Confessions of being woman: “The men are jealous and the women all in competition”

“The men are jealous and the women all in competition” – Take a shot for me – Drake. I’m not much of a Drake fan but there’s something about that lyric which rings true isn’t there?

It’s not really surprising us women spend our time comparing ourselves to other women. I see women everywhere. If we look at the media content we consume on a daily basis, be that of our own will or inflicted upon us in our day-to-day life, each time we pass billboard for example, it’s centralised around women. And it’s centralised upon women’s image. And when successful women are scrutinized, the female politicians, writers, musicians, it is their mainly their image that is scrutinized.

A woman’s image is an easy target. And is a trapdoor that we as women can easily fall into. It is only when we become conscious of it, and conscious of ourselves, our dreams, and our ambitions do we begin to challenge this ideology.

For someone reason women are being told “this is what you must be to be an independent woman” or “this is what you must be to be a successful woman leader”. It’s simply not true.

It’s about time we recognise women as individuals. Some women may perceive Margaret Thatcher’s ruthlessness, confidence and stern attitude as qualities of a leader. But then contrary to that, some women may view the kindness, compassion and openness of Mother Teresa as the true traits of a leader.

The point is, we’re all different. And we all have different traits that need to be embraced.

Today a masterclass was held at NUS HQ in which young women student leaders could come to learn about what it is that makes us strong leaders. Listening to other women, the problems they faced and the ambitions they have, helped me to discover exactly who I am, what I want, and how I wish to go about problems and barriers might face. When women are brought together, we learn not to compete but to support one another in remarkable achievements.

So I realise I’ve not acknowledged the male part of Drake’s lyric… perhaps that’s one for another day.


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