Why We, As Women, Need to Stop Looking Down on One Another

  Every working woman is conscious of the reality of the workplace: at some point or another, each of us expect to have a male supervisor, colleague, or boss talk down to and underestimate us based on the fact that we are women. The first time I was demeaned by my boss, I was sixteen years old and working as an unpaid intern at a small retail store in my hometown. Instead of working the register and learning the technical aspects of my job, I was forced to scrub carpets and wash dishes until they nicknamed me “Cinderella”. When I finally left, I was more insecure and emotionally distressed than when I had started working there, even though I was well aware that I was not the first woman, nor the last, to have this type of work experience. 

  The only significant detail was that my boss was, in fact, a woman herself. A very powerful, smart woman, who used her power as my boss to make me feel insignificant and useless. A woman who could have empowered and inspired me, and instead told me: “nobody cares what you have to say”. A woman whom I thought would be a source of inspiration, and who instead contributed to my low self-esteem. 

  In most modern feminist theories, the idea of women supporting other women is a universally accepted concept. And yet, there is an unspoken reality that many women can be demeaning to their female friends and colleagues when placed in a situation of power. Power situations do not have to be as focal as one between a boss and employee. In some instances, women talk down to other women simply due to their lack of knowledge or experience in a particular field. Other times, women condescend to those who appear or sound younger than themselves. Whatever the reason for it, women continue to demean other women, and it feeds into our self-esteem and sense of self-worth. If we want to live in a world where women feel empowered and strong and confident with themselves and their own unique femininity, then we need to stop making each other feel like we’re worth less simply because our life experience is different than someone else’s. 

  A woman should never be defined by her work experience, her sexual experience, or even her general worldly experience. Every woman is a unique individual who has something to offer to the world, no matter how old she is or how she has lived her life. And, as women, we should embrace and appreciate and learn rather than demean one-another, because a woman’s sense of self should never be worth less than anyone else’s. No woman deserves to feel as if her voice doesn't matter, so give her the respect she deserves.