Over this past week, I've been happy to see the solidarity that sexual predator Harvey Weinstein has wrought through his wrongdoings. "Me too": the sisterhood's recent rallying cry on social media has women who've experienced sexual harassment and/or assault—you know, like every woman you know, like every woman on the planet—posting the phrase, wearing it like a suffragette banner of resistance and fiery activism across their bosoms.
I'm so, so happy about it. It's wonderful and amazing and long overdue. I want women to stick together, to have each other's backs, to be there for one another. This has been my dream my whole life: a utopian society where men and women treat each other as equals. So, it's with much anger and sadness that I have to say that this sudden outburst of camaraderie and team spirit on the part of my fellow females makes me want to hurl.
The first day I was like, "Oh, my god, this is so amazing. Look at us. We've finally come together. We're sticky with the glue of common experience. We're wallowing in love for one another—our defenses down, our hearts open."
Our common enemy has momentarily blinded us to the fact that women treat each other like shit and have done so since the first bachelor wandered into the village with four oxen, two horses, a cart full of silver and fine linen, and a fiancée who had to fight tooth and nail to keep her man out of the clutches of most of the female population.
We seduce each other's husbands, steal them away from their wives, break up marriages and families, and hurt children.
When my daughter was 8, a mom at the exclusive private school she attended decided she wanted my husband, although hers was in fine working order. She planned her offensive like a Phoenician general. There she was every day, at morning drop-off and afternoon pickup, in transparent yoga clothes, tