Why Women Don’t Rule the World…

An ex once said to me: “You know why women will never have any power?  Because all of you are competing against each other…not focused on the common goal – the team.”

What is it about the way women are wired that makes us our own worst enemy? I used to believe the catty, judgemental, vindictive nature of  a woman was merely a consequence of her own insecurity.

I was wrong.

My sister provided an experiment which disproved the above sentiment. She said “next time you see a woman on the subway, instead of looking her up and down, make eye contact and smile.”  Sounded easy enough.

Wrong again.

A few days later while riding the subway, a young woman got on my train and stood across from me. Before I was conscious of what I was doing, I gave her the full once over. My eyes started at the top with her caramel colored hair, which I noticed was beautifully long yet disappointingly frizzy. My gaze moved over her face while I silently critiqued her makeup, which was inappropriately heavy considering the time of day. Then her outfit: the wash of her jeans was admirable but the cut was all wrong for her body type. Overall her attire would have proved  trendy if her boots had a different heel…

It wasn’t until hours later that I realized what I had done. And I still catch myself doing this occasionally…

I am a self-actualized young woman. I am more than comfortable with my body, how my clothes fit, the way my hair falls, the way I look with and without makeup.  Why then the need to pick apart the poor woman who happens to be in front me?

It took longer than I’d like to admit, but I was eventually able to carry out my sister’s experiment. On the subway to and from work every day, I make eye contact with a woman, and then smile. I get varied responses.

They are always surprised–their reactions delayed. I love when the smile is returned! I actually become giddy with delight, telling myself that the woman understands the feat I’ve just overcome, and I hope she’ll pass on the gesture. Other times I receive blank stares (“do I know you?”) or suspicious looks (“do I look like a lesbian?”).

Sigh.

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