Last week I had a burning question in my heart about a problem that has plagued the women community for a long time.
Have you ever heard women make a statement like?" Oh! I prefer to work with men than women? If yes, why so? Why men but not their fellow sisters? Please I need your inputs. Pour out what you think is the problem. This is a big problem facing the world of women. I think it’s high time we put our heads together and create solutions that will solve this problem once and for all.
To get other people’s opinions, I posted the question on four different groups on Facebook and even asked other men and women offline. The responses from both men and women were mind-blowing. I went all out and collected feedback from all the groups in which I posted my question. In their own words, here are some responses below.
The contributors are great women and men and also leaders from different age groups and races, meaning that this is a universal issue.I challenge you to spare just a few minutes of your time to read their comments.
From the women of Round 3 Community Champions - Private Facebook Group
Soumya Mohanty Vilekar said,” It is the thought process that hinders one, the inferiority of loss of confidence in self makes one become such and behave miserable with others. Equality and kindness should be the motto of the environment and women who are actually deserving should be motivated to work together with the negative people to lessen the negativity and increase compatibility”
Tamarack Verrall said,”This is a very old problem that continues today, and it is a good question to raise, as it hinders our coming together as women insidiously and terribly. We are taught in so many sneaky ways to distrust each other. If so few positions in work fields are available to women, women attack each other. We are accepted if we agree with men, mistrusted and scorned if we back each other, and/or issues related to women. A man is seen as a good boss, a woman, bossy. A man is seen as compassionate, a woman overly emotional. A man is seen as self confident, a woman egotistical. Women put other women down to be accepted themselves. It has been good to see posts coming from members on this, giving extensive background and good news of leadership of girls to trust each other (e.g. every girl for every girl, every woman for every woman movements (recent posts by Masaiien, Kujamac, Chibairo, Netsai). I believe that the fear of being seen as standing up for each other publicly is even stronger that the more simple but real competition for the precious few positions. I also believe it important for us to address it without losing perspective that we have been set up, and that the root of it is men bent on control. Thanks for raising the issue, Marie-Claire, and for your question, Soumya...what can we do about it”.
Sarah Murali said, “What a thought-provoking discussion! So good to hear what you all have to say. If the root of this behavior is jealousy, I have to ask, where does that jealousy stem from? As Tam described, the same qualities present in a man and a woman are often viewed differently. Men are often uplifted for qualities that a woman would be criticized for. In that environment, I can understand how women might feel pressure to vocally distance themselves from other women and be seen as being "more like men" -- especially at work. It is a very destructive force, surely, but an understandable reaction. The question of "what can we do about it?" is so key! I will be excited to see your thoughts on this Kuja, and the thoughts of all the others in this group”.
From The women of World Pulse,Sub-Sahara Africa
Polite Mbowa said,”Jealousy,competition of the same sex.red tape that men are superior and above all most women gossip or talk too much.men rarely do these thing”.
Celine Osukwu said,” Women talk so much about women's empowerment but hardly do it in practice. Out of my personal experience, a woman in a position of authority do not want to give other women especially the younger ones the chance or opportunity to grow”.
Leila Kigha said,” Women are emotion driven for the most part and we are not going to apologize for that Cuz it's who we are! But we need guidance on how to channel it especially when we are dealing with fellow women! Have you seen where two opinionated people meet, it's a battle to dominate. One is threatened by the other, as such they resort to either the blame or shame game! My take, when you are confident about who you are, you don't feel threatened by anyone,rather u see opportunities to grow or to be of help. That will make us work together and not against each other”.
Martha Monono said,”The funny thing is that despite all the drama men create in women’s lives and or the amount of hurt or abuse they cause, the women keep loving them. They’d rather hate a fellow woman, who has done nothing to them. But why is it so, why do women hate each other so much? Jealousy: Most women, whether they admit it or not, like to have attention focused on them. If there’s something taking it away from them, especially another woman, then she gets a little intimidated and typically starts to hate. Some women would hate you, if they think you’re prettier than them. Your mere presence makes them feel like ugly. If your dress looks prettier, they would hate. If they are single, they will see you as the competition. If they are married, they will see you as the seductive temptress trying to steal their man away”.
Chi Yvonne said,”This is an award winning post sis Marie Marie-claire Nabila Kuja.I have so much to say .I don`t even know where to start.I believe we have so much to benefit if we could just love ourselves.I see and sense a lot of meanness among women.Interestingly we all have unique gifts and talents.The skies are bright and broad enough to contain us all.So what is the strife all about?No matter how hard I try, what was meant for another person will never come to me.Women invest much energy ,efforts and resources in this nasty game of hatred.Facebook has provided a very good playground for us to manifest without limits.As advocates for women`s rights, let us say no to all forms of violence by women against women, beginning with ourselves”.
From Ken Geraldine, “Most of the times, women are responsible for their being maltreated. When l look at some cultural mal practices against women like widowhood. Those who spearhead are women. When it comes to issues like elections, women prefer to vote for men. Jealousy. Women do not support women to grow. Men give helping hands to women and are more sympathetic to them than their fellow women”.
From Wismah Matilda David, “Mostly its because women react to situations based on the way they feel. If they are having a bad time in their personal life they will treat others esp women badly. Sometimes women suffer inferiority complex even though they are the ones on the helm of power”.
From First Ladies’ Group
Nelly Acha- “I like work with men more that women because some women talk a lot, jealous. The can kill someone before it time”.
