The women of the world are at war. The babes are at battle. This summer I worked at an establishment that solely employed young women, and what fun I had with my new friends until the fight began. It was not long before my co-workers unleashed the foul within, and their pleasant exteriors melted away from the heat of the burns they brought to my attention. It is no wonder nations cannot get along when 20-something-year-old women cannot even resist the wicked indulgence to slander and snicker as their enemies toss their hair as soon as they turn their backs and leave the room.
There is something about my personality that compels people to divulge their grievances in my presence, and I reluctantly assume the role of mediator between warring factions. The intermediary position is not a role for which I volunteered. I have become like a comfortable couch on which my female friends fling their frustrated selves and rest their minds, busily consumed with judgment and discontent. I am squashed under the pressure of so many releasing their dissatisfaction upon me. My hope for womankind is deflated with every malicious remark I hear about some unassuming victim whom the slanderer most likely smiled at just moments before she verbally spat upon her soul. Regardless of my disgust and fury, I allow myself to sit idly without echoing the most diminutive remonstration. Speaking ill gets all the blame, but listening to it is equally blameworthy. So before I reduce myself to the point at which I am like a ragged rug on the floor which people walk on, I have to say something: Do not be afraid to tell your friends to stop their slandering. Friends are not allies in the war against the weird girl or the beautiful girl whom everyone abhors out of jealousy but secretly wants to be like. We cannot make friends out of those with whom we share a foe. If we have a problem with someone, we must have the conviction to say it to her face or say nothing at all. I am not listening anymore.
What is wrong with us women? It is impossible to like everyone, but hate is a concept I have never been able to comprehend. Why waste the energy it takes to hate, degrade and humiliate? If we truly dislike someone, why talk about them? Why spend our lives demeaning those of others? Do we truly have so little to discuss, so few interests and such barren personalities that we cannot think of anything more meaningful and fulfilling about which to chat and giggle than the self-proclaimed sordid conditions of someone else’s existence? Not being friends does not necessitate being enemies; it is not one or the other. Why cannot we just be? After all, there is always going to be someone more beautiful, more popular, more powerful or more intelligent. Tearing people down does not raise us up. When they fall, we fall – it’s a physical certainty.
In plays, the characters always get away with speaking in asides. They say things right in front of the characters about whom they are talking, and though the audience hears, the characters never do. Sorry, Shakespeare, but all the world is not a stage; men and women are not merely players. We are people. We have feelings and emotions and minds of our own, and we inevitably hear the asides people say about us. We will not get away with it.