Every year in the month of November, a series of awareness campaigns for women abuse prevention take place. There's no doubt that after reading this sentence the first thing that comes to mind is physical abuse imposed by men, which happens a lot but is not the only form of abuse and bullying we should be thinking about. Abuse and bullying doesn't have to be physical, it can be solely emotional abuse and from one women to another.
This might come as a shock for some people but it is very common for women to bring down other women instead of empowering and lifting them up. Why isn't this considered abuse? Why should we give it any less attention than other forms? Is it not just as toxic?
We wanted to discuss one of the most sensitive topics, which is a women's decision to work. This has fueled a lot of abuse, controversy and judgment whether she chose to work or not and those judgments are made by men and women. We talked to women of different ages about what they faced when it came to making a decision to stay at home or work.
Let's start off with a 24 year old women: "When I graduated from college, I had made my peace with the fact that my family didn't want me to get a job and that if I chose otherwise, I would have had to deal with a lot of problems; so I chose to stay at home. Even though I never complained to anyone about that decision, I dealt with a lot of judgment and attacks coming from my friends. One of the women accused me of being too spoiled and not in need of a job to begin with, without her even knowing anything about my financial status. Another, told me that I had a very weak personality and that I am unable to make any decisions for myself. A third, said that it's going to be hard for me to find a husband because a man will always assume I'm spoiled and will become too dependent on him. I did not take these as concerns, all they did was harm emotionally. Every time they said anything like that, it felt like another slap on the face."
Here is another women, she is 27 and talks about what happened when she decided to pursue a career:
"I didn't start working right away after I graduated, I stayed at home for around 3 years, until I got a good job opportunity so I decided to take it. Even though I was very happy with the step I had taken, I was really shocked with the reactions I got from people around me. I did find a lot of support from some people, but there was also some very negative reactions from others. A very close male friend of mine made fun of my decision judging how wrong it is and that I'm better off staying at home. I got the same reaction from one of my best girl friends."
We also talked to a newlywed: "Before I got married I didn't have a job because I couldn't find the right fit for me and I was made fun of a lot for still taking allowance from my dad. After my marriage, I found a good job opportunity and took it. My husband was very supportive and to my surprise, I found the people who judged me for not working still criticizing my decision and judging me for taking on the job!"
It is now apparent that the bullying and oral abuse is not limited to one decision over the other, it exists nonetheless towards any choice a women decides to partake in. It is also clear that is not coming only from men but that there is no logic, rule or reasoning behind it. Whatever decision you decide to take you will find those who choose to judge that decision without noticing at all that that judgment is in and of itself a form of emotional abuse.
Main Image Credits: Instagram @gabriellewearsdenim