Carine Ndeh Njoh- “It's bc we constantly think we r in competition with each other. If we understand that r biggest competition is 'self', then we will always strive to get better and not be jealous of anything. If God is promoting them, rejoice and know ur turn will come. Men r simply not like that, others prefer working with them”.
Abong Abianui –“I have heard some women say that. I like to work with anyone who is positive and shares similar goals, be it men or women. We can't always choose our work environment, but we choose how we handle such situations. Gossip, jealousy, envy, etc won't stop as long as we give in to the flesh rather than allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit. Some people only see ur blessing and try to covet it but forget that u had sowing seasons (trials) after which u were blessed and if they remain steadfast and celebrate with you, they will be celebrated too at some point. In practical terms, a few ways to manage this is to be discreet, humble, pray for a spirit of discernment so as to know who u share what with, etc and some things are best shared with ur spouse only e.g. ur salary. Last but not the least, pray without ceasing”.
Nancy Chi –“That's a common saying amongst most people but I think as Christians, that thinking mentality should be so far away from us. We are to shine our light everywhere we are. I heard one preacher say its amazing how you squeeze an orange and get orange juice, an apple, apple juice but it's so sad to see that when Christians get squeezed, you get everything but Jesus. So let's go in the midst of the fire and let Jesus shine through us. Creation waits with earnest expectation for the manifestation of the sons of God! Even the most difficult co-workers, etc . When they see Jesus manifested through you, they will change”.
Jane Francisca –“Somebody once told me a woman's problem is a woman”.
Oluwatoyin Akinmeji-Abiola –“It is a mentality. A gossip will attract a good gossip, a jealous person will attract a jealous person, a talkative will attract a talkative even if you seem quiet. We attract who we are even as friends. Women who see other women as problems are the problems. And if they feel men are better that is fine”.
From my personal Facebook page
Javnyuy Joybert –“They argue that women talk too much and their high rate of jealousy is high”.
Lum Luthalice –“Most women are not humble as far as their fellow women are concerned and some do not always want to accept the fact that their mates can succeed to lead them”.
Maryle Laisin –“The truth is that the greatest enemy of a woman is a woman. I remember being given this as a dissertation in my 2nd year of sociology in the university. From the beginning God created man and woman, and not woman and woman. Yes, we all have our different points of views. But sister, I will be very grateful if we can together conceive a solution for our long lasting conflicts. Thanks a lot”.
As I read through I realized how deeply rooted this problem is.Jealousy, low-self-esteem, lack of confidence, comparison, competition and hatred seemed to have appeared in 90% of all the comments. With Jealousy being at No 1.But why? What is the cause of the jealousy amongst women?
What is jealousy?
According to WIKIPEDIA, “Jealousy is an emotion, and the word typically refers to the thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, concern, and anxiety over an anticipated loss or status of something of great personal value, particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness and disgust. Jealousy is a typical experience in human relationships. It has been observed in infants five months and older. Some claim that jealousy is seen in every culture; however, others claim jealousy is a culture-specific phenomenon.
Jealousy is often reinforced as a series of particularly strong emotions and constructed as a universal human experience; it has been a theme of many artistic works. Psychologists have proposed several models of the processes underlying jealousy and have identified factors that result in jealousy. Sociologists have demonstrated that cultural beliefs and values play an important role in determining what triggers jealousy and what constitutes socially acceptable expressions of jealousy. Biologists have identified factors that may unconsciously influence the expression of jealousy. Artists have explored the theme of jealousy in photographs, paintings, movies, songs, plays, poems, and books. Theologians have offered religious views of jealousy based on the scriptures of their respective faiths”.
Wikipedia has done an awesome job of detailing to us the clear the meaning of jealousy, which boils down to the fact that it is a natural part of our being as humans. However, as a nurse, I have always worked in mostly women-led work places and noticed is that, the negative impact of jealousy has created a very hostile work environment for women. More women are getting into the work force every day. We are educating/training a new generation of girls who will soon get into the workforce and even hold top positions in all sectors around the world.
Many senior citizens have admitted that jealousy is a very old problem that continues today and hinders our coming together as women insidiously and terribly. Jealousy is so destructive and all-consuming. What are we saying to our children?
What can we do? Are we all going to just fold our arms and say, after all jealousy is an old problem?
Or what can we do collectively to create a less hostile, more conducive work environment for us, our daughters and the generation to come? Or should we just let it be because it is a normal part of human beings even though its consequences are sometimes devastating?
Common characteristics of jealous people
[*] They have very negative and regressive state of minds.
[*] They have a jealous thought which says “I want what you have, and thus until I have it, you shouldn’t have it either.
[*] They hate progress. No one should succeed except them. They will do anything to pull back people who dare to be more than them.
[*] They get into a state of mind that presumes the right to control other people’s pleasure.
[*] They have very shallower emotions
[*] They could get very evil.
But how can we develop an inner understanding that will channel negative emotions away from feelings of jealousy.
Here is a good place to start.
- Change-of mentality /start with self/individual
- A good place to start will be to re-defining yourself by knowing yourself.
- Love thyself
- Believe in yourself
- Educate yourself
- Confidence in yourself
- Be humble enough to ask.No know knows everything.
- Give your life/your past/your changing body an interpretation that will empower you.
- Change the habits and things you can change and live the rest
- No competition/comparison/invest time in yourself
- Create a sisterhood.
- We all have great gifts and talents. We are all unique and special in our own right and should embrace our stories and celebrate our imperfections joyfully, completely and with pride. The world has room for all of us. No need for strife, jealousy or hatred.