I am halfway through reading Girls Gone Mild and still enjoying the points Ms. Shalit is making. The following is from the end of chapter 5 in a list of “Ten Steps to Greater Female Solidarity”:
Accept that other women will be prettier, smarter, and more popular than you are, and that’s fine. It’s a big world with lots of opportunities. The goal is not to stand on the top of the pile. The goal is to hold yourself to a personal standard and become someone you would respect if you were someone else. Try to figure out what you enjoy doing and do that rather than looking to others first.
The other 9 steps are also excellent but this one was especially helpful for me this week after my pothole experience. Workplaces, almost by nature and even in “public service”, are competitive. I’ve never participated in sports, save one college class in fencing which I actually enjoyed. Team loyalty or striving for your personal best I can understand. Social competitiveness baffles and hurts me.
What do you think of feminine competitiveness, for perceived beauty, for men, for economic status, for the best pie at the state fair? Is it against our natures, meaning that it destroys our innate desire for stability in relationships? Is some competition good and how so?