Skip to content

Posts from the ‘women’ Category

why can’t women get along?

Today at work, I heard a young woman say, “I don’t get along with girls.” I’ve heard that often from women. “I don’t get along with other women.” In fact I have heard those words uttered no less than three times this week.

I have never once  heard a man say, “I don’t get along with men.”

What is it with women/girls that we have such trouble connecting to each other. I have to admit that while I haven’t ever uttered that phrase…I may have thought it.  I have heard my own daughter profess her preference for male friends over female ones.  Why is this so?

Often I hear the statement followed up with one of he following..

…I can’t trust women, they say one thing to your face, and another behind your back.

…they’re so dramatic.

…they’re backstabbers

…women are jealous of me

…they’re so high maintenance

Are we the competitive, insecure, shallow, selfish people we label ourselves to be?  Do we make lousy friends? Are we really untrustworthy and hard to get along with? Are men really better friends?

Perhaps the sting of betrayal is just harder to bear from a girlfriend? Perhaps we expect more from our female friends than our guy friends, and are disappointed in them more often.  I don’t know.  And it makes me sad. I have hope though. I have seen wonderful relationships between women…it happens, and happens often, perhaps we just don’t celebrate that enough.

I recall when my daughter was kindergarten, she was best friends with another little girl.  They did everything together and adored each other.  The teacher felt they were too dependent on each other, and so separated them the next year.  My daughter and her friend drifted apart. I wonder what might have happened had their friendship been allowed to just be.  What’s wrong  with developing close relationships? I regret my silence…why didn’t I question this decision?

I have decided that it is not too late to change this  for myself.  I have slowly recognized  my own culpability, and I have been working on nurturing and cherishing my relationships with other women. Perhaps I have just been lazy in the past, lacked effort more than intent. Perhaps the greater truth may be that I haven’t valued myself enough as a woman to see the value of other women. The tide  is changing on this.

My Sisters on the Street

Last night I spent an evening hanging out with the women at Rahab’s Sisters.  Rahab’s Sisters is a ministry that provides hospitality to women marginalized by prostitution, drug abuse, and homelessness.  I haven’t volunteered there for over a year,  but I was invited by a friend to stop by and so I did.

It’s been a long time, but things really haven’t changed.  If I were to give someone advice about working with women on the streets it would be this:  expect nothing, open your heart to be in the moment with someone..there is enough in that.

Last night I met up with “T” one of the women I really adore. She’s 48 and looks 68, she’s full of restless energy and a love for her children that is unparalleled.  And her mind is steel trap…she is smart.  She is also a drug addict.  If she weren’t an addict I can only imagine how her life might have been different. Next month, she told me, will mark the first time in her life she will be not be on probation in 35 years.  Crazy.  T has told me stories, every one of which I believe, that I cannot imagine living through.  To say that she is resilient…I am not even sure if that is strong enough.  Why she is an addict makes sense at some point.  How someone lives with pain and memories of her life is incomprehensible. Poverty doesn’t  allow for competent therapy and support.

Last night as I listened to T, I wondered for a moment why I had stopped volunteering.  Much of it had to do with my own life and energy at the time.  I grew tired.  I remember once training a large group of eager young women to become volunteers.  Their hope was to make an impact…to pull women’s lives out drugs and prostitution.  Yes I hoped for that too.  But real change happens in small, unnoticeable increments. Prostitution and drug addiction are two of the most difficult things to get out of. I don’t want to say that it is hopeless. But hoping for an outcome and wanting to “make a difference” had become disingenuous to me.  Who’s agenda was I serving.  I can only love and be present. That is all that we are ever asked to do.  It can be a difficult a thing, being fully present with someone else; even harder with someone we don’t know, someone who is struggling. T made it easy last night. She reminded me of our sisterhood; she reminded me of why just “being” is enough.