It’s no secret that I have always had a closer connection with men in my life than women, yet that’s not to say, I haven’t had positive and uplifting female influences in my life. Over the course of my 33 years of existence and the minuscule life experiences I have collected, I have had a stronger connection with more men than I have with women. I would dare to say, I’ve only reached out to form strong women-to-women relationships over the past year because I want to face my own undertones of cattiness with my gender.
That’s the crux of it all with women: cattiness.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s been a representative of the male gender (albeit a small percentage) in nearly every field I have incorporated my willful personality in, have had sexist things to say or the ever-popular backhanded compliments. You know, “You’re okay for a girl.” or “You’d be a better writer if you were hotter.” and things of that nature, but through my own scrutiny, I have realized and acknowledge those men are few and far between. I will use my work in the Christian church and NBA blogging as examples when I make this statement.
Overall, pound-for-pound, men have been greater supporters for my moral health and my overall work than women have.
In fact, women, even so-called “feminists” have been absolutely horrendous and if it wasn’t for their vagina, they would be mistaken for misogynists.
And we come to the word that still seems taboo in today’s culture: FEMINISM.
By my own admission, I am a feminist…but also an egalitarian. I do understand there are many piss poor examples of feminism, but then again, there are always fundamentalists in nearly every fraction of society.
I understand there are feminists that absolutely hate men.
I understand there are feminists that perpetuate hate as much as religious fundies.
I understand there are feminists that become slaves to their own narcissism.
I understand there are feminists that are the first to victimize and demonize women.
I understand there are feminists that want supremacy and not equality.
But I also understand there are many, many, many feminists that are none of those aforementioned things. They are like me; women (and men) who have seen the absolute worst out of the opposite sex as they further marginalize and oppress women. It may be in a softly masked rape culture, it may be in the patriarchy that runs rampant in this world, or it may be in religious oppression. Where ever it is, it is there, but I don’t think these feminists mask their power-hungry motives under the veil of “equality.”….
I truly strive for equality just like many men do.
So what is feminism?
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines feminism as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. : organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests.” I believe that’s pretty straight forward, but there is such a stigma attached to the word feminism that it has nearly become mutually exclusive with “man hating.”
I would assume much of the associated stigmas has happened with the birth of social media and how easy it easy to spread a caustic, blithering opinion.
But I digress, I think many women who adhere to the “feminist” label may view men as the enemy (now the keyword here is *I think* and these come from MY observations), when that’s far from the truth. There is no “us and them” mentality, when the actual amount of men that are true misogynists is such a low percentage. Yes, I do understand the percentage of men using softly masked patriarchy to define or characterize women is much larger.
The truth is, more men than not (again, from my experience) aren’t the ones who told me, “You deserved to get raped.” In fact, if I HAD to put a percentage on it, it would be around the second-to-fifth percentile, and to further this point, it’s been women that has had a greater percentage (nearly 1-in-4) that had told me I deserved to get raped because I dressed the part.
Not just submissive, “you belong in the kitchen” women, but self-affirmed FEMINISTS!!!
What in the entire fuck!?!?!
So, we can get down to the grit of this argument and that is, there is far more CATTINESS, DESOLATION, and UGLINESS among women as a WHOLE, than there is men-to-women OVERALL.
I’m still on the mend from a HORRIBLE church experience which was riddled with misogyny. sexism, maliciousness, and unrighteous anger from MEN. I mean, these were men (and I can laugh about this now) that were threatened by my effectiveness and my own charisma with “their” church goers, that they used an “angry, malicious, and vile God” to perpetuate the “woman belongs in a kitchen” narrative along with tying their own sexual frustrations to my spirit.
Honestly, I hear feminists and women complaining about men “complimenting them” (and again, this is all subjective, men and women can be utterly cruel with not understanding what “I’m not interested” means) and I laugh. That’s not even close to what I have had experienced. I had unwanted sexual touching, spiritual abuse, the incessant, “you should clean” over “you should lead” rhetoric, along with perpetuating the Eve-mentality using me as an example.
But even as bad as that was, and I tell you, it was DAMN AWFUL, their wives and fellow female leaders were even worse. Shocking, I know.
I was asked to help with children’s ministry which was a glorified way of baby sitting at risk youth for two hours every Sunday. That may sound vicious, but it’s what I did, yet I connected with those children in a way the female elders could not. I took so much joy into making them trinkets every Sunday and made elaborate snack displays because I felt like for one hour, I could make a difference. And it did. And I felt so lucky to have these children in my life, even for a few hours a week. They would start running up to me on Sundays, “Mrs. Tammy…Mrs. Tammy” and it made my heart swell with joy.
Then envy happened.
What tears apart women faster than you can say “united?”
Answer: When a younger version of themselves comes along with enthusiasm and joy, and not to mention, does your job in a more effective manner. I remember the talks so well, “We love what you do, Sister Tammy, but we feel like you aren’t obeying God.” What?
“We’re going to take back over…you just weren’t chosen by God.”
I remember going downstairs at the end of the service (and the only time I did so before leaving children ministry and then the church) and it was utter chaos. I overheard children say, “We miss Tammy. Where is she?” and their response was, of course, silence.
I had an enormous ache in my heart that day when I left because I wasn’t acting out because of jealousy, I truly enjoyed making a difference and looking back, I should have smelled their softly masked cattiness from a mile away.
I’m not going to even begin to mention all the forms of women cattiness I endured while blogging the NBA because I could literally write a novel about it. The irony of this was that many called themselves “feminists” but lacked any true idea what feminism was and truly is.
Let be frank, feminism IS NOT placing judgement on another women because her sexual standards do not meet yours.
Feminism is NOT being a judgmental, catty, bitch because a woman is more physically pleasing than you.
Feminism is NOT being a cantankerous snake because another woman has a personality that others adore.
Feminism is NOT being a combative ninny because another woman chooses to wear less clothing than you like.
Feminism is NOT having a massive chip on your shoulder against other women.
Feminism is NOT hating men that love women.
Feminism is NOT being a female douche.
If women became safe and respected by all men becoming feminists, then women accepting their own misogyny — whether defined as bias, hatred, cattiness or extreme snark — would seem to hasten a similar state.
Women may never be able to walk down a dark alley and feel completely comfortable, but it shouldn’t take so long to feel their self-esteem is likely to be safe within a diverse population of other women. For now, plenty of women wage war on other women.
Once upon a time, I could be labeled as that type of women; horribly cruel with my words, nitpicking another woman to pieces based on my standards, and basically being a total awful, and malicious mean girl.
Luckily, I have had life experiences to help me magnify those awful parts about me, so I can be proactive in being less awful.
It’s easy to see men as the enemy, but truly, the real enemy in women finding equality is among ourselves.
Let’s end cattiness and embrace our differences in one another.
Women, we all shine differently; just because another woman shines brighter, doesn’t mean that dulls your own shine.