One would think that in a magical time like this US election where a women finally has a chance to elect a fellow woman—and the first female president, at that—we would jump at the opportunity. Yet, it isn’t so. As Hillary Clinton struggles with enlisting the support of other women and playing the woman card, we are mystified and baffled as to why it’s so hard.
As the creator of The Women’s Code, I have written a book, spoke at numerous events, and write regularly about the phenomenon of women not supporting other women. Unfortunately, not much has changed since Phyllis Chesler wrote her groundbreaking book Woman’s Inhumanity Against Woman and words like She-Tyrant and Queen Bee exposed the incredible cruelty of which women are capable.
Do women dislike other successful women?
Research papers from organizations like Catalyst, AAUW, and Working Mother all tell the same story. The hard numbers show the air is thin at the top. Five percent of Fortune 500 CEO’s are women, and between 20-25% of executive positions are filled by women. In my talks I always share a graph that shows how women and men enter the job world at approximately a 50-50% rate. But women must get “dumber” as we move up the ladder because the numbers drop dramatically the higher you look.
A new study shows that women who code actually code better than men. That is, as long as nobody knows they are women. Because when that morsel of detail is known, the quality of the coding done by women suddenly and inexplicably drops by 62.5%! That is INSANITY.
Worst of all, numbers across the board show the advancement of woman at work is already on a downslide once again. The decline slight so far, but without the support and buy-in from younger women, the cause our foremothers risked their everything to achieve could be jeopardized.
Why are young women not supporting the rise of women?
Here are my thoughts. First of all, they were raised by mothers like me. We reared our boys and girls in the same ways, which means our daughters learned from infancy that they are equal to their brothers. Our daughters don’t see the issues the same as we do. For them, of course women work, of course women make money, of course women speak their minds and express their opinions openly.
So then, what’s the problem?
The problem is these young women are swimming along in an adaptation of the men’s code—the one that says you must be in your masculine to succeed, that you don’t need other women to do it, and that other women are just competition in the way and must be mowed down.
Think about it. Even though the issue of bullying has been in the spotlight for the past few years, isn’t there another video every week of the bullying women do to each other? The consequences are often disastrous and forge a lifelong distrust of other women. We know this, yet we STILL behave that way! How is that possible?
Women are unbelievably hard on each other. Passive aggressiveness starts with girls at the age of 9. Throughout our teenage years and often into our 40’s, we strip each other of the right to speak our opinions, we critique outfits, looks, weight, size, color, and some of us even going so far as to wish death to another woman via Snapchat as to not leave a trace. Nobody wants you, why don’t you just die?
So this is how we grow through our formative years and young adulthood. We believe other women are out to get us, chasing our men, and sabotaging our opportunities to advance. The b*tch who got famous took our chance at making it.
Sure, there are plenty of examples of how women who manage to have a close circle of friends throughout their lives. I salute you and hope you will support your sister Hillary Clinton in changing the path for women with something to say forever. A woman can be president.
But many of you will roll your eyes at me now. Well Beate, I just don’t AGREE with her, I don’t LIKE her, there is SOMETHING about her… What about Benghazi, her emails, the Clinton foundation…?
Listen, this is politics. Show me the politician who has never sent a message from a personal email account. I dare say that every presidential candidate has flip-flopped on an issue, withdrawn support, made contradicting statements, or flat out lied. So why does Hillary get shafted for it more than the others?
Women today still live with a set of double standards along with a deeply-embedded scarcity mentality that is carefully fed by media and, well, by many men. Being in power is great. It’s wonderful to have buddies to call on when you need a favor because they owe you from the favor you did for them. Why would men in power want to see women rise and ruin the system?
Nobody likes change.
Instead, we are entertained by videos of catfights. By reality shows that demonstrate a complete lack of empathy for other woman. By magazines that gloat over things like country star Blake Sheldon’s new skinny, sexy woman (his previous partner struggled with her weight). And how many headlines still declared a full 10 years after their break up that Jennifer Aniston wants Brad Pitt back? They sell products and keep us occupied. It’s “just” entertainment, but it contributes to our societal reality.
And sadly, it keeps us women in our place. So we take our frustrations and the fights to other women. It must be her fault because it certainly isn’t mine. It’s what keeps us spinning in circles and not really moving ahead. We turn our backs on giving credit to the women who made all of it possible for us.
It is easy to point out the flaws of another woman. Go ahead. My jeans size just went up a number, I am definitely feeling the effects of menopause, suddenly there is cellulite on my legs, and do you see how much deeper the lines on my face are getting?
But we NEED each other. We need all of us, especially those amongst us who already fought the battles.
Every generation rebels against their mothers. Perhaps this is where we are at.
For me, it is very clear. I worry about what went on with the Clinton Foundation. I worry about what emails could have been compromised, and I acknowledge Hillary Clinton has made mistakes.
And then I think about myself. I have changed my mind about issues and took a different position. And I definitely made quite a few mistakes.
What about you? The one without a fault throw the first stone.