Women Against Women

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What is worse than men oppressing women? Women who act against other women. Why, might you ask? As sisters, we should understand and relate to the difficulties other women face in life. So, if someone who is supposedly on your side attacks by using the same psychological, verbal, spiritual, and cultural violence that men use against women, it cuts much deeper.

A little over a month ago, the Swedish newspaper Expressen gave the Finnish author and playwright Sofi Oksanen room to bash the First Lady of the United States of America, Melania Trump. To me, the letter was a jaw dropper.

In the letter, Oksanen painted a vision of Eastern European women who, in the 1990s, flocked to Finland and apparently introduced the saying "Pussy 50 marks" into the Finnish lexicon. Well, I’m sorry, but the first time I heard this expression was when I read the letter to Melania Trump. Oksanen treated Melania Trump– a person whom she has never even met and has seen only in papers and on television– as if she has some deeper metaphysical knowledge of her life experiences, personal feelings, and thoughts, and can, by her own authority as a "better person" with a "better value system", become her public overseas life coach.

Remember the movie Legally Blonde? In the movie, the main character, Elle Woods, is seen by her peers as a simple-minded Barbie doll and, when she manages to get into Harvard, the more intellectual girls verbally and emotionally abuse her because of appearance and past as a Kappa Kappa Gamma girl.

Well, you know what ladies? Elle’s pink clothes and the gray smart suits of the mean girls represent those women who have not signed any scholastic feminist agenda and those who taste the blood in their mouths because of it. Some women seem to think that they are better than other women on some intellectual level, and they use their "feminist agenda" to show their superiority among other women. That’s a form of violence. It’s peer bullying.

A few months ago, Sofi Oksanen walked past me here in Helsinki. Didn’t look like a demi-god to me but like an ordinary person. Just like Melania Trump (probably) isn’t a demi-god but a person, trying to live her life the best way she can. The only exception is that Melania Trump hasn’t in her public role taken the right to randomly and negatively criticise in a global media a stranger, random to her, Finnish author Sofi Oksanen for her appearance, value system, and of her work.

Feminism is a dual-bladed sword. In the CBS talk show The Doctors, the female doctors speak emphatically about women’s rights and of the importance of education since it increases the awareness of sexually transmitted infections and diseases. But these same female doctors have, on numerous occasions, have bashed female social media stars for acting as bad influences.

From where I stand, these female doctors aren’t acting as good examples themselves when they comment negatively about women they hardly know. It’s also very condescending towards female viewers who may like and follow these social media stars. It’s a bit like saying, “you’re stupid for liking them”.

To me, in a talk shows like The Doctors, it would be much smarter to make no comments about specific women and focus only on general ideas. For example, how it’s important for society to provide information about sexual behavior and make girls aware of how males may view many things differently. That way, every girl and woman can independently ponder their own life and maybe grow to understand why their life has had both ups and downs and if there’s something deeper to learn from it all. Because, in life, it’s a fact that you can’t force feed anyone anything they are not willing to take in by their own free will. For this reason, judgment and negative criticism only push people away from something that might actually be good for them.

So, ladies, ask yourself: If you state that you’re a feminist, are you doing it to boost your own ego or are you actually behaving like an "understanding sister" to your fellow females? Have you snatched somebody’s man because “he deserves better?” Have you left out a fellow female student from a group and then bad-mouthed her without giving her the chance to defend herself? In your job, have you used your power to deny a woman the fair chance to prove her talent just because she isn’t the exact copy of you and your friends? All very interesting questions, don’t you think?