ARE women hard on each other? Do women sabotage each other so much that it damages any effort at their collective advancement? Is it fair to say that even if government puts in place policies or programmes to help women progress, this won’t really help because of the rage that women have against each other?
It’s been talked about a lot, mostly in private spaces, in fact, women hating against women is an open secret in our society, so to speak. It’s a view that most people instinctively agree with. Most of us have heard of the proverbial mother-in-law versus daughter in law fights. But what is most surprising is that women hating on each is not only in Zimbabwe, it appears its a global phenomena.
Take the US, for example: according to a recent study by the Workplace Bullying Institute, women bully other women at work — verbal abuse, job sabotage, misuse of authority, and destroying of relationships — more than 70 percent of the time.
Another study by Business Environment, Women are their own worst enemies in business with 25 per cent of female managers admitting they are reluctant to hire a woman who has children or is of a child-bearing age.
As well as discriminating against those with children, many female managers also admitted to judging women staff on how they dressed.
One of the reasons given for women hating on each other is that their evaluation of other women is largely shaped by a male worldview. That is to say women judge other women based on standards and norms developed by men.
There is also a general notion that women don’t like to be outdone by other women whether it be about simple things such as the way dressing or level of success. Add to this, a sense of female success is based on subjective, biased, external validation by others. Consequently, women compete with each other for male attention and compliments as if it feeds their self-worth and self-esteem.
So what do you think? Is is true that women hate on each other? Is it true that women always seem to think other women have underlying motives, and the natural defenses are always up? What has been your experience, and what needs to happen to change this?