Sheryl Sandberg Has Me Wondering: Where Are My Bitches?

There has been a lot of talk lately about Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In. To be honest, I’m not here to give a review because I have not read it yet. Maybe once I read it, I will have something different to say.

What I would like to comment on, and what I would think should be a part of the larger discussion, is the judgment that women have for each other.

Young girls and teens cannot wait to grow up. Do things like follow their dreams, wear makeup, drive a car, get their first place, and find someone to share it all with. As a girl now they are enduring drama, judgement, and defending choices like which American Girl is the cutest. There is a lot of drama and judgement on the playground. Little do they know this is something that seemingly is not getting better with time.

Women think Sheryl Sandberg is judging them, so they judge her. Stay at Home Moms are judging working moms for not spending time with their kids. Women with no children are judging mothers for not contributing to the feminist movement. Breast feeding mothers are judging bottle feeding moms. Skinny women are judging fat women. Readers judging TV watchers. Red wine drinkers think white wine drinkers are unsophisticated. American Idol vs. The Voice. Red heads vs. Blondes.

Am I the only one who thinks this is getting out of control? What does this accomplish? Why are we doing this to each other? When are we going to get off the playground and “lean in” to reality?

All of these “classifications” that seem to be defining women are putting them head to head against  each other. Having differing opinions or beliefs or being in various stages of a woman’s life has become a reason to get into a  cat fight… er… competition instead of well what they are, which is differing opinions, beliefs, or stages of one’s life.

It is like pissing contest on steroids.

When we were growing up, my mother and a group of ladies from our parish used to hang out once a month. They would meet at a different woman’s house, eat snacks, make a craft, and chat and most importantly laugh into the wee hours of the night. This was long before Pinterest, but it was very much like a Pinterest party.

These women called themselves the Bitch and Stitch. They even had a little tagline, “we bitch more than we stitch.”

As time went on, the “stitching” part of the get-togethers became pretty much nonexistent. My mom and her gal pals spent more time just hanging out, taking trips, going to dinner, and in general enjoying the company of other women.

After awhile, the group just became known as The Bitches.

When I was a teenager, and wanted nothing more than a boy to call me, seeing my Mom with her gal pals was comforting and kind of helped me to value my female friendships more.

Plus, there is nothing cooler than when your 50+ year old mom says to you, “I’m going out with The Bitches tonight.” It was so bad ass.

These women had a plethora of differences among them. Some had full time jobs while raising children, some didn’t, some breast fed, some didn’t. Heck some liked beer, and some drank wine. Remarkably, they all got along, talked about what they did have in common, supported each other, and laughed together because that’s what women should do.

When my Dad passed away, The Bitches were there helping my Mom grieve. When one of the ladies needed surgery, The Bitches were there, helping her recover. When one would go away for the summer, they would welcome her back in the Autumn with open arms.

No one got in self righteous squabbles about whose beliefs were more important, or judging others decisions regarding priorities, careers, parenting tactics, dietary choices, educational choices, or any other litany of arguments that women today are judging each other about.

They were just each other’s “Bitches.”

Women today are so busy trying to justify their decisions and beliefs and competing with one another over the differences, they are not focusing on what they do have in common. We are all human just trying to do what is best for us and our families.

Can you imagine all the free time we would all have if we stopped criticizing and judging each other? We would probably be able to solve some real world issues.

Or we would all be able to just sit and have a good chat with glass of wine (or beer, or pop, or tea, or a cocktail) and most importantly laugh.

Where are MY Bitches?

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