Posted by: josephineprudhomme | April 5, 2013

The next generation

There was a topic introduced last week on the blog about a father who wrote into victorias secret about the new line they were creating for young girls. Most of our posts were outrage and shock that they thought this was at all appropriate, especially with the provocative messages being put on the clothes. This further more went on to stem some discussion about how for society’s mindset to change in that society no longer judges women so harshly, in the aspect of clothes, looks, how they act, who they date, how many people they date etc, it is essential that the way in which women treat one another changes first. As I entered into a discussion with my next interviewee and her partner I realized how tough it really is for women in high positions to gain respect from other women. Although the interviewee’s information I will keep for my paper, her partner had several comments to pass about how as a women she feels that her female subordinates are fairly difficult to deal with and often cause more tension and problems within her office than male subordinates. Women judge each other on weight, body shape, clothes, physical attributes, personality, etc. Why do we feel the need, or rather have such a natural instinct to judge one another? No body wants to admit it but we do all judge at some point. The stories in which this woman told me about how she constantly felt judged by her female subordinates to look “pretty” or good in the workplace, can be seen as an adult form of bullying. We are accepted into certain social groups and are rejected from certain because of our clothes, money, SES, etc. How is this any better than the bullying that goes on in middle schools and high schools? Those seem to have been deemed socially unacceptable by society, so why as women do we not realize that what we are doing to one another is hampering our fight for equality and that it should be eliminated all together, starting with our generation. How can we go about working to eliminate this female competition/ jealousy that is such a prevalent issue in our society today?


Responses

  1. I thought this post was particularly interesting because the theme that other women are our own worst enemies in the workforce was one that was highlighted in my interview as well. I really appreciated your analogy to middle and high school bullying – it almost is the exact same thing. I’ve never thought of it that way. I thought that one of the authors from a recent reading put it really well when they (I think it was Eagly and Carli) said that women tend to slam the door once they make it through themselves. I think that we’re standing in our own way for progress by criticizing each other so much. We can say that men have more holes to poke in us about our hair, make-up, wardrobe, etc, but women do the exact same thing to each other. There really is no break! I think the solution really does lie in the individual – this is so cheesy, but we need to personally be the change that we want to see, and maybe when someone else sees us building each other up, they’ll do the same to their peers, and it will continue to spread over time. I think understanding how widespread this tearing down is and the serious implications of it (if we can’t treat each other well, why should men give us equality in the work place?) is key – people don’t realize how this sort of thing ripples through time and society. It’s really sad. I know I never gave much thought to criticizing another women’s outfit or behavior because it’s just so commonplace in today’s society, but by doing that, I am in essence placing limits on myself.

  2. It is an internal problem. Females are a large part of the problem in how we judge others and set such high expectations. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will change anytime soon. The competitive nature both women and men have is just in our nature. For women it is shown by catty comments, harsh judgments and bratty comments. With men, it is shown in a more physical way like through sports. On the game field they are competitive and work out problems there, for women they use more verbal comments then physical.
    To eliminate this would be to condition everyone to believe in conformity. Placing standards such as uniforms at all schools from a young age will teach kids that clothes are not important. For girls especially, this would be effective and useful. Girls would learn to focus more on personality and identity through other attributes rather than clothes.
    It needs to be a process and by conditioning society to think this way it will take over the and move out the competitive nature to compete in the aspect of appearance.


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