By Yetunde Arebi
Hi Women are their own worst enemies. Weâ€™ve head it so many times, its become a clichÃ©.
Great controversy abound surrounding this saying. While most (men and women) seem to readily accept with facts and examples to back their arguments, several, especially the women seem to disagree vehemently, yet, the general opinion is that secretly, they too are guilty of some of the component that form the basis for this assessment.
Onozure Dania therefore sought the views of some respondents which you will be reading beginning from today. However as is our style on this column, your views and experiences are highly respected and welcomed.
In sharing them with us, please let us not limit our observations to the workplace, we will love that we try to capture all spheres of life and living in dealing with this issue. Our address remains: The Human Angle, Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos or e_mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org happy reading.
Chioma, (39), believes it is a natural trait with women:
I was brought up in a family of five women and two men, so I do have some idea of what Iâ€™m talking about.
I will not dispute that nature could have something to do with this, as in the case of the little girlâ€™s natural preference for dolls and cooking, which I wouldnâ€™t have believed, had I not witnessed it myself through my two young nieces.
I have always believed that parents were the instigators of this sexism, but then found myself being completely wrong, which is something that I hate to be, so you can imagine how difficult it is for me to admit.
But what Iâ€™m not wrong about is womenâ€™s natural competitiveness with each other.
Little girls compete with their mothers for their fatherâ€™s attention, then, they compete with their mothers for their brotherâ€™s attention.
As they get older they continue to compete with each other for boyfriends, friends and jobs and many other little things, while men sit back laughing and lapping up all of the attention. The worst bosses I have ever had were females.
They had more often than not worked hard to make their way up the career ladder, fighting their way through a male dominated world before securing their places up there with the male bosses.
They would have us think that when a femaleÂ rises to this position, sisterhood would have her encouraging other females to join her. But in my experience, this never happens. The women that make it to the top donâ€™t want any other females to get to their positions.
The thought of another woman moving into their domain and taking the attention away from them is too much for them. They treat their female employees with suspicion and try to dismiss them as being incapable. Men of course love this.
Why do I believe this happens? Well, I have observed female colleagues take an instant dislike to any female younger than themselves, more attractive than themselves or more able to wind men around their fingers than themselves.
In some ways, I do understand this. Women have been brought up or possibly just born this way, to please men. So, when a woman with the balls to fight men at their own game gains some power, she is naturally distrustful of other women because she knows the way a womanâ€™s mind works.
I have a friend and I know she will not mind my using her as an example, who from a very young age was strong minded, strong willed, able to play men at their own game.
She was quite simply an equal to any man. She was also very attractive, which could have been her downfall because if she had been ugly, woman hood would probably have applauded her for taking on men and winning.
Instead, the very women she should have been able to regard as allies turned against her.
They saw her strength as competition and reverted to the ways that men love so much about us. They denounced her as a fallen woman and questioned her morals without giving a second thought to the menâ€™s morals.
There were times when I doubted her own solidarity with the female sex, but in general, I could see that she was challenging men and winning. It was very rare to see her waver even in the face of denouncement and jealousy.
Iâ€™m not sure she has even considered this herself, but I think she was able to live this way because she genuinely believed herself to be equal to anybody, be they male or female. This is the kind of confidence I would want my daughter to have.
If only women would stop behaving as if other women were their enemy and start treating each other as allies. This would scare the shit out of men and might make them start behaving differently.
When Paula Yates shouted â€œSisterhoodâ€ at the audience during an episode of â€œHave I got news for youâ€ it was no wonder the audience booed her considering she had just been caught sleeping with another womanâ€™s boyfriend.
Inside, she probably relished the thought of winning a man from a super model.
All of her competitive tendencies would have been making her feel smug, but her guilt would have been telling her it was unacceptable.
Iâ€™m guilty of the same thing. When I met my present partner he was with someone else. I dismissed her immediately and knew that if I pulled out all the stops, he could be mine.
It didnâ€™t cross my mind that I was making a man feel superior while destroying another womenâ€™s world. I felt that same smug, self satisfied gloating when he finally dumped the other woman.
It was only later as Iâ€™m sure it was with the sadly departed lady, that I began to feel guilt.
I had done what men expected of me, I had betrayed another female to get my man, which is what they expect of us because as far as they are concerned, they are superior to us.
My behaviour and the behaviour of others like me only serve to confirm this for them.
Funke, (48), Womenâ€™s Right Activist and Insurance Broker examines reasons female rivalry thrives in the work place:
I grew up the youngest of six girls and three brothers and nothing was more important to me than my sisters.
Sure, we had our fights, but the idea of not getting along for any extended time was out of the question. Helping one another was paramount, especially after my parents died while we were young.
Later in life, as I started my career, these lessons from my sisterhood served me well, and I naively thought that the same would be true for other women, especially on the heels of the womenâ€™s movement.
For years, I have heard behind closed doors from women young and old, up and down the ladder that we can be our own worst enemies at work.
Let me stress that throughout my career, Iâ€™ve benefited in countless ways from the advice and support of my female colleagues, just as so many others have too.
But while women have com a long way in removing workplace barriers, one of the last remaining obstacles is how they treat one another.