real life

GUEST POST: Why are women SO judgemental of each other?

It’s treat time. A guest post from TheRealSydney. A month or two ago, I did a post about Big Boob Prejudice and asked if it exists. Apparently it does. I didn’t realise this because I only have big boobs when lactating and the only prejudice I’ve experienced is from my own clothes who stubbornly refuse to accommodate them.

Anyway. There was quite an energetic debate on the subject and afterwards, the much-beloved regular MM commenter,  The Real Sydney aka TRS contacted me to offer the following guest post which I thought was worth sharing. That’s not her in the photo, in case you’re wondering.

TRS writes….

I read with great interest the recent post on Big Boob Prejudice, and noticed something that didn’t sit right with me, and hopefully, it won’t sit right with many of you … what didn’t sit right? All of the very harsh judgments women seemed to pass on Brynne Gordon. 

Brynne Gordon was called: ridiculous, trashy, tacky, vulgar, tarty, classless, yuck, tasteless, completely ludicrous, craptacular, cheap & fake. Harsh? I believe so. Do we want our daughters to say these things about each other? I think not.

Shouldn’t we be praising Brynne for having a healthy self image, self confidence, absolute conviction about the way in which she projected herself & the fact that she had the strength to stand by her choices even under fire? Isn’t that ultimately what we want for all women – to be whoever they choose to be & be proud of themselves?

I’m not innocent, I stand before you – guilty as charged for passing judgment on other women. But I ask you to consider this …. can’t we just stop doing it, please?

Many, many comments on MM over the past 12+ months that I have been reading, have been about body image & how the media makes us feel bad about ourselves – well I put it to you that we as women are equal contributors – we make ourselves and each other feel insecure – with judgments, criticism, nastiness & stereotyping.

I mean, if I am judging you, then I presume that you are judging me … right? And if I hear one of my friends being judgmental of others, then she is probably judging me too = insecurity, am I good enough? Do I fit her version of acceptable? One of my most insecure girlfriends happens to be the most judgmental person I know – that’s why she’s insecure, because she assumes that everyone is judging her just as harshly as she judges them – and so the vicious cycle perpetuates.

Quite a few comments on the Big Boob Prejudice post ridiculed fake boobs, I have fake boobs. Did this make me feel bad about them? No, but if I didn’t already have a great sense of self worth, maybe I would have slunk away, feeling insecure about having fake boobs.

I know now how many of you feel about my boobs – but why? What have my boobs ever done to you? If you knew that I have endured 5 traumatic and painful surgeries on my boobs because I made a bad decision when I was in my early 20’s, would that make you a little more empathic? Would you be as likely to call them ‘plastic fantastic?’

My point is that you don’t know someone’s back story – you don’t know what it is that has brought them to this point in their life – can’t we be more open minded and supportive of each other?

Please indulge me for just a moment, imagine this …. 4 guys catch up at the pub for a few drinks after work …. their conversation goes like this :

Adam : OMG did you guys see Robert Pattinson on the cover of New Weekly – he looked dreadful – he really should take a shower!

(All laugh)

Bill : Oh he’s trash, complete trash! you know what was even funnier – Brad Pitt on the red carpet with monogrammed slippers – what the hell was he thinking?

Chad : Hahaha – oh, Angelina is way too good for him – he looks like a freakin Billy Goat with that beard! Do you think he’s had any work done?

Dave : I thought the monogram slippers were quite quirky, at least he has some style – not like that douche bag Johnny Depp with his greasy hair and geek glasses.

Bill : yeah well at least he hasn’t had any work done – he is one guy who is growing old gracefully – more power to him – he’s ‘real’.

Clearly this is NOT going to happen – unless of course they are very bitchy gay men – and probably not even then, unless one of those men happens to be Perez Hilton (I am allowed to say this, I have a Black Belt in Fag Hag).

Men don’t seem to ridicule each other in the same harsh and mean spirited way that women do & funnily enough, most men don’t seem to have the same level of body image issues and insecurities as women do. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Because men too, are exposed to a barrage of perfect looking images every day via the media – they just don’t pour over them, make comparisons and criticise.

So why do women do this to and about each other? We don’t know Brynne Gordon, we know nothing about her, but we made quick judgments about her based on her appearance, the tan, the hair, the dress, the fiancé. If it’s not ok for us to label each other as fat or skinny, then why is it ok to label each other as classless or trashy?

I understand that it’s human nature to form opinions of other people. So how does judgmental thinking differ from making judgments? Judgmental people state their views and observations in no uncertain terms; they declare what is right and wrong, what should and shouldn’t be, what’s good or bad. Making a simple judgment, however, does not carry these malicious overtones. “I don’t like the outfit, the sparkly bra is a bit OTT or inappropriate for the event” is a judgment. Saying that “she’s vulgar & tacky, that she should expect to be treated with less respect” is judgmental, and quite frankly nasty.

So I call on you all …. to ‘Live and let Live’ – next time you go to utter some judgmental words, think ‘to each their own’ – accept, support and encourage each other no matter the choices we make, just because you don’t agree with it, doesn’t make it wrong – it’s just different. I’ll leave you with two quotes:

“Be curious, not judgmental”

-Walt Whitman.

“If her past were your past, her pain your pain, her level of conciousness your level of conciousness, you would think and act exactly as she does. With this realisation comes forgivness, compassion and peace.   The ego doesn’t like to hear this, because if it cannot be reactive and righteous anymore, it will lose strength”

-Eckhardt Tolle

Since TRS sent me that post, I have thought about it a lot. Particularly after I copped a fair amount of flak for a post where I suggested (albeit in language that may have been a little too emotive) that the mother of a newborn baby who left her daughter in a hospital never to return or make contact, was not the best person to raise that baby.

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I was genuinely shocked at the accusations that I was being too judgmental. I still can’t reconcile the idea that somehow we should suspend judgment of people all the time and be totally kumbaya. How is that possible?

While I’m never in favour of denigrating people based on their appearance and I try not to judge anyone for  the little things in life (cloth nappies vs disposible, organic food vs not) I’m afraid I do make other kinds of judgments. I can’t help it.

If someone has repeated car accidents, I judge them to be a bad driver.

If they don’t make their kids wear seatbelts, I judge them to be irresponsible.

If someone does no exercise, I judge them to be unfit.

If someone leaves their kid in the car while they’re at the casino or spends their welfare payments on cigarettes and booze instead of food for their family, I judge them to be a bad parent.

Is that wrong? Surely there’s a difference between petty judgments and

Do you think women are too judgemental? Are we more judgemental at particular times of our lives or about particular things (hello, parenting!).

What pushes your judgement buttons?


EARLIER POSTS….

How much cosmetic surgery does this 27 year old need?

These are the un-retouched natural breasts of a woman who has breastfed two kids. God bless you Kate Winslett.

This is Miley Cyrus’s 9 year old sister. And I am trying to breathe.

An astonishing make-over. Women with muscles.

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