Growing up, I had very few female friends, and to be honest, the few I did have, I was kind of a dick to.
…it didn’t improve from there. Almost all of my friends were male, and I would deliberately avoid hanging out with women for most of my teenage years, all through my early twenties, until as recently as a year ago.
And it wasn’t really ever a thing I thought about much. On the rare occasion it was commented on, I would simply respond with “oh, I’ve just always gotten along better with guys.”
If pressed, I would tell you the plain truth; women are more work to hang around with then men. They’re more emotional, enjoy a baffling array of stupid sh*t I have little to no interest in (shoes, makeup, Bridget Jones, Sex in the City), and tend to be petty back-stabbers. “Catty” is the word that springs to mind.
Except they’re not.
Oh sure, a few are. Just like there’s a few men out there that exemplify the worst possible stereotypes about guys; lazy, beer-obsessed jocks with more muscles than brains who wouldn’t know a genuine emotional response if it junk-punched them. There are some of those. But are most men like that? No, no I don’t think so.
Though there are certainly times in my life when, after a breakup or some other dude-related tragedy, that I’ve been tempted to think so.
Just like the few girls I met in my high school days who lived up to my worst beliefs about women, it’s so easy to see the bad in one person, and assign it to their whole group. Were all the girls I encountered in my high school days catty b*tches? Of course not. Most were just going through their adolescence like me, and yet I only remembered afterwards, for the longest time, the mean ones. And the (vast majority) of girls who were kind to me? Or at least polite? I assumed they were talking sh*t about me behind my back.
No wonder I had few female friends.
And no wonder that as I grew older, I seemed to run into more and more “catty” women. Which only further fueled my misogyny (though I never recognized it as such). Have you ever heard the old expression “what you see is what you get”? Well, as anyone familiar with the Law of Attraction can attest, (or even anyone who just understands a bit about human psychology) what would be a better phrase in this instance is “what you LOOK FOR is what you get.” If you walk around expecting someone to be a a**hole to you, all day, everyday, guess what?
Someone is going to be a a**hole to you. Congratulations, you were correct. Now tomorrow, you’ll walk around expecting a**holery, but to an even greater degree. And since you obviously think so little of everyone around you, how long do you think you’ll have to wait this time before someone hurts you?
Please understand, I’m not trying to say anyone deserves cruelty or misfortune at the hands of anyone else.
What I AM saying is, what you put your attention on, grows. I only ever saw catty women. In a room full of strangers, half of them female, I might see two women talking poorly of another and think, somewhere, deep down “God, women are so b*tchy to each other.”
I am a woman. If I walked around thinking like this, what do you think my feelings of myself were like?
Of course, I prided myself on being “different”; not catty, a “tomboy”, one of the guys.
But I’m not a guy. I’m a woman. All women are b*tchy to each other? Well, I was certainly b*tchy to them, at least in thought, and when I could get away with it, in words.
What you look at is what you get.
I had become the living embodiment of an old stereotype. All the while thinking how different I was. Because as much as I looked down on other women for talking badly about others, I was doing it at least as often; deriding those awful “other” women who in most cases, I didn’t even really know.
That is not an easy thing to accept about yourself. And how many of those “catty women” I encountered in my life were in the same boat, thinking and feeling the same way? It horrifies me now, looking back.
Further, do you think I, at any point in all of those years was ever truly comfortable with being a woman myself? I might say I was, if anyone had ever thought to ask. But when you believe all the other members of your gender are [insert whatever derogatory thing you want to here], or even “just most of them”, you deep down, are saying you are partly those things yourself. Every one of the things I liked about myself, were traits that identified myself as being “more masculine“, in my own mind.
That isn’t just women hating women. That’s women hating themselves. And I know I’m not treading any new ground saying this? But that’s pretty freaking awful.
Yesterday I wrote about overcoming fear through self-love. Today, I want to briefly end with learning to overcome misogyny…especially if you’re a woman (or identify as such) yourself.
And once again, self-love if the key.
Above I mentioned how I always assumed that other women were talking about me behind my back in a negative manner.
Why? Why would I just assume that? Do you assume it? Why did I think I would be automatically considered just like, seven major kinds of awful in their eyes? And if the women I’m choosing to converse with and invite into my life are the type of person who will do that to everyone, well then why am I conversing with them at all? Why am I inviting them into my life? And I can hear the the objections being raised already by people who thought just like I did a few years back;
“Well I don’t have a choice. I work with this person.”
“They’re family/in my significant other’s family/my dogs vet. I have to be around them. I have to put up with it.”
“The only people I ever meet are the negative people you’re describing!”
You always have a choice. What you look at is what you get. Again, no blaming here, instead, learning: I, Krissy, am learning that I have control over who I interact with and how. I am learning that, by expecting for years to be surrounded by catty women/rude in-laws/shady veterinarians (don’t ask), I have naturally created an environment for myself, (albeit subconsciously, unknowingly) where ALL OF MY EXPECTATIONS ARE MET.
And if you’re surrounded by negative people (like I was for a time), then that may seem like a very sad idea to contemplate. But it really shouldn’t be. Because it means, above all else, that YOU are in control. Love yourself. Love yourself enough to not expect women to be awful to you, or men to be awful to you, or veterinarians to be awful you, whoever and whatever it is, because I can tell you (without ever even having met you) that you deserve it.
Say or think it right now, wherever you are, please: I now allow myself to experience only loving and respectful relationships in my life. I now allow myself to give love and respect right back.
I now allow myself to believe that women are kind, caring and supportive, and choose to embrace these women in my life, because I know I deserve it.
I now allow myself to accept that all women are unique, and capable of great beauty and compassion, including myself.
For the first time in my life, as I write this, my actual best friend is another woman.
Because I make the choice to love and accept myself as a woman enough to finally start to love and accept others.
What does this post, and yesterday’s, have to do with the Divine Feminine? I suspect if you’re reading this, you already can guess the answer.
If we do not love women, or love ourselves for being women, how can we love Her?
If we live in constant fear of what might go wrong, how can fully embrace the challenges (and opportunities) that She gives us?
I am a female recovering misogynist. And whether you perceive the Divine Feminine as purely energetic existing both inside and everywhere, as a sentient Goddess, an ideal to strive for, or all of the above, please take a moment today to love the Divine Feminine in you, and all of us.