I may be at odds with most people as I have never watched Game of Thrones, but related to the experiences of one of its stars as reported in a Herald Sun article on April 15, 2019. According to the report, actress Emilia Clarke, who appeared in nude scenes and sex scenes, received “a lot of crap (for these scenes)…That in itself is so anti-feminist. Women hating on other women is the problem.”
Following on from my narrative about women’s antipathy towards women in my post “Appraising Identity Politics”, it seems women’s criticism, even contempt, towards women is more pervasive than many people want to admit, let alone confront; an inconvenient truth that is safer to ignore. I wrote a letter to the Herald Sun asserting this reality after reading Clarke’s comments; suffice to say it wasn’t published. Likewise a couple of other letters pertaining to the same issue about some women’s bitchiness towards women have gone unpublished. Only one letter that I wrote in March 2018 relating to comments by Herald Sun columnist Peta Credlin who articulated women’s abuse of women has been published.
Furthermore, I just read in British Vogue May 2019 an article about BBC TV presenter Fiona Bruce who said that when she started at the BBC in 1988, there was “a terrible atmosphere-dog-eat-dog, bitchy, not a nice place to be.” I am of course surmising by her using the word “bitchy” she is referring to women and as I experienced at Thames TV 12 years before, it was more the women who were abusive to me than men, though I copped it from a few of them too. Feeling vindicated in what I’ve detailed about my time at Thames, Bruce also claimed the BBC back in 1988 was “factional, aggressive, sexist.” Furthermore, she narrates her experience of asking for a “desultory” pay rise to be told by her boss (male of course) that as she lived with a boyfriend- “Doesn’t he pay for most things?” Her comment about that is “How ludicrous is that?” The article doesn’t mention whether she received the pay rise; I’m assuming she didn’t, which is not too dissimilar from my experience in 1978 at Thames when asking for a pay rise, I was asked about where I thought men were more chauvinistic, in England or Australia. I didn’t get the pay rise either.
Another article I read in the Herald Sun earlier in 2019 featured a story about the “bitchy” female TV reporters at Channel 7 in Melbourne and I wrote a letter about that too which wasn’t published. The question I’ve raised before is why aren’t these letters being published and why aren’t articles being written by columnists who do get published about the problem of “women” as Clarke believes? Are women scared and is it as Lisa Alexander said in her interview that I quoted in my Identity Politics post that she was “pilloried” for previously going public with those views about women abusing women and has thus consequently learned to “choose her words carefully?”
The really tragic aspect of this conspiracy of silence is that women expect men to respect them-too often lambasting males for their abuse, disrespect and controlling behaviours, yet women don’t set them a good example. I can only ponder whether these women even respect themselves in the first place and furthermore, what confidence, self-belief and self-esteem do they enjoy? Too many women abusing women must be so jealous, insecure and unsure of themselves that shifting the blame onto men deflects attention and focus from their own sense of inadequacy.
What I find curious, particularly disappointing, is that while the Herald Sun reports the ‘bitchiness” and abuse between women in some of its articles, however few and far between, they don’t publish my letters or open up the discourse further. Are their editors frightened too of being “pilloried?”
It is my belief that expecting men to respect women and for women to achieve genuine equality of opportunity and pay parity will not happen until society acknowledges women’s own shortcomings and bitchiness towards each other. If opportunities were sincerely real and pay parity was a norm, maybe the competitive jealousies between women could be alleviated but this first demands we honestly confront that some women can be as disrespectful to other women as much as some men can be.
It is time for the conspiracy of silence to be shattered in the public domain and all I can keep doing is writing about it as often as I can.
I’m unclear as to whether the bitchiness at the BBC still exists but my experience in the workplace during the 80s, 90s and 2000s was sadly no different. Female colleagues and female bosses were controlling, abusive and psychologically violent towards me. So too have many other female (now ex) friends and many health professionals.
I’m exasperated at the “crap” I’ve copped too, even from women who laughingly call themselves feminists. They are the truly tragic women and I’ll just keep writing it. Indeed, another Sunday Herald Sun article on May 5, 2019, detailed how Channel 10 The Project co-host is running a workshop to encourage working mums to ‘stop being so hard on themselves and others…we need to to be kinder on ourselves and each other”. So again it seems mums are “hard” on others, suggesting they may be critical, even abusive of other women. One of the tips for mums is to “Keep a judge-free tribe close. Surround yourself with friends and family that listen, lift you and love you.” The horrifying truth is that obviously women are harshly judgmental about other women but disappointingly, there is no further analysis or understanding as to why this may be. As for me, it is interesting that none of my still-existing family even listens or cares, while I don’t have any female friends at all anymore. The three friends I have are all male.
I’ll keep adding to this as more articles appear in the media, despite the superficiality of the comments. Sadly, I can only deduce my own thoughts about why some women abuse others.