Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Sandra Charron


Why Women Judge Other Women More Than Men

Posted: 02/26/2013 12:20 pm

For years I have heard the term "Working Parent's Guilt." My stay-at-home friends and I, always ready to slay the reputation of our fellow women in the quintessential ploy to be the superior mothers, would belittle those who left their little darlings with babysitters or in daycare in order to work outside the home and pursue careers.

"I would never do that," we would say, sipping our coffee on our front porches as our children ran in circles in our fenced backyards. "Imagine if our children were away from us every single day, being watched by strangers." We'd nod in agreement as our little darlings who, by the third hour, were now tear-stained and snotty from the in-fighting occurring among the three-year-olds vying for the same plastic pail.

From my working friends, I would hear the counter argument: that having their children in daycare made the kids more sociable, intellectually advanced, and more receptive to kindergarten. "Kids that stay at home all day don't get the same kind of stimulation," they would say, and they would back it up with examples of their friend's two-year-old who sat in front of the TV all day while the mother surfed the Internet.

This is not an essay about working versus stay-at-home mothers. That topic has been beaten over the head with an anvil, and according to both camps still huffing and puffing as each one tries to shot-put the anvil at the other, ample examples of why they are the winners have been presented. This topic, however, demonstrates the slandering that goes on in the world in which women live.

Watching the various post-Oscar shows, one thing was made very evident: women looooove to put down other women. Oh sure, some female talk show hosts were kinder in their analysis of who had the prettiest dress and why, but most were quick to point out who should have been wearing a bra, who needed a seam sewn into her skirt, and who needed to redo her up-do.

Although all who spoke of Jennifer Lawrence's fall up the stairs were sympathetic in their play-by-play, that actress will go down in history, not for the award she won, but for tripping in a dress...Because apparently, tripping in a dress has never happened before?

Men don't vie with each other over parenting styles. Coach your kid in hockey, don't coach your kid; men don't even engage in conversations which categorizes one man as better than another related to issues which pertain to their children.

As for the Academy Awards, I don't even know what the men were wearing because the various women critiquing the Red Carpet, after gushing briefly over Bradley Cooper's blue eyes, quickly returned to the careful analysis of the thread count on each actress' gown, and wisecracked about Helena Bonham Carter's hairstyle (apparently her stylist neglected to actually style it).

In nursing, a profession dominated mostly by women, many nurses could name off several examples of occurrences when kindness and compassion were prevalent in their practice but not always exhibited between colleagues.

Research has shown not only that jobs held disproportionately by women report lower wages and pension funds than jobs held disproportionately by men, but that bullying in the workplace is not gender biased within male workers. Seventy per cent of the time, women will chose a target of the same sex. Why is it that in a male-dominated world, women are so quick to cut each other down, rather than speak up in defense of one another?

As someone who stayed at home with my four children for 13 years before going back to school, and now is slowly entering the work force, I can attest to the fact that my parenting technique has not changed. "Working Parent's Guilt" is squashed by my exhaustion. Last night, after completing my third 12-hour shift, when my 13-year-old daughter asked me for help with her geometry homework, rather than drag my weary body to the kitchen table, I offered my 17-year-old cold hard cash to be my substitute.

And just as Jennifer Lawrence flipped off the press later in the evening, after tripping up those stairs in that now infamous dress, I would do the same to anyone who dared criticize me. As a stay-at-home mother, I did what kept me sane then. And as a working mother, I pay my kids to do what keeps me sane now. Judge that ladies.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Jessica Chastain In Armani Privé

    The rose-colored gown shows off her figure, while the beading keeps the eye moving. Though simple, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/30/best-red-lipstick-2012_n_2205820.html">her bold red lips</a> add a punch of color.

  • Samantha Barks In Valentino

    The "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/les-miserables-extended-trailer-anne-hathaway-russell-crowe-hugh-jackman_n_1900640.html">Les Miserables</a>" actress had our attention at hello. While black is certainly basic, that plunging neckline and stunning necklace certainly got our attention.

