Letting the Side Down

WARNING: Incoming rant on a touchy subject. Probably some profanity. Gentler readers, click away now.

I’m a woman. I know, some of you probably thought I was some big burly guy doing 25-to-life somewhere. And some probably thought I was some socially inept guy in a barcalounger in his mom’s basement. And the rest are probably pretty comfortable thinking I’m just one of the endless army of angry pajama people, sitting around connected to life via the interwebs.

But no, I am here to assure you, I am a woman. And as a woman, lately, I am finding that there are a lot of other women out there who are letting the side down, exhibiting a lot of the stereotypical behaviours that men have used for laughs in comedy routines throughout the ages.

I’m not talking about bad driving, or nagging at spouses, or shoe obsessions. All good rants for another day, I am sure. No, this is something more fundamental to our gender that, as I get older, I am noticing has no age limits or social boundaries.

And while it made me roll my eyes for awhile, now it’s just pissing me off.

I was in the grocery store today, and I turned into an aisle, and coming the other way I saw a neighbour. Now, by “neighbour” I mean “someone who lives on my street”, but actually she lives at the bottom of our hill whereas I live near the top. She’s got two kids, and she runs a daycare, and when Stinkerbelle and I have been out walking in the last four years and she’s been out with the kids, we’ll stop and chat with her and the kids will play together.

She’s always been nice, and friendly, and we get along, and she’s always very nice to Stinkerbelle. I like her well enough. So today, I stopped to chat with her.

And I asked her, flat out, why it was that, sometime this week, she and her family decided to put their house up for sale.

The answer: Bullying. Not bullying, as you might expect, of the kids. But rather, she’s being bullied BY OTHER MOMS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD.

Grown women. BULLYING.

She’s been taking a fair bit of bullying in the last four years. I’d heard about it before, and noticed it, too. Her neighbour moms also run day cares, and they are all outside in a communal area on the street in the afternoon so the kids can play, and I have noticed that the other moms will completely ignore her. Like, to the point of refusing to answer her when she asks them a question. They’ll even turn their backs on her and then talk about her.

But it has been escalating. They’ve started spreading rumours and lies about her and her family. They’ve been spreading lies about her daycare to the point that she may not be able to continue to run it anymore. They have blamed recent changes in the parking ordinances for the street on her and have whipped up anger against her and her family for “causing the problem”.

And, what is most shameful of all, they’ve been telling their kids and the kids in their daycares that they are not to play with her kids because “her kids are bad kids”. It’s gotten to the point that her five-year-old son won’t go outside anymore, because the other boys (and there are many of them) will not play with him anymore.

She can’t handle being ostracized and badmouthed anymore, and having her kids mistreated and her business go under because of a bunch of bitchy women. So they’re packing up and leaving and starting again in another neighbourhood.

And it makes me angry.

I have a problem with women. I have noticed that women, not just in our neighbourhood but everywhere, feel the need to feel superior to other women, and will be vicious and judgmental and bitchy to do it.

Put down someone’s physical appearance. Make jokes at their expense. Put down their job or their husband or their kids. Spread hurtful gossip. Be all Judgy McJudgypants about parenting choices.

I have done it. And I look back on those times with shame and regret. It smacks of immaturity and power playing and idleness and… high school. It’s all so very HIGH SCHOOL. And, sadly, it’s not just here, but everywhere.

I just don’t understand why middle aged women are still stuck in this high-school mentality. I’ve graduated and grown up and moved on. Why haven’t they?

What scares me most about these women down the street is the pack mentality. They see a weaker member of the herd and they work together to bring her down. They KNOW they’re doing it, and they’re doing it TOGETHER.

But these are grown women. And I just don’t understand WHY. Why do women feel the need to do this to one another?

I feel bad for this acquaintance down the street. I know this neighbourhood is full of bitches and cliques and nastiness. We’re fortunate to have some distance between us and the worst offenders. Our neighbours are by and large good folks — not without their annoyances and quirks, but generally good people. Sure, the woman two doors up from us is possibly the most vicious gossip on the street, but over the years I think she’s learned that I have absolutely no fucks to give for her and her childishness, and that I have her on ignore.

But this acquaintance at the bottom of the hill is actively, overtly hated by her neighbours on all sides. And nobody who is just trying to live her life should have to deal with that on a daily basis.

We as a society are all up in arms trying to stop bullying among children. I find it ironic, since I see women, who teach children right and wrong on a daily basis, are habitually bullying members of our own gender all the damn time.

I wish these women, women in all walks of life, would stop gossiping about each other and pitting ourselves against one another and proving these horrible stereotypes of our gender. How are women EVER going to be taken seriously and equally when this shit is constantly happening?

I’ve been resolving over the last ten years or so to kill the negative, gossipy inner bitch I noticed inside. And I hope if you ever notice one creeping into your brain, you can do the same.

And to the rest of the bitchy, hateful, gossipy females out there: Grow the fuck up. Knock it off. You’re letting our gender down.

7 thoughts on “Letting the Side Down

  1. Wow. Just, wow. Seriously? How do these people not know better? Treat others how you would like to be treated, and if you can’t say anything nice, keep your damn trap shut. I’m sorry that your acquaintance is on the receiving end of such bull-crap.

  2. For some reason this behavior is the worst with mothers. I rarely if ever encountered it in the “real” world. But now I am part of this alternate universe of Mom World, I see it all the time. I think motherhood actually brings out the worst in a lot of women. Just last week I attended a field trip as a volunteer. One of the other mothers brought coffee’s for all the other mothers except me. Then she tried to make me deliver the coffee to the other women. Motherhood is one of the worst things for our sex, it brings out the worst in most women. It sucks and is stupid. And just shows how insecure and horrid these people are in the inside. Sadly it is these women that are shaping the people that will make up the next generation which means our world is doomed.

  3. Dude, I hear you, and I don’t know WTF either. It’s just as bad in a workplace with 95% women too, by the way.

  4. Damn, woman! You outdid yourself with this one! Applauding on my feet. That’s just sick, and I’ve been the recipient of such bullying before. Sadly there is no justice for it. And you are right, we are all capable of it, and it stems from insecurity. Rant on! Could you print this post out and pin it to all the trees and telephone poles in your hood?

  5. How awful! I’m so sorry you and your neighbor have experienced such hostility. Ick. It makes me sad that some people are so lacking in confidence that the only way to make themselves feel better is to be mean to other people. How sad.

  6. Women are awful to each other and I don’t get it. I think that is why in high school I had a couple of good female friends and a lot of male friends. Guys are just easier to get along with. You have a problem. You tell them. You maybe argue a bit and then you solve it.

    There is no feeling like you can’t approach them because if you do they will lie to your face and tell you everything is o.k. and then go talk behind your back. Women are also very good at being exclusive and just not letting you in….and heaven for bid if one super insecure woman who also happens to have a hold over people somehow gets a bee in her bonnet because you are in trouble.

    It is awful someone has to leave their home because their neighbours are so mean.

    It’s probably why to to this day I am a little skeptical of women when I first meet them. Until I learn they are people who can handle themselves with class and are nice to everyone I just don’t open myself up to them.

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