(In this article, I am using the term mother– however; it can be equally exchanged to refer to the primary female caretaker in your family.)
Have you ever wondered to yourself, “why do women hate each other?”
Teenage girls ask the question why do girls hate me?
Women who hate other women at the deepest level of their subconscious have unresolved conflicts with their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, or female caretakers who abandoned, abused, or neglected them emotionally, psychologically, and/or physically. Little girls raised by emotionally unstable mother figures never learn how to love and/or trust other women. However, please remember that it is challenging and difficult for a mother to raise her daughter to love and respect; women if she has not learned this lesson herself.
Society put so much pressure on mothers to be perfect, unlike fathers. There are saying such as, “As precious as a mother’s love” or “The child has a face that only a mother could love.” People tell “Your Mama” jokes because the expectations for fathers are so low that there is nothing funny or hurtful that anyone could say about fathers that would cause an emotional response. When athletes accomplish an amazing fete or entertainers accept awards, they acknowledge their mothers. Mothers receive all the glory and blame for how their children’s lives ultimately turn out.
Society put women on an unrealistic pedestal that cause women to strive for an illusion of perfection that is humanly impossible. And when this hefty emotional and social goal is not met, we learn to hate and blame other women – and subconsciously ourselves.
It is very common to hear women say, “I don’t trust women!” “Females are fake.” Women declare that other women are treacherous, two-faced, backstabbers, who sleep with other women’s boyfriends and husbands. Women brag about hating other women and not having females as best friends because women are competitive, devious, and jealous-hearted. What women do not realize is that all women are connected to the collective consciousness of feminine energy… and therefore-deep down inside they have the same negative thoughts about themselves.
10 Primary Reasons Women Hate Other Women:
1. Mothers in Abusive Relationships
Girls raised in homes with psychologically unstable mothers who attract abusive relationships with men tend to have a difficult time establishing healthy relationships with men and women. The mother is indirectly teaching her daughter that she is worthless and unlovable when the mother allows a man to verbally, emotionally, and/or physically abuse her. The mother is a role model to her daughter and she is indirectly teaching her how to allow men to treat her in a relationship. Additionally, in many homes riddled with domestic violence, the man may also abuse the children. When children do not feel protected, safe, loved, and respected by their caregivers they have difficulty developing healthy relationships with other people throughout their lives.
2. Mothers who are Promiscuous
Women raised in homes with mothers perceived as being promiscuous may find it challenging to trust other women due to the double standard regarding male and female sexuality. Women and men alike are more likely to judge critically the women’s role in having an affair with a married man than blaming the husband for cheating. People learn to see themselves through the eyes of other people. Little girls see themselves as reflections of their mother, if people view their mother as being a whore, slut, or tramp-the daughter begins to identify with this persona-even if it’s incorrect. In turn, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. She would rather be the man-stealing woman who is the predator– than the supposed unattractive, angry, victim-woman at home who couldn’t keep her man faithful. Both are negative personas of femininity and womanhood that make it difficult for women to establish loving and supportive relationships with each other.
3. Mothers who Fail to Protect their Daughters from Sexual Predators
Little girls who are molested or sexually abused by family members, step-fathers, biological fathers, boyfriends, or close family members and neighbors have a tendency to blame their mothers for failing to protect them from the abuser. Even if it’s not the mother’s fault-and she is not aware that her child is being sexually abused– many children still feel that their mothers failed to recognize behavior changes that indicated some type of trauma had taken place.
Women are expected to see the unseen and know the unknowable. And when they fall to recognize the pain, shame, and fear hidden behind their children’s eyes, buried underneath their souls-society’s psychologists, therapists, and counselors first question is: “Did you tell your mother?” The question is loaded with accusatory implications of: if your mother doesn’t know was she such a “bad mother” that you couldn’t tell her? Your relationship with your mother still comes into question as contributing to your emotional health and overall wellbeing.
4. Mothers who have Negative for Poor Body Image
Mothers, who hate their bodies, have negative or poor body image, or who are obsessed with looking youthful tend to have daughters who learn to feel the exact same way about their bodies. Children learn to love themselves through their parent’s eyes. If a mother doesn’t like her nose, and her daughter feels that she has the same nose as her mother-the little girl learns from her mother that something is wrong with her nose as well. That she is not beautiful-not good enough–unless she changes her nose.
Spiritual growth plays out through the human DNA. For example, if a mother hates her body size and has cosmetic surgery to alter her appearance-her DNA code may still express itself through her daughter. What will she say to her daughter who is trying diet after diet– but continues to fail to be a size that she was never born to be? The love or hate that we feel about ourselves is boldly displayed through our children.
Even if our children are not born from our bodies they still carry the DNA from their mother’s souls. The way their mothers look into their eyes, cuddle with them, caress them, kiss them, feed them, take care of them, read to them, tell them how much they love them or not-this is what encodes children’s internal behavior for self-love, self-worth, and self-esteem.
5. Mothers who are Flirtatious
Mothers who are flirtatious with their daughter’s boyfriends, father’s friends, or who seem to thrive on being the center of male attention sometimes cause young women to believe that they are unworthy, unimportant, and invisible unless their self-worth is validated by a man. The daughters learn to objectify themselves and see their own self-worth, self-esteem, and feminine-value by how much attention is “paid” to her by men.
6. Mothers who are Competitive with and Jealous of their Daughters
Some mothers display behaviors that may indicate that they are jealous and envious of their daughter’s youth and beauty. Girls who grow up in homes with mothers who are competitive with their daughters by wearing the same clothes, makeup, i.e. fashion in general; who brag about being a smaller size, or try to dress and act like a teenager instead of an adult woman– raise daughters who feel insecure about their femininity and physical beauty.
7. Mothers who are Emotionally Distant and Non-Affectionate
Mothers who withhold affection, who are emotionally distant or critical tend to raise daughters who struggle with relationships with female authority figures. They will find themselves being people-pleasers; subconsciously seeking the approval of their nothing is ever-good-enough mothers. Women who hate women in this category have the most problematic relationship with other women because they love and hate their mothers equally. These mothers tend to be perfectionists who demand that their daughters chew with their mouths closed; never spill ketchup on their dress; and always sit with their legs closed. The perfectionist mother gives her daughter everything that she needs financially and physically–the only thing that she is incapable of giving her daughter is unconditional love and acceptance.
8. Mothers who did not get along with their own Mothers
Mothers who have tumultuous relationships with their own mothers have a tendency to have antagonistic relationships with their daughters. If the mother was not raised in a family where she was taught how to get along with other women-this may simply be a social skill that she is lacking. In some families, women refer to each other as bitches and other derogatory names. They physically abuse each other… slapping, biting, pulling hair. Wear each other’s clothes and shoes without permission. All of these behaviors are perceived as being “normal”. They have been conditioned to believe that this is just how women are supposed to get along.
When women have daughters this is when the universe is giving them an opportunity to reassess what it means to be a woman– to be a part of a sisterhood that has been oppressed for centuries. They are being asked to take stock of the assets and liabilities of the paradigm of womanhood and femininity for the next generation of girls.
Mothers need to look deep within their souls and ask themselves the tough questions:
- What changes can I make in myself that will give my daughter(s) opportunities that I never had?
- In what ways have I not truly loved and respected myself that may be reflected back to me through the eyes of my little girl?
- What did I love about the relationships with the women in my family?
- What do I hate about the relationship with the women in my family?
Their relationship with their mother could be strained for any of the reasons mentioned in this article or various other reasons. But the most important reason is that the mother lacks a role model of what healthy relationships look like between women.
9. Mothers who put their Daughters up for Adoption
Women who were placed for adoption tend to resent their mothers but not their fathers. I had a client who was adopted tell me; “How can I expect anyone else in this world to love me if the woman who carried me inside of her body for nine months, pushed me out of her vagina–looked at me as an innocent newborn baby-and still decide that she did not love or want me.” She sobbed for 10 minutes or more after saying this. Her pain made my heart ache.
The biological responsibility that Mother Nature has given to women to protect, nurture, and raise the human soul is a spiritual mission that many women in modern society have abandoned.
10. The Mainstream Media discourage Mothers and Daughter from getting along.
Sometimes the mainstream media portray teenage daughters and middle-aged mothers as natural enemies-one is emerging into her “idealistic portrayal” of fertility and mainstream beauty and the other exiting. There are many mothers and daughters who are very close who describe their relationships as being “abnormal” because middle-aged women and teenage girls are not supposed to get along.
Some women are just playing out an indirect expected social pattern of behavior that they believe is normal. However, once they get together and really communicate, many mothers and daughters learn that they have more in common with each other than not in common. And they truly enjoy each other’s company.
Sometimes we forget the social media thrives on conflict. Movies and televisions shows will be boring without antagonists. Advertisers need women to feel unbeautiful and old in order to sell makeup, fashion, and hair care products. Women are being conditioned to believe that they are in competition with each other-mothers against daughters, sisters against sisters- and so forth.
Through the beginning of human history billions of women have been hurt, beaten, beheaded, raped, shunned, molested, abused, over-looked, denied opportunities, oppressed, put-down, unloved, and unappreciated for you to exist in this very moment in time.
No matter what her race, nationality, creed, or religion is silently thank her and give her the voice she never had. You are the breathing reality of her dream. You are her little girl that she wanted to keep safe-but couldn’t. You are her sister who has bravely carried the torch of humanity from the trenches of male domination and oppression through the womb of hope, faith, and grace.
Honor her by promising to salute silently the divine goddess in every woman you meet. In your own way, send her love, light, and forgiveness. Acknowledge the oneness in all women around the world. Honor, cherish, and celebrate the collective sisterhood of humanity. Keep it simple. Keep it honest. Keep it authentic.
Dr. Cassandra George Sturges MA, MA, is a full-time psychology professor, mother of two adult children; creator of the Jungle Beauty Goddesses book and YouTube series; author of “A Woman’s Soul on Paper” ISBN: 0595171435; The Illusion of Beauty: Why Women Hate Themselves & Envy Other Women; Success & Beauty is an Attitude: A Woman’s Guide to finding herself and making her dreams come true.