  • Octavia Spencer In Tadashi Shoji

    The award-winning actress <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-anderson/the-help-octavia-spencer-2012-photos_b_2125289.html">always chooses the perfect shape to show off her body</a>. The off-the-shoulder neckline frames her face, while the fitted bodice adds a va-va-voom element that we are loving.

  • Naomi Watts In Armani Privé

    "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/naomi-watts-impossible_n_2346016.html">The Impossible</a>" actress does high drama right! Silver sequins and cutouts make the perfect statement for a nominee -- sexy, eye-catching and sophisticated.

  • Helen Hunt In H&M

    "The Sessions" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/helen-hunt-the-sessions-photos_n_2427036.html">star</a> is wearing H&M on the red carpet. That's amazing in and of itself, but additionally, the navy hue shines against her tanned skin tone, and her statement necklace pops off her column gown.

  • Jennifer Lawrence In Christian Dior Couture

    The "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/23/indie-spirit-awards-2013-silver-linings-playbook_n_2751423.html">Silver Linings Playbook</a>" actress goes for high drama, and it works. The strapless neckline and fitted bodice are simple enough to contrast the voluminous skirt. Her upswept 'do and diamonds (the backward necklace!) add just a little necessary sparkle.

  • Nicole Kidman In L'Wren Scott

    The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/16/nicole-kidman-hollywood-reporter-cover-photo_n_2488879.html">Australian actress</a> is stunning in liquid sequins. We love that she went a different route than usual with a dramatic train.

  • Charlize Theron In Christian Dior Couture

    The details in this sleek, gorgeous gown have us looking twice. The V at the neckline, the<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/02/polka-dots-2012-fashion-trends_n_2388891.html#slide=1934249"> beaded peplum </a>and the train only add to an already elegant look. And that pixie! We love it.

  • Kerry Washington In Miu Miu

    We tip our hats to the "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/django-unchained-movie-of-year_b_2458521.html">Django Unchained</a>" actress for taking a risk on the red carpet. Her beaded, coral dress was an oasis in a desert of pale hues. The red clutch played up all the berry tones in her look, and her easy hair and makeup let that dress steal the show.

  • Renee Zellweger In Carolina Herrera

    Liquid sequins are a trend on this <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/17/oscars-2013-red-carpet-photos_n_2707963.html?1361744443#slide=2145163">Oscars red carpet</a>, and for good reason. They add shine without going over the top. The "Bridget Jones Diary" star chose a simple tank-style dress and added interest with a ruby-colored clutch and bracelets for a perfect ensemble.

  • Queen Latifah In Badgley Mischka

    The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/04/queen-latifah-did-not-come-out-pride_n_1529566.html">actress </a>is stunning in this white gown. The V neckline highlights her décolletage while also framing her face, and the train is just enough drama to make waves. Her pink lips and slicked-back ponytail are the right details for such a sleek look. Brava.

  • Jennifer Aniston In Valentino

    We are thrilled that the star eschewed her usual black for such a vibrant color. The simple, strapless top and loose hair were casual, while the princess skirt was just dramatic enough for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/oscars/">the Oscars</a>.

  • Zoe Saldana In Alexis Mabille Couture

    It's rare to see a gown with this much detail on the best-dressed list, but the actress really pulls it off. Her simple hairdo and minimal makeup let the floral embroidery take the spotlight, while the ombré detail at the hem keeps the eye moving.

  • Sally Field In Valentino

    Graceful and elegant, the "Lincoln" actress stuns in red.

  • Halle Berry In Versace

    The Oscar-winning actress works bold shoulder pads like an expert. The vertical stripes keep the eye moving to her lovely décolletage and trim waistline.

  • Emanuelle Riva In Lanvin

    The "Amour" star wore one of our favorite looks of the night. The turquoise gown and cape are far and away one of the most elegant Oscar looks ever. Completely timeless, and reminiscent of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/gwyneth-paltrow-oscar-2012-_n_1373886.html" target="_hplink">Gwyneth Paltrow 's look</a> last year.

  • Giuliana Rancic In Rafael Cennamo

    The TV personality's hair is a nice change. The black gown is elegant, yet understated and all the couture-like detail adds curves.


Follow Sandra Charron on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SandraSheWrites