#MySistersKeeper! A vibe which has gone out of one ear and out the other for far too many women. In our attempts to enter a “man’s world,” many women have no problem “stepping on” other women in order to be successful in this world. Forget about building our own systems or creative entities, which nourishes and centers the power of Sisterhood. That energy of seeing every woman as a potential ally; as opposed to a competitor, blocking you from the rewards of men. Unfortunately, when it comes to truly building sustainable systems of empowerment and support for women, too many women had rather skip over that journey of womanhood. Exploiting the essentials of femininity in order to gain easy access into the world of male domination, power, and control.
“If you want to know the character of a woman, bring a man (or your man) around.”–Lauren K. Clark
Personal experiences have found this to be true. While the system of patriarchy is warranted for critique, it also benefits women in assessing just how loyal and devoted we are to each other. How strong is the bond among women? A man’s presence also displays this. Quickly and readily. How quick are women ready to betray their sisters for the comfort or rewards of male appeasement? Its a necessary question to bring to the table. Too often toxic energy, abusive actions, and betrayal in women’s circles are not addressed enough! They are not mentioned by progressive women’s groups or organization. Even in movements meant to help women, the competition and jealous factor is prevalent. Whether it be competing to get funding, jobs, men (for those who are heterosexual), attention, or prestige sisterhood is lacking. Its not to say that Sisterhood among women is void. Yet, it is to say that there is an urgent need to re-define, and re-evaluate, how Sisterhood is lacking, as it relates to women’s aspirations for success.
So, how can we get to the point where women, collectively, are addressing the betrayal and competition against each other? What can be done in order to bring nurturing environments, establish feminine systems, and creating a collective bond for women to truly be their Sisters Keeper? Let’s get into the keeping of the Sisterhood.
1. Acknowledge Each Woman When Entering Into Office Spaces
There is nothing more disrespectful than entering into an office space (i.e. whether for a meeting or an interview) and ignoring the woman secretary,or other women working or visiting the space. Its the secretary, or female assistants, who can make or break you being hired (or even examined) by the boss. Treat them, and other women interviewees, as fellow Sisters. Acknowledge them by smiling or waving. It shows that you are able to work well with other feminine energies, should you end up confirming the deal or getting the position.
2. Every woman is your ally, unless they prove differently!
Whether on the job, at school, social scenes, working on creative projects, or building opportunities, connect with strong and healthy women. Form healthy, nurturing, and equally reciprocative alliances with fellow, hard-working women. A woman who is talented, ambitious, kind, intelligent, and generous does not have to be your enemy or fellow competitor. Unfortunately, too many women see this as such. So addicted to competition, tearing other women down, over a false sense of hierarchy and power. Yet, true power lays in being able to build with other women, while achieving more.
3. Acknowledge Each Woman In the Presence Of A Man
The truth of the matter is that men treat women based upon how they see women treating women. Women are the first teachers in how men should treat the feminine. In all honesty, they learn this in their observation of women’s behavior towards each other. A man cannot deceive a woman, without active participation from. . .you got it-a woman. With that being stated, it is part of every woman’s responsibility to acknowledge a woman, first, when she is with male colleagues, her partner, husband, fiancee, boyfriend, or significant other. When a man is with another woman, give eye contact, and address both of them when in conversation. Knocking over other women, or ignoring other women leaders, in order to get business contacts or opportunities from a man, won’t get you far. Plus, it will ensure that you have enemies.
4. Office Space Kindness
If you are working with other women in the office, give LOVE! Yes! Lots of it! Send loving e-mails of encouragement, reminding female colleagues how you appreciate working with them. On a random day, buy a rose for each woman secretary, member, or the management, and leave it on the desk with a kind note. Its a way of strengthening the Sisterhood, and making more allies. Plus, you never know how that can brighten up a fellow Sister’s day.
5. If They Talk About, Or Mock, Another Woman, Soon They’ll Talk About You!
I’m sure many of you all have heard about “office gossip.” Well, as much as it is done by women, its also done by men. Which means men making fun of women (particularly, those women who have done no harm) should not be entertained by other women. The unfortunate reality is that too many women enjoy hearing a man talk down to, or verbally/emotionally abusing another woman. Especially, if they are making comparisons or valuing one woman over another. Men are unable to pit women against each other, unless there are women who are entertained (and egotistical) in feeling that male colleagues, or by passers, are valuing them over other women. Subconsciously, giving men permission to do the same to you.
6. Share the Glory and the Compliments!
If another woman compliments you, be sure to return the favor. Keep your ego in check! As she highlights beautiful attributes in you, be sure to do the same for her. There is nothing sisterly about vanity.
7. Be A Real Sisterhood Friend
Even in the workplace, women can still have each other’s back. That’s real! Try to provide a shoulder to lean on when a fellow Sister is going through hard times. Buy an extra tea or coffee for a fellow Sister before coming to work. Treat one (or more) out to lunch during lunch break. And, if a portion of the work is becoming overwhelming, offer to assist. Of course everyone has to do their fair share of the duties. Nevertheless, nice actions can go a long way in sustaining Sisterly relationships in the work place.
8. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due, Ladies!
Where one has contributed, acknowledge it, publicly! There is nothing more disrespectful than stealing a fellow Sister’s idea or taking credit for work that you did not do. Enough said! Just remember that little thing called karma is real!
9. Respect A Sister’s Relationship! Respect Her Boundaries!
Plotting or planning to hurt or disrespect a fellow Sister’s (especially, one who has never wronged you) romantic or professional relationship is a big. . .No, No! Unfortunately, too many women cross this line, a thousand times. Whether out of envy, or the need to get a power rush. The thrill of feeling that you broke up or invaded another woman’s romantic relationship, or worked to hurt her prospects with a professional one, is real among toxic behaviors in women’s culture. Do you remember that previous quote? “If you want to know the character of a woman, bring a man (or your man) around?” Yep! Well, it applies here. Leave innocent, loving women, and their romantic or professional relationships, alone!
10. Even If You Have Been Hurt Before By Other Women, Don’t Judge, and Give Other Women A Try
Yes! We have all had our stories of being hurt, mistreated, and abused by women. Yet, don’t allow this to shut you off in forming healthy relationships with other loving, fun-filled, and positive women. Heal, and attract anew! There are women who would be more than happy to build healthy relationships and friendships with other women. Give em’ a try and allow the friendship to bloom. Just remember “the loneliest woman in the world is a woman without a close woman friend.”–Toni Morrison
11. Communicate Wrongdoings
If there are issues, put it out front and center. Address the behavior from then on. Too many times, women will talk about the behavior behind another’s back, or allow anger to fester. Address things as they come! Nip it in all buds, set things back on track!