Women's worst enemies are often women themselves. Sad but true. As a woman who early on in life knew that my feminism would come with a price, I never thought it would mean that my own gender would often hold the arsenal that would wound me the most, and for reasons that defy rational comprehension, because the strength of a woman should not be viewed as a threat or challenge to another woman. In stead it should be seen as an embrace.
The morality of women unfortunately has always been an easy target of attack for centuries by those who wish to dis-empower women, and though we proclaim that the 21st century implies progress and evolution of ideas, we still find that women are repeatedly stigmatized by assumptions that aim at "sullying" her moral integrity. Whether in social, political or economic environments, this becomes a strategy of harassment. Women battle to break down the stereotypical expectations that patriarchy imposes, and the double whammy comes when we encounter women themselves being salacious about each other.
What is tragic is that the process of "Chinese whispering" cements these falsehoods, making them fictionalised truths. In my own life I have encountered many women masquerading as Judas. It is paradoxically women who may seek to shelter in the comfort of sustenance from the emancipation and empowerment that sisterhood can offer, who are the one's who often negatively impact the goals of gender equality the most. Perhaps their inability to leave the imprisonment of conservative gender dictates turns them into enemies of their own dreams. The casualty is sadly the death of their inner spirit over time; where fear compromises their spiritual journey.
As women we all abhor the use of rape as a weapon of war. Yet do we comprehend that as women we rape each other daily through these regressive attitudes we continue to propagate. Do we wish to defeat the achievements of choice and hamper the process of equality? Do we not respect this hard won territory by women for each other, and not know it to be a legacy for our daughters? Why do we trample on the seed of our own fruits ?
I want my adopted grand-daughter (whose parents are our dearest friends), to know the strength of solidarity and not be put down by the insecurity or the pettiness of her own gender, simply because we remain ignorant of what we need to nurture within our gender. I want that she should expect woman to uphold the stories of one another with trust and dignity, respecting that the endeavours of each generation of women to empower is precious; and that it is this which compiles the tapestry of our collective ancestry. Let us not make this tapestry a shroud of shame, but a flag that embodies our rightful liberation as equals within society held aloft by every woman in every corner of the world..