If I had a dollar for every woman out there espousing the “women supporting women” adage and then doing the exact opposite, I’d be too busy counting bills to write this blog.
While the sentiment is quite noble, sadly in most cases it is complete bullshit.
You see, women who really support other women don’t spend an awful lot of time talking about how they support other women. They just do it, deliberately, earnestly, and regularly. Sadly, it is rare.
My point is, envy and jealousy are insidious emotions that can cloud clear thinking and interfere with what women really need and even what they really want. It stems from insecurity. That awful monster that resides in each and everyone of us to varying degrees. This feeling leads us towards controlling or devaluing behavior rather than more positive productive behavior, like actually supporting one another. As women, we sometimes tend to lose perspective. We get caught up in this self perpetuating cycle where someone is always more successful, more attractive, more whatever —which ultimately serves no purpose other than to undermine confidence and lose sight of the bigger picture.
Women today, whether millennials, gen-xers or even baby boomers identify with the generation of women who have struggled to break glass ceilings and are now, for the most part, taken for granted. And while we worry about losing our place in the X chromosome eco system, the generation that follows worries about getting into that race at all. These younger women are less focused on displacing their older colleagues than they are about becoming them, fearful that all the juggling and multi-tasking will lead to a complicated, unhappy life. I know this, I have millennial aged professional daughters making their way in the workplace and encountering their own set of issues. Fortunately, their focus is more on personal growth, than competition and displacement.
The truth is, competition
in the workplace and everywhere else continues to exist among women. Youthful colleagues can be found working hard to climb the corporate ladder. Aging
women guard their hard earned positions, looks (and husbands) by using their honed skills and experience to their advantage. Sure, young women get to enjoy their boundless energy and youthful appearance, but there is no substitute for the resilience, confidence and self awareness of a life well lived and a few decades under ones belt.
In the fairytale Snow While, the evil queen is driven by envy- envy that perhaps she is no longer the fairest of them all. And like many older women who struggle to recognize their own value, chooses instead to devalue or in this case, destroy her younger competitor. Ironically, Snow White actually longed for a mother figure after losing her own mother. The two women could have enjoyed a wonderful relationship and a happy ending had the evil queen not been so focused on her own insecurities.
My point is, there is room for all of us. We may no longer be the fairest or youngest of them all but there are tools at our disposal that can give them a run for their money (more on that later :)). Granted, in that mirror there are a few more wrinkles, and perhaps now we struggle to summon the energy of our youth (although we should never stop trying- more on that later too). But we can mentor, inspire, and encourage while we continue to grow and evolve into the kind of women we always envisioned that we would become. The kind of woman who looks back upon her life as and feels that glow of pride and accomplishment that comes from having done the work. A woman who serves as an example and a beacon for our daughters and our daughter’s daughters. Younger women can learn a lot from their older colleagues and female counterparts. They gain more from being supportive of them because they know that they too will be there one day.
#midlifebarbie #aging #fightthesigns #embracetheconfidence #Girlboss #empoweringwomen #empoweredwomen