A Foot Race to Skip

Sarah White //

I’ve felt it all too often–the anxious feeling of starting another foot race with a friend. I can just picture it: the turf is filled with dew drops, and the track surrounding it begins to be illuminated by the rising sun. My friend and I are at the starting line. 

We start to run at the same pace when the whistle blows. Our pace quickens, and with one fell swoop, she sticks out her foot and trips me. While I lay on the ground, she hovers over me. The sunlight shines behind her forming a halo around her head. As she runs away, I rush to get up to continue the race. But as she runs so far ahead of me I continue to think–why are we running in the first place?

This need for competition, for a race against a girl friend, it happens everywhere. I thought it was a middle school concept at first. Girls vying for their crush and trying to do anything to get their crush to like them back. Even if that meant tearing down their close girl friends. 

I quickly realized that it wasn’t just a middle school concept when I experienced it in high school a couple times. Then recently, I heard people talking about it in college–in our twenties. Women still feel the need to battle against each other…for who?

Even now, you can still hear it being talked about in reference to Megan Fox. She expressed in an interview that she felt the competition of women in Hollywood was terrible. It can even be seen in Hollywood. It is totally not just a middle school concept.

I think it’s important to state that this competition and rivalry between women is not focused on a male/other such entity in the mix. It is not solely based on a romantic interest. It is found in the workplace. It is found at school. It is found in traumatic situations. I’ve personally seen it in all three. 

I had a friend once who would listen to what I had to say when I went to express my opinions, or talk about something that I had experienced recently. Her responses always stayed the same. She would one-up me every time. She consciously tripped me as I ran at her pace, so she could sprint ahead and leave me in the dust. She did not want the friend beside her, what she wanted was someone she could compete with–someone who she could prove she was better than.

So why are women competing with one another? Are they threatened? Jealous? I don’t know the exact answer, and I personally don’t know if I will ever find out. But, I know that I don’t want to be a part of it. It’s one foot race I would love to skip. 

I could count on two hands the amount of times in which a girl friend felt as if they needed to push me down (for whatever reason). I wish it was less. I have never felt that way, though. I admire my girl friends in every aspect. Each woman has such unique parts of themselves that I’d love to see them flaunt, and show their best qualities without feeling like they have to tear each other down in the process. At the end of the day, women have an unspoken bond to each other. The more races we start, the closer we come to breaking that bond. Or, we could quit the race completely and walk the length of the track together. 

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