A couple of weekends ago I was super excited to go to a barbeque a friend I had met through my pastor was hosting. My boyfriend and I are still semi-new to our community and love meeting new people from all different backgrounds to network with and enjoy life with. I spent most of my initial time at the barbeque out back in my friend’s gorgeous garden while she prepped the grill. We laughed and exchanged stories about growing up in small towns in the middle of nowhere. When we went back in, her friend sitting at the kitchen counter looked directly at me with a strange expression. As I got closer to her, she said, “I am a straight-shooter so I just have to tell you this- I did not expect you to be a Christian.” There was something in her tone of disgust that absolutely caught me off guard. It was not that she was pleasantly surprised, it was that she literally could not understand how I could call myself a Christian. Now, the only thing this woman knew about me at this point was how I looked and that I met our mutual friend through a pastor and was studying ministry. That’s it. The other friends at the barbeque immediately made eye contact with me to let me know that they did not approve of what just came out of her mouth, and my boyfriend held my hand even tighter, anticipating what I might have to say to this stranger. A few nervous laughs filled the silence space her statement had left.
After what seemed like an eternity, I finally said, “Well, we come in all forms,” and another stranger quickly came to the rescue and changed the subject. The entire time, the woman kept staring at me above her reading glasses, even as the conversation changed. Let’s just say, this was not the kind of networking we were expecting.
It’s an interesting concept though, isn’t it? What a Christian looks like? Ironically, on the way to work this morning, I heard a sermon about the fact that our Christianity has nothing to do with our looks and the earthly laws we follow, but it has to do with our heart.
Now, if I had responded with anything other than grace to this woman she would have been right→ It would have been quite shocking to call myself a Christian and then act like a defensive egomaniac. Plus, now she has given me some great material for my first sermon that I will be giving on Sunday that is about, you guessed it, grace.
This is about more than Christianity, though. This incident also touches on the way women treat other women. We complain that we don’t get equal pay and we aren’t treated as well as men in public, yet we are the ones actively tearing down ourselves. Instead of bonding with each other to fight the inequality, we get jealous and territorial to the point that we can’t see straight.
When I was a junior in college my friend and I were asked to work with a group of girls who were all best friends for a PR group project. We had a real client and real rules. The group of four lied about the way they did their research for the project (they faked over 20 interviews), and then got caught. When my friend and I would not cover for them, we ended up in the biggest cat fight of our lives. It became so bad, that the dean of the school got involved and we had to have a mediator in all of our meetings.
Fortunately, our professor witnessed it all and stood by our sides as these girls tried to not only destroy our grade in the class, but also our reputations around campus. Through our steadfast need to hold onto the truth and our morals and ethics, we formed a great relationship with the professor who eventually became a mentor to both of us.
While, at the time, it was a horrific experience, it actually prepared me very well for the PR world in NYC. It sharpened my skills to deal with all personality times and watch out for the types of women that live to destroy other women.
Isn’t it sad that that’s a needed skill, though? I mean, shouldn’t other women be our biggest ally as we go into the workforce that is dominated by men? Shouldn’t other women be our best friends as our looks are harshly judged by society?
I often tweet, “Shout out to the girls who smile at and compliment other girls,” a great quote by #BossBabe. It’s incredible how much it relates to other women out there. How can we expect men to respect us if we don’t respect ourselves? How can we expect the pay scale to shift when we are teaming up to see other women fail? It has to stop.
In honor of all the kick ass women I have in my life, here’s seven I think you should be following:
@CJMami: Marie is one of my favorite ladies and is SO hilarious.
@NealThea: Thea knows what’s going on in social media and what’s going on in life.
@TinaShakour: Tina’s social media knowledge is on point and she shares tons of useful articles throughout the day.
@Jackinessity: Jackie is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. Be sure to check out her #100Unicycles project for suicide prevention awareness. Read my full story on her here -->XX.
@StandUp4Respect: I absolutely love the useful advice and articles Tamara shares on numerous topics. Her thirst for knowledge is great.
@AndreaMV: Andrea is the who’s who of the PR world and shares great advice on social media AND PR.
@sliceworks: I love this woman-owned business. They are passionate and sassy.
Step up and compliment other women today. See what helping each other can actually do to improve how we are viewed by the rest of the world
- Marji J. Sherman