Today is International Women's Day, and the theme is "Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women". Well, I'm all for that -- definitely. That theme almost seems outdated in the 21st Century, because there are more women enrolled in universities than men, especially in the fields of medicine and law. Each country adopts its own theme for International Women's Day, and in Canada the theme today is, "Status of Women: Strong Leadership. Strong Women. Strong World: Equality". I have an idea for International Women's; why don't we start with "Women treating each other as equals, and with respect". This seems to be an area where women fall far short of the mark. In fact, women's behaviour towards each other never ceases to embarrass me.
Women have very specific tactics they use against each other, usually involving some sort of passive aggressiveness. The silent treatment -- shunning -- seems to be a favourite, and it's almost instinctive. Very little girls use this tactic against each other, and it works even better if they can rally the troops and have everyone give the victim the silent treatment. Ostracism is a very powerful form of abuse, and women really know how to use it. It's the same form of punishment used by various religious groups to banish one member of the group.
Another favourite tactic women use is the whisper campaign. I work with a woman who wrote the manual on the whisper campaign. She is toxic, and she has caused long-lasting harm to people's lives.
Why do women do these things to each other? Is it biologically programmed into them? It doesn't seem to matter what their level of education, or their hierarchy in the organization, they can be counted on to act like women. For International Women's Day, I would like to see women in the workplace treat each other with respect. That would be an achievement.