Female Solidarity

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?


3 Responses to “Female Solidarity”

  1. 1 Gemaecca August 7, 2007 at 6:57 am

    I’ve personally never understood out-and-out competition either. I feel it is against MY nature and you speak as though it’s against yours as well, but of course neither of us can speak for all women. From experience, I think that men are more prone to direct competition, but I don’t think that necessarily makes it a male trait. For example, I have a sister-in-law that is highly competitive in the academic world, but wouldn’t compete in sports if you paid her. Perhaps it’s only about circumstances and situations.

    In reading and rereading your quote above, I take it to mean more about internal self-esteem than any type of competition. Perhaps competition in women, taking the form of competitive beauty or male attention, is only an outward expression of the turmoil within. I can only draw on my own experience for that conclusion — as a young woman I was much the same way, but now as a wife and mother I couldn’t give a hoot what someone else thinks of how I dress, and surely don’t want any male attention (except from my husband, of course).

  2. 2 Jenna August 7, 2007 at 9:08 am

    I think that when we compete against one another, we are measuring ourselves against the wrong “ruler”. đŸ™‚ Because of that, I think that it is harmful for us to compare ourselves to one another with the thought of bettering the next gal. Instead, I think that it is much more beneficial to pray and examine if we are working within the Lord’s will for our lives- and not if we can do more (or better) than anyone else. The focus is just all wrong. đŸ™‚

  1. 1 Female Solidarity | Your 10 Tips Trackback on August 4, 2007 at 4:21 pm

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August 2007
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"I can't say I don't believe in your God, but I don't believe He meant the world to be as it is." ~Nicholas Higgins. North and South.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." No idea where that last quote came from, but I like it!

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