Are ambitious women intimidating?
“We can’t be friends anymore.”
These were the very words staring back at me in an Instagram message from one of my closest friends, someone I had known for 16 years. It was tough to read, it was an explanation. “My girlfriend doesn’t like me hanging around with you, it’s making her feel that she should be doing more. Had my ambition driven us apart? Was it my determination to succeed that had ended our friendship?
“I want to enjoy my success, not apologise it.” This quote kept ringing in my ears as I read on, words straight off Sex and the City and said by arguably the most feminist character; Miranda Hobbes. My heart sank as I read and re-read this message, and as much as I think it’s cowardly to just end a friendship over a girlfriend, I couldn’t help but be understanding. As much as I wish it was, this isn’t the first time a girl has wanted to keep her distance from me due to my “ambition”.
Isn’t it only certain men who are intimidated by a strong woman? I never thought it would be one of my own kind. It’s 2019, I thought we were embracing a new wave of feminism, a new way of thinking. Those women supporting women kind of vibes. Are (some) women really intimidated by ambitious women? You know the kind of women. I am talking about those tutting when you openly share that your children will have a nanny. Or, the women who whisper about you after board meetings for being ballsy when if you were a man you would be celebrated for being assertive. The kind of women who tell their boyfriends not to be around you because you’re too “ambitious”?
I’ve always been ambitious, it’s in my blood. Growing up though I would live up to it and would be rewarded. Now however I keep my ambition to myself. While Jessica Simpson was confused over chicken I would pride myself on achieving exceptional marks. Now, I keep victories to myself, afraid of the comments on social media and only share a portion of my accomplishments.
Many would probably refer to me as an alpha-female. I would rather not put myself in a box and personally believe there shouldn’t be alpha female or beta female but just female. After all, I’m just a woman who strives for more, a woman who knows how far she can go and willing to put in the outstanding amount of effort required. I’m not saying I’m perfect, live on a pedestal or don’t question myself I totally totally do. However, it is devastating to know that some women find us ambitious lot well, intimidating.
The thing is, only women will ever understand women. Periods, labour, bras, navigating the online dating world, whether we are ambitious or not, we are all in this together. Being ambitious firstly is an incredible thing but it’s only one aspect of my personality. It’s not one I will apologise for but it’s not my entire being, I am also caring, loving, kind and a fantastic friend—I am that girl who will turn up at your door with pizza if you call me crying at 3am.
We need each other. The ambitious women and the not so ambitious women. I do get it, we didn’t get into this mess by ourselves. The tabloids, movies, the media—everyone has grown up seeing women being pitted against each other. Well sisters, we aren’t the culprits but we can be the change-makers. We need to empower each other, lift each other up, inspire one another and connect. Love on women ladies, ambitious or not. We are on the same team.
Say yes to women, Ambition isn’t just exclusive for wannabe CEO’s , ambition can be for stay at home mums who cook every meal or a student who goes beyond the call of duty, I wish I could say this to my friend’s girlfriend, we are not ambitious versus unambitious but ambitious in different ways and even if you’re not ambitious at all you shouldn’t be threatened by someone else. You are beautiful as you are, and they are beautiful as them.
Your friend running a marathon doesn’t make you any less of a runner, that girl next to you being beautiful doesn’t make you any less pretty and your co-worker being intelligent, doesn’t make you any less smart.
Say yes to women. This can’t be a surface topic, if we all collectively went the extra mile a bit more and supported the women around us, we would only have kinder and fiercer world.
You are not intimidating, they are just intimidated. There is a huge difference. Never apologise for being exactly who you are. Ambition isn’t a negative thing and if you are the person like me to lose a friend over it, just see it as one less person to send a Christmas card to.
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