Today is International Women’s Day, and I think that is a perfect day to call an envy and jealousy ceasefire among women. There’s a not so new envy in town, that has become hot again, or maybe it never went away. Something right up there with penis, purse and Louboutin red-soul envy. I’m calling it “Girlfriend Envy” and it has made a reappearance alongside all of us freshly minted “goddesses.”
What? You haven’t noticed all of the “Goddesses?”
Well, maybe I see them more because I’m a Sex/Fertility Educator with a “New Age” bent, but I am surrounded. And that’s a good thing. It means we women are coming into our own, mortal “deities of creation” in one form or another. We’re not just sex goddesses, we’re media or financial goddesses. Powerful women abound and the world’s a wide open pantheon waiting to be filled.
And the Goddesses connect with each other, and become friends. We pitch Red Tents, and dance in circles. Until one of us get’s a book deal, or loses fifty pounds or snaps an appearance on Dr. Oz.
And then, the tent can turn green.
I asked one girlfriend who is also a colleague about this uniquely feminine jealousy and this is what she offered:
“Jealously among women becomes an opportunity to see the stories that we have believed about ourselves that have kept us from being our authentic self. Envy is a revelation of all the stories that I have kept to myself regardless off what everybody else thinks. And I not only turn it on myself, but I can turn it on you.”
Another girlfriend said this: “What is it about the ‘Tallest Poppy Syndrome’ with women? Why do women look at other women – successful women – who have really achieved something wonderful and resent them, attack or cut them down in some way! I am so tired of it. It’s hard enough for us together to break through the glass ceiling. We need to get each others backs, not climb over them so we can get to the top. Why are we looking to behead the tallest poppy in the field? Do we really think that if we pull her down that our star will rise? Do we really think that her success replaces our own?”
That is the crux of it. I think women are so frightened of the small playing field that is available to us, that we feel compelled to act like destroyers to have room to grow. It’s just not true and it’s time to change all that.
It’s time for us to really accept to our “Goddess Energy” which is about connecting, creation and building community, not war and dominance. Women are magical when it comes to growing things and it is time that we grew the playing field so that all of the poppies can grow tall.
When “girlfriend envy” starts to turn in on itself, no amount of feminism will save us.
So if you feel it coming on, stop and notice it.
Why are you feeling threatened or jealous? How can you grow the field instead of looking to bomb it?