I am a real cheerleader for Girl Power. And while I am awed and grateful to those who are fighting the fight in Corporate America, politics, and other areas sporting the notorious glass ceilings--my advocacy efforts have been in the area of personal empowerment. As an author and sensuality coach, I've made it my business to help women find their true and authentic selves, and live joyfully and sensually empowered by the knowledge that being themselves can never be wrong.
That said, while I've been on a short break between the last book and the next, I've been watching more television than usual, and based on the current television fare, ladies, we've taken a huge step backwards. Every third channel seemed to feature bickering women of all races, ages and economic classes, throwing nasty word jabs, or worse yet, actual punches. According to the ratings, for far too many of us "must see TV" now revolves around bad behavior by and between women.Last night's Basketball Wives reunion show sent me running to my computer. Is everyone on that show named Boo Boo or Bit*ch? Everyone seemed to be arguing over some 'she said, she said' and other irrelevant nonsense like who had what earrings first. Honestly, my basketball girlfriends in high school acted more mature then these supposedly grown women. These chicks may want to take a look at LaLa's new show to see the difference between being an inspirational role model and an asinine one.
The teen set has the The Bad Girls Club, and of course, the residents of the Garden State have been totally embarrassed by the cast antics of Jerseylicious and The Jersey Shore, where questionable choices, competition, drunken, mean spirited behavior, and blatant disrespect makes you rich and famous. We grown women have the bickering Basketball Wives and the Housewives from all over the country, in all of their bitchy, backstabbing, two-faced glory. The Bridezillas, with their irritatingly nasty ways, make it clear why the divorce rate is so high. Even the itty bitties bring their full blown diva tantrums to Toddlers and Tiaras, and most of these back talking princesses haven't even started kindergarten yet.
These shows, and a host of others like them, have made it cool to be a judgmental, critical, and rude harpie, especially if your particular 'insights,' opinions, and commentary are delivered with biting sarcasm and personal disdain. Women on these shows don't converse with each other, don't call each other by name, but simply pump up the volume and try to shut the other person down and drown them out with curses, insults, and when all else fails, physical assault.
The problem with our popular culture being polluted by the mean girls and their bad behavior is that, sadly, we are actually bonding over, and worse, emulating this stuff. Petty gossip and harsh judgment has become a valid form of social interaction. And as Snooki and NeNe prove, at the very least it gets you attention, and if you're really lucky, it can also bring you fame and fortune.
But it's also costing us our sisterhood. In the name of entertainment, we are losing our compassion, tolerance and acceptance for each other, which is a damn shame because as Mother Teresa said, "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." And as we all know, if you don't love, you don't really live.
I've said it so many times, "Men make you good at what you do. Women make you good at who you are." Being friends with women can be a difficult task because we are taught early on that other women are our competition and too many of us look at each other with envious eyes, and try to build ourselves up by tearing other women down.
The truth be told: Hatin' only stunts your growth. Know that sister love is no different than partner love in that like energy attracts like energy. The quality of friendship in your life is directly related to the quality of girl friend you are.
So beware of the woman who doesn't like other women. We all know one or two, who says, "I don't know why women don't like me." Or "I just don't seem to get along with women." These women aren't going to help you thrive, but instead will vampire your positive energy and create more drama in your life. And if you find that you're the mean girl, start seeing yourself in other women. You'll find your own strengths in the women you admire (or envy), because they act as a mirror, reflecting back at you the same hidden assets that you possess but have yet to acknowledge and let surface.
Ladies, can't we simply live and let live? Can't we all just get along?
Follow Lori Bryant Woolridge on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@stilettou