A dogged effort to avoid cattiness
Over the weekend, Rosie O’Donnell commented on the women she worked with over the past year on “The View.”Let’s get ready to rumble.People Magazine quoted her as saying, “Turn around one minute and they’ll stab you in the back with a high heel.”Ouch.I personally have never been stabbed in the back with a high heel. But anything is possible during Victoria’s Secret’s Semi-Annual Sale.Hand it over, Tyra. I saw that Miracle Bra first. I’m wearing stilettos … don’t make me use them.As a female, I know it can be difficult for women to get along sometimes. Differing opinions, insecurities, competition for the opposite sex, outfit envy and plain-old cattiness can cause our gender to divide.Oh, and don’t forget spite.Sometimes we’re more interested in conquering each other than coming together. So sensitive types like me have difficulty dealing with hurt feelings and unkind words associated with this behavior.I really need to toughen up already.According to the 2004 U.S. Census, there were 149.1 million females in the United States, exceeding males by 5 million. Women outnumbered men in the 40-44 and 85-and-older age groups.With this many of us, we certainly have the power to make this world a better place. To quote Rodney King – pre-’92 Los Angeles riots – “Why can’t we all just get along?”Ladies, let’s come together.Right now.Over Me.Even in 2007, Rodney King and The Beatles are more timely than we’ll ever know.I’m not saying all women don’t get along with each other. I’m just sensitive to the fact that terms such as “cat fight” and “meow down” even exist. Google “women fighting” on the Internet and women kickboxing – a bona fide sport – shows up first. But then videos of two women in lingerie slapping each other, “ghetto” women roughly sparring and drunk women fighting follow.What happened to carrying yourself like a lady, as many of our mothers and grandmothers used to say?The answer: Reality TV.And multiple shots of Jagermeister chased with beer.Luckily there are plenty of books to help women make positive choices in how they conduct themselves. “The Art and Power of Being a Lady” defines today’s lady as a woman who is “kind and considerate without being a doormat … assertive, but never a bully … sexy without being vulgar. She has great style but is never superficial. She gives back without asking for kudos.”The book says it’s the “little things,” such as saying please and thank you or mentoring a younger colleague in the office, that make a lady.Somehow I don’t think being a contestant on “Flavor of Love” or a roommate on “Real World Denver” counts.”The Art and Power of Being a Lady” also points to self-respect, self-awareness and self-control as characteristics of a lady.That’s opposed to self-indulgence, self-destruction and low self-esteem.Aren’t those the criteria for “Real World” seasons?I like to think I’m a work-in-progress. So my goal this summer is to focus more on self-respect, self-awareness and self-control. I have small thumbs, so that last one is going to be a doozie.Looks like I’m going to need a self-help book to make it happen.April E. Clark is not so sure this year’s upcoming second annual Slip ‘N Slide party fits in her self-improvement initiative. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 945-8515, ext. 16601.
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