Women vs. women

We hear it too often it’s almost cliche. “We are our worst critic”.
I think it’s more appropriate to say that other women are a woman’s worst critic. It’s so self explanatory but I want to expound on this based on the simplest and worst experiences.

Case in point number1:
Would a woman applaud another woman for giving up her career to take care of her child? NO. Believe it or not, the worst comments she’d hear would most likely (More or less 100%) come from women. Women she knows. Women she barely knows. Women who think motherhood must include a career in the equation to make herself a hero. That being”crazy busy” and hours spent away from her children means she is doing motherhood right. Why can’t women support women who choose to give up their careers for family?

Likewise,
Would a woman applaud another woman who choose her career over her children? Although i have seen more empathetic moms who keep mum over this because not everyone can afford to stay home with their kids. But how often are working moms understood that leaving the kids in the care of someone else isn’t easy especially if it’s the only way to put food on the table? The only way to pay the bills and secure the kids’ future?

Why does one have to be above another? Why does one have to be better than the other? Why can’t women share the limelight? If you think you deserve to be put on a pedestal, don’t you think it should be shared with someone else too? Does one really need all the glory to herself? Do women really need to put each other down to pull one’s self up? And do we really need the limelight? Do we need to put ourselves on a pedestal? Truth is, we don’t! Too much drama being a woman IMO.

Case in point 2:
Breastfeeding.
Please this is not a debate whether you should or should not breastfeed. We all know breast milk IS best for babies. It is understood that not everyone will do it. But don’t you think more mothers would breastfeed if she is not judged when she needs to do so in public? I have found that aside from all other obstacles (and there is A LOT), one of the worst things a breastfeeding mom has to do is go out.

The shame and hassle of having to discreetly hide her new baby when she doesn’t have a bottle ready or if the baby wouldn’t take the bottle and needs to take out a boob. She has to think of all the opinions of all the people who would see her and consider whether “feeding her baby the natural way” is making other people uncomfortable. I do not want to think of how many women stopped breastfeeding for this reason.

Guess what? Some men may want to take a peek BUT most men (at least here in the U.S), i have found to be respectful enough to turn away or find another parking spot when they see a woman nursing (YES, EVEN WITH A COVER).

My son is 8 months as of now and i have heard COUNTLESS shaming stories, with that familiar, no doubt, critical voice of women(-yes, even women dear to me!!!)one of which, telling me how a teen explicitly gave a boob to her crying baby in public. Or that women nurse in public for everyone to see and how it made them uncomfortable. And the mortified tone when i should be the one mortified! Like, “Why are you telling me this?! You know I breastfeed!”.

I remember a voice of an old friend-THE ONLY ONE, who said, “who cares what people think and say?! My son is hungry and i will feed him the best way i know how!”. After that, i became proud and confident wearing my nursing cover(which i now rarely use). Screw (excuse the word.or not), the people who treat nursing in public worse than P.D.A!! I am feeding my son!

Back home, not everyone can afford a nursing cover and would have to do with nothing and yet, there they are, treated with contempt by their fellow women because they have to give a boob to their hungry baby while men are looking at them when they should be angry at the men for staring. Should breastfeeding be sexualized? No! God designed us for it! We are made to do it! Why must it be a big deal? Why can’t women be respected for doing so? You never hear a woman judge another woman when her baby receives a bottle, “what?! How could you?!” Or “Why are you feeding him through bottle?” Or “Shame on You for giving a bottle in public!” No. You never hear that. How can we be so judgmental of those who do not?! If women stick together, if we could learn to support one another, we can ask those guys to look away because it is making the mother uncomfortable rather than judging and criticizing the breastfeeding mom for making HER uncomfortable which shouldn’t be the case at all if we have each others’ backs!!!

We went to the Philippines last December and had to go to the clinic for our clearance before returning here in the U.S. The clinic we went to was incidentally, inside a nice mall in Ortigas where most (if not all) the crowd are middle working class to upper class. So there i was, waiting for my husband who had to check with his boss while i was at the food court and my son who at that time just turned 4 months became hungry. So i took out my cover and fed him. I felt eyes on me. I looked to my left–nothing. And then to my right-there he was. Probably around late 30’s-mid 40’s who was looking at me. I was completely covered and yet obviously feeding, having my baby positioned under my cover. He shifted, still trying to peek. I moved to my side farther from him. He stood up and shamelessly leaned over to me. I stood up. Glared at him and stopped feeding my son. I was mortified but do not want to make a scene! Imagine my horror!

Looking back, I should have confronted the guy. I was afraid to tell my husband because he is very protective of me and my son. And that realization (yet again) of how much breastfeeding women had to go through. And unfortunately, women are our worst critics. They would be the ones to say, you deserve it for taking out a boob in public. You are making a scene. Wow. What a world we live in.

If feeding a hungry baby is a crime, is wearing shorts an invitation for rape? Ladies, we should know better. We should react better. We should be better to each other. I can elaborate more but as i have said: self explanatory.

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3 thoughts on “Women vs. women

  1. Pingback: The Other Woman | Movie Sweet

  2. Here in the UK I think its also women who are more judgmental about feeding in public. I sometimes wonder if its guilt, or feeling uncomfortable because they didn’t brrastfeed themselves. Having said that, at 10 months, and still nursing, I haven’t had any negative comments in public, just from extended family when indoors.

    • Hi insecuremother! I don’t think i should be glad that you can relate but i’m so glad you continue to nurse your baby even with comments from family. You may be right. I haven’t considered that feeling of guilt or probably that they could not relate having not breastfeed themselves which makes a lot of sense. Well, i have your back! Keep that in mind the next time you hear something not worthy of hearing.

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