I remember well the teasing between us, when we wore our hair in ponytails and went down slides at recess.
I remember the cat-fighting in middle school when we struggled with first pimples and uncoordinated bodies.
I remember the bullying in high school, when boys became more important than friendships.
I was always so confused by us. The way we turned on one another, shamed someone who was stumbling through the same journey. I couldn’t wait until we grew up and grew into one another—supporting, sharing, encouraging, empowering one another . . . not because we were all alike or believed the same things, but because we would finally see that we were all human beings.
And then we grew up . . . or, at least, our bodies matured and wrinkles appeared. And yet, we are still teasing, belittling, and bullying.
And I am still so confused by us.
Last weekend, some of us stood for something (not all the same something) in one of 673-some marches. The “us” who did that were not all “fat” or “liberal” or “nasty” or “catty” or “ungrateful” or “vulgar” or “silly.” (And why are we still body shaming one another?) But those are the words we are using to describe ourselves.
And the “us” who didn’t stand in those crowds were not all “conservative” or “judgmental” or “hypocritical” or “ungrateful” or “uninterested” or “uncaring” or “ignorant.”
But those are the words we are using to describe ourselves.
We are all women. And human, too. We are others, sisters, daughters, friends, spouses. We don’t have to agree or support one another’s causes, but can we stop tearing each other down?
I’m so confused by us.
And I know . . . I know in the core of my being that we can do better. So much better.
A Girl, a Tween, a Teen, who became a Woman
One of Us
Elizabeth Brown Hardeman-
Elizabeth loves caring for flocks. Whether that flock is comprised of the parishioners at the church where she serves as pastor or is made up of the three children who call her Mom, she pours her heart and soul into their care. When she’s not caring for others, she’s drinking tea and starting projects that she may or may not finish, time and will-power permitting.