This is a follow up to my Nov. 29 Post. It focuses specifically on women's meanness to women.
“Mean girls don't stay in high school forever. They're at college, at work, and even at church. The hurt from gossip, insults, and cutthroat competition doesn't stop after high school, either. In fact, the kind of meanness experienced by adult women can cut to the core just as quick, if not quicker, than it did when they were teenagers.” From the description of Mean Girls all grown Up: Surviving Catty and Conniving Women by Hayley DiMarco.No longer online is a column from the Orlando Sentinel (Jan 05) "Cliques not Just for Kids: Being Snubbed Hurts Women." But you can still access: “From Mean Girls to Mean Women: 5 Tips to Surviving an Impossible Work Environment: Dealing with Female Coworkers”
Although geared to the work place, meanness, competitiveness and jalousies have no limits. “Woman's Inhumanity to Woman” by Phyllis Chesler makes it clear that women can be vicious tone another in families, and betray their friends. Chesler draws on the most important studies in psychology, human aggression, anthropology, childhood developmental theory, primatology, evolutionary theory, psychoanalytic theory, myths and fairy tales, literature, plays, biography, autobiography, memoirs, and studies of revolutionary movements, including feminism. She also shares the findings of hundreds of original interviews conducted over a period of more than twenty years.
As I mentioned in my previous blog on this subject, it is human nature to look around and say to oneself: "I'm not like him; he has had dozens of DWIs, I've only had one." "I'm not like her, she has slept with so many men she can't even count them" or "I've never had an STD." We do this almost instinctively to feel better about ourselves.
And so -- sadly -- even among mothers who have been so denigrated, shamed, put-down, humiliated, and totally misunderstood by the general public...that mothers put one another down whether overtly or covertly.
Who amongst us has not whispered to a friend, "How could she have..." about some aspect of a mother's story that was not within the typical stereotype? Who amongst us have not said or heard it said that someone was not a good candidate for as campaign to help someone in a contested adoption because her boyfriend was in jail or because she had other children taken from her?
Amazingly, even those working toward family preservation...which by definition means helping families in crisis are picky and choosy about what types of crisis we will dirty our hands - and soil our "reputations" by associating with. Secind to poverty, drugs is the biggest cause of mothers loosing custody. And yet many small trial programs have proven successful in helping such fmailies. Family Preservationists need to let go of their haughty attitudes and embrace our sisters who need our support. Instead, we label mothers "abusers" though many are just as victimized as any mother who "voluntarily relinquished." But our need to feel better about ourselves causes us to categorize and make ourselves "better" than "others."
And our final insult is to call a mother a "Crack Whore" even while we get hysterical if someone else does!
So, as Bastard Nation has taken the worst thing said about adoptees and wear it proudly...as gays have taken queer as their own...I too embrace all so-called "Crack Whores" and beseach my sisters...she amongst us who is without sin, let her cast the first stone. For myself, I spent the 60's doing what most young people alive then did...guess that makes me a Crack Whore!
If you want to celebrate you inner crack whore with me, you can get groovy tee shirts and other goodies at Cafe Press.