Female solidarity?

It has always been a puzzle to me that women generally are so hateful and unsupportive of each other. I have, in fact, found myself engaging in this same behavior and I am not clear why.

This is particularly true of women in medicine and academics and corporate America.

As women, we are generally the nurturers. We hug and kiss and cuddle our kids. We hold the hands of anxious patients and cry with them when they are hurting. We can see the softer side of things. We make a house a home. We create life. We inspire lust. We possess such amazing power!

Why can’t we be supportive of each other? Is it because we are so afraid that our strengths will actually become our weaknesses? We know where our own weaknesses lie and therefore know where to look for them in others? That we feel we have to fight harder and crush those women around us to keep ourselves from drowning?

I had a female physician acquaintance say to me when I announced that I was pregnant, “Oh, good! Having kids will make you a better doctor.” And she was right. I don’t raise that single accusatory eyebrow when a parent admits that they only brush their toddler’s teeth maybe once a day, if they are lucky. Instead, I laugh with them, give them a high five, and tell them it is OK.

But at the same time, I resent female staff or partners having to bring their sick children to the office. Or staying home with them. I seethe. I make rules. Until I have to do it myself. And THEN, of course, I have to make an exception. Life slaps me in the face.

As women, our kids are our greatest strengths and our greatest weaknesses, followed by our caring and compassion for others. They give us great power and terrible vulnerability, but too many of us exploit these things in others.

“The beauty of empowering others is that your own power is not diminished in the process.” Barbara Coloroso

“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar

I pledge to redouble my efforts to empower other women, to be an exception to the rule!


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