The pot filled with lobsters is bubbling on top the raging fire. The lobsters try to claw their way out. Taking a closer look you see it, strange but true. They climb on top each other, helping each other claw their way out of the pot. You can be sure that these are male lobsters. BECAUSE, female lobsters in a steaming hot pot of boiling water clamp each other down so that no one can get out. How alike these female lobsters are to us women.
I'm asking the age old question, asked a million times by others before me. I hope that somewhere along the line in the course of this write up I would be able to find an answer; Why do women hate each other?
The story of the male and female lobster told to me some years ago is probably a myth. I just read that lobsters die almost immediately they enter hot water. But, there must be a reason for this myth.
Women's dislike (if hate is too strong for you) is however, no myth. If you're going to act ignorant and claim not to know what I mean I'll give you the quickest examples. Visit one of your favorite blogs eg LIB, LLB, SDK, and search posts about TOKE MAKINWA, GOLDIE (RIP), TONTO DIKE, TOOLZ, among others, now, read the comments. There is no insult that hasn't been hurled at and heaped on these ladies. Every word of contempt, disdain, cruelty and hate has been used. Now what strikes me as almost unfathomable is the fact that this hate and bullying comes from other women. You will rarely ever see a comment from a guy calling Toolz a Whale and asking her to "hit the gym, fatty", or what used to be the popular one a couple of years back "We heard she smells like fish down there". Wow! Isn't it strange that the people who seeming know the odor of Toolz' nether region are all females? How come we never heard this from one guy at least, who is more likely to know? Goldie was a major recipient of the hate, bullying, insults, vitriol and vicious criticism in the (online) media. Read the comments and they're sure to be from her fellow women. I never understood this. I'll be honest, at first I felt she tried too hard but soon after I realized something, it could not be easy. The image she was creating, the brand she was building, the insanely creative videos she was making, there was no way it could be easy. This young woman was working hard to do something different, to carve a niche. There was no way I could hate on her. She deserved to be applauded. So when I went online and read the hateful comments that always followed once her picture was up, I was dazed. Do I need to go into detail about Tonto and Toke? Thankfully, where these two are concerned it's not as bad as it used to be because these divas have proven that they have unbreakable spirits, it seems some of their detractors are getting tired.
Now let me talk about the one that made my mouth form a big round O, the one that made me feel like my brain was making pop corn, the one that astounded, confounded and dumbfounded me. The Ese Walter story. This young woman came out to tell a story that would undoubtedly cause a lot of controversy, pain, insults and stigma. Yet, she told it. I'm sure we all read or heard the story. You know, the one about a new level of grace? She told of her affair with a "Man of God" and the challenges she faced afterwards as she tried to make sense of what had happened. Ese, I must confess, irked me when she came across sounding like she had been victimized. It's possible that she was but I couldn't/can't understand it. But, what I found strange was the barrage of insults and curses and hateful comments that were thrown her way. Do I need to point out that a lot of these comments were by women just like her. Unlike other matters, this wasn't restricted to the online media alone. It became a topic for round table discussions. During a couple of these conversations, some of my female friends condemned her. I remember asking them why and none could ever come up with a sensible reason. Also, that week, I listened to one of the really cool Lagos radio stations that blasts hot beats, I was stunned as even the OAP said some rather unkind words about Ese Walter. Now the part that was laughable was that the show was hosted by two presenters, one male, one female. Ironically, the guy was empathetic to Ese, while the lady actually castigated her, (I thought they were meant to be objective in their views?). I could not understand how a man who had vowed both to his wife and to God and who is supposed to lead millions to Christ was caught in the middle of that kind of dirty scandal, where he was sleeping with a member of his congregation and it was the woman who was to be blamed.! Oh women, why do we do this to ourselves? This man was not called out, even when this story was corroborated. It was Ese who was (and still is, to some) an object of ridicule and disdain.
Just in case you're tempted to ask how I can be so sure those comments are by women considering that a lot of them are made by anonymous commenters, trust me, you'll know!
This woman-hate-woman is not restricted to the internet. Remember how uneasy we felt back then in the university when we had problems in a course and we needed to talk to the lecturer of said course, and the lecturer was a woman? We knew that things would be more difficult than they should be because "women hate each other". In 2012/13, a lot of my girlfriends attended interviews and I cannot remember how many times each one prayed before attending an interview, that the interviewer won't be a woman, or that there would not be a woman on the panel.
I'm sure a lot of us can totally relate to what Francie, a character in A Tree Grows In Brooklyn meant when she said "Most women had one thing in common: they had great pain when they gave birth to their children. This should make a bond that held them together, it should make them love and protect each other against the man-world. But it was not so. It seemed like their great birth pains shrank their hearts and their souls. They stuck together for only one thing- to trample on some other woman…whether it was by throwing stones or mean gossip. It was the only kind of loyalty they seemed to have. As long as I live, I will never have a woman for a friend. I will never trust any woman again, except maybe mama." Very sad, but this is only the reality of things. And if you'll think about it you can relate too. We often hear girls say they cannot be friends with other girls, they would rather have male friends. An example is this comment below,
I found similar comments on that same post.
I hate to ramble on even after (I like to believe) I've made my point, I try instead to find solutions and in this I first question the causes. What is it that makes some women hate other women? Could it be envy or jealousy? Does one woman's beauty deem yours in comparison and thus threaten your chances with members of the opposite sex? Does one woman's success make you feel small and insignificant? Does one woman's downfall suddenly make you feel better about yourself? Does her seeming perfection remind you of your many flaws? Does a woman who is confident in her sexuality threaten or anger you? Does the very confident high-flyer make your own wings feel clipped? Why do WE women hate each other?
We already have enough to deal with in a man's world. Having to work twice as hard to get half the recognition (a man would), dealing with domestic violence, rape, discrimination and even something as trivial as PMS... The least we can do is try to have each other's back and empower each other. We should be allies and not in constant competition with each other. The sky is big enough for all the birds of the earth.