Have you ever felt the love of another woman, the love between sisters?
I’m not lucky enough to have any siblings, but I can say that I have plenty of great female friends that I could call a sister. You know the kind. The ones who you share your innermost secrets with, perhaps the friend who goes back so far in your past they know you as well as you know yourself. The ones who have shared the good times, and relished in the experience. And held your hand through the bad times when things have been tough. The ones who pick you up when you fall down, or stop you from falling down in the first place. I’d like to thinks that most of us have been fortunate enough to have had this kind of sister sometime in our lives.
The word sister conjures up all sorts of ideas doesn’t it? Blood sisters, two little girls dressed the same, sharing the same toys, living in the same house. Or the same two when they are older fighting over the bathroom, makeup and boyfriends. But it also makes me think of something else. The sisterhood of women who go though the same pain and suffering to be who we are. And not just the physical pain of being a woman, but the experiences we all go through. Being excluded from a group of friends because of our differences perhaps? And never forget this isn’t an exclusive experience that only happens to the young. Older women feel this too, the divorcee or widow on her own within a group of married friends, often those friends don’t realise they are doing it. The experiences of discrimination in the work place simply because we are a woman – who knows – we might go off and get married and have children, heaven forbid! It is a statistic that even in this day and age women are over-looked for promotion in the workplace for all sorts of reasons. They are not often noticed as much as men; I don’t like the word pushy, but sometimes women aren’t so good at being noticed for the right reasons as men. It’s not always about what you know, but who you know, getting noticed for the work that you do, and what skills you can bring to a job.
I like to think I take the middle ground on feminism. I will certainly try and do something myself, but if I can’t, and there is a man, or a more capable woman around, I wont be afraid to ask. Of course I can fill up my own petrol in the car; I can change a light bulb and even wire a plug. I build flat pack furniture as well as anyone else, and I have given tiling a go. But I can’t make a cheese sauce to save my life, and I wouldn’t know where to start at changing a tyre. What I’m saying is – we all have skills, they may fall into the category of the gender stereotype, but so what. You do what you can do and find help with other jobs. Imagine if we were all button counters!
I’m updating my post now that I am a mother in law (in one form or another) and grandmother. I hope my two special daughter in laws feel able to look upon me as some kind of support and not an ogre. I bite my tongue and support in subtle – and often not so subtle ways. They are daughter bestowed on me by my son’s- independent and outstanding in their own rights. They are lion tamers and powerful. And we are sisters in kind. And my grandaughter – is a fighter and a force to be reckoned with. Not an easy start to life, but surrounded by support from the sisterhood from the get-go. She will take this batton going forward and feel the warmth of the sisterhood.