen more and more “feminist” posts on the Internets, the Google, and the Facebook.  They encourage us women to support one another and not be so damn mean and judgmental all the time.  Every time I see one of these posts or articles, I stop and think about my real-life experiences.  Are we really that critical and judgmental of each other?  Okay – yes.  The more I answer, “Yes,” the more I wonder why we’re that way.  I can’t help but wonder if we’re actually wired that way – if we have something innately inside of us that causes us to be a little more critical of other women than we are of men (or, heck – even more than men are of other men).

For example, here’s a real-life situation that just happened a few weeks ago.

One of the women here at work recently came back from maternity leave.  She really is one of the sweetest, quietest women I’ve ever met.  You know… she’s one of those genuinely nice people who always smiles and asks how you’re doing.  (Very unlike me…)  Well anyway, like I said, she just came back to work after having her first child – an adorable, chubby-cheeked little girl.

While I was standing at the printer, she walked by me and stopped to say hello.  This was the first time I had seen her since she’d been back to work.  Of course, I excitedly asked her how she and the baby were doing, welcomed her back, and then told her…

… Wait for it …

“I can’t believe how great you look!  You look amazing!”

Say what?!  Why in the world was that one of the very first things out of my mouth?  The funny thing, though, is that right as I started to internally question myself, another of our female coworkers walked up and said, “Wow, you really do look great!”

What in the world??  Do we automatically assume that someone’s supposed to weigh 400 pounds after having a child?  Thankfully, I’ve never weighed anywhere even close to that, so I certainly know better.

So what made that my automatic first response then?

This is what has me wondering if women, in general, are perhaps biologically wired in such a way as to focus on the more superficial aspects of life, therefore causing us to naturally be more judgmental and critical of other women.

Let’s explore this for a minute.

Women have certain hormones that men don’t have.  And those hormones have a tendency to fluctuate, sometimes dramatically, after several changes in our lives.  Okay, fine… and every month.  Could these hormones play a role in our judginess?  [Yes, I made that word up.  And I like it, darn it.]

Or maybe men are just as judgmental as we women are, but they don’t outwardly express it like we do.  That makes sense to me, too, seeing as men are seemingly naturally quieter than women.  I don’t know, men… you tell me.  What is your first thought after you see a woman who’s just given birth?

Or… perhaps men are just more laid back than women and really could not care less about the things women seem to focus on.  Maybe they just really don’t care if they match or if they look fat in their jeans.

Could women possibly need greater amounts of affirmation?  Maybe we affirm other women because we would want the same compliment if the roles were reversed.  I’m not going to lie – I would feel pretty good if someone told me they could never tell I just had a baby.  On the flip-side of that, though, maybe we put other women down solely in an attempt to boost ourselves up.

Source: The Meta Picture

Source: The Meta Picture

Why is it that our self-esteem boosts often come at someone else’s expense?  I would love to have a better understanding of this.  In the meantime, however, I’m going to try to do a better job of controlling my thoughts and words, especially when they may be superficial, judgmental, or downright mean.

Women, I ask that you do the same.  Let’s empower each other and not judge each other.  Let’s encourage each other and not demean each other.  And let’s stop tearing one another down and start building each other up.

Source: Walmart

Source: Walmart

If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t have told my coworker how great she looks.

 I would have told her what a great mommy she’s going to be.

Best Friends: A Promise, Not a Label

I graduated from high school 14 years ago.  Yikes!  When I actually see that number, I freak out a little.  Anyway, other than for a few hours during my ten-year high school reunion, I haven’t really seen any of my high school girlfriends. 

Thanks to Facebook and other social media outlets, we all have a generally decent idea of how many kids everyone has, how often they poop, and what they eat for dinner, so there’s really not a major need to schedule complex get-togethers to catch up anymore.  And, let’s face it – Other than for a few select friends, we really don’t give a damn what those people are doing now.  If I hated you in high school, I still probably hate you today.

On rare occasions, however, we may share a special connection with one or two of those old school friends.  That’s been the case for me, and I was reminded of that connection yesterday. 

I got a Facebook message from one of my best girlfriends from high school.  The tone of her message was sad, lonely even, and I noticed that it certainly didn’t correspond with her happy, upbeat public statuses and photos.  I could tell that she was hurting and that she needed to know that she wasn’t alone in what she’s been going through. 

Sadly, she is going through a rough patch in her life, much like the one I went through several years ago.  Having never experienced something like this before, it can be extremely overwhelming to have to deal with on your own.  I was thankful that, despite the pain I went through, I was able to relate to her situation and give her some words of advice and encouragement.

What amazed me more than being able to relate to what she’s going through, however, was the fact that even though we haven’t seen each other in years and don’t communicate much other than through Facebook, we were able to relate and communicate like we were best friends again.  I felt a connection to her that no amount of years of growing up could destroy.  For the several minutes we relayed messages back and forth, we were high school best friends again. 

Women amaze me.  My girlfriends amaze me.  Any amount of time can pass, even with little to no interaction between us, and yet we can pick up right where we left off.  We can provide strength for each other in such an amazing way, that superfluous words aren’t even needed.  We don’t need to apologize for having been crappy friends and losing contact.  We don’t need the formalities or pleasantries.  We can just TALK and SHARE and VENT!  The understanding between women is a bond that will never be broken, regardless of the number of years that have passed or the beat-downs that life has put on us.  Friendships (and I mean the genuine ones) between women are unbreakable. 

I am so thankful that I was able to connect with this particular girlfriend after so many years, and it was like we had just talked the day before.  I have a handful of high school girlfriends whom I feel like I could do this with, and I’m forever grateful for them.  They have been blessings to me, and I hope that one day I can return the favor to each of them.  I love you, ladies.

“I hate you. You’re crazy. One minute you’re cool, the next minute you’re throwing pointy objects at my head…” ~L.M.N.

Ah, young love…  Do you remember those days?  I remember the days when boys were gross, and I used to chase them around the playground.

Photo by Alicia Benton

Photo by Alicia Benton

My mom used to tell me that meant I had a crush on one of those boys.  What?!  No way!  She was nuts!  Of course, as I grew up, I realized that she was exactly right.  I mean, how else are you supposed to show a boy that you like him, besides chasing him around and pushing him down when you finally catch him???  Well, I’ll tell you what – It’s quite an eye-opening experience when you finally get to see your kid reach those days.  There’s a girl in Ronald’s class, who also happens to live in our neighborhood, who thinks “Ronald is gross.”  [Read:  “Ronald is cute.”]  How do I know this, you ask?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  For one, every day when Ronald gets home from school, he updates me on the latest number of times that Kayla pulled his hair in class and on the bus.  (Remember, he’s got the mean ‘fro going on…)  Then, he tells me all about how while he was riding his bike, she chased him around the neighborhood throwing pine cones at him.  Today, my sister and I watched first hand as she showered him with pink flower petals as he rode by.  Then she proceeded to pick up handfuls of pine straw and attempt to cover him in it.  She never misses a chance to tell me about all the “gross” things Ronald does.  He keeps telling me how annoying she is, and when I tell him that it’s just her way of showing him that she likes him, he responds with, “Eww, Mom.  That’s gross.  Plus, she’s mean to me.  There’s no way she likes me.”  Ha!  Little does he know that she goes home after school and doodles her first name right alongside his last name.  She’s already picked out her wedding dress for that glorious day ten years from now that she gets to marry MY son!  [Over my dead body, by the way…]  It’s so funny to me now to see that the way we females show boys that we like them is by doing the meanest things we can think of to them.  What… you want me to be NICE to the boy I like?  Yeah right!  Hmm… I guess some things will never change, huh?  😉

“No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it’s only a question of degree.” ~W. C. Fields

THANK GOD FOR BOYS…  I cannot say that enough!  I love how males can hate each other one minute and then be best friends the next.  Gerald and Ronald can be beating the crap out of each other and literally stop in the middle of their World War 3 to go outside and throw the baseball or football back and forth to each other.  We females, on the other hand, looooove drama.  And holding grudges.  It seems like women’s love for drama doesn’t improve with age, either.    61115_4883228877315_138569966_nFor example, I have an acquaintance [I’m using that term very loosely] who is almost as old as I am, and I really believe that she loves conflict.  She’s one of those women who smiles in your face and tells you what a great friend you are and then tells her other “friends” behind your back all of the terrible things about you (that may not even be remotely true).  I’ve racked my brain trying to figure out why the heck women do this, and the only conclusion I can draw is that their self-esteem is so low that the only way they can feel better about themselves is to bring others down.  Why do we, as women, automatically try to make ourselves look better at someone else’s expense?  Why can’t we do like my boys and just talk about how awesome we are?!  Men pride themselves on having a giant penis… Why can’t we be that simplistic and pride ourselves on having big hair or a big mouth or making the world’s best cookies???  Why do women have to make everything a rivalry?  Again, any rivalry between Gerald and Ronald usually consists of one good sucker punch while the other isn’t looking, and then they’re back to being best buds again.  I watch them as they’re getting older, and their rivalries are seeming to get smaller.  That’s freakin’ awesome!  I wish I could say the same for some of the women with whom I’m “friends.”  Why can’t we just BOTH be awesome?!  Okay… rant over.    

Tiffany Kleiman ~ Author

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as s/he finishes the book.” ~ Roald Dahl, WD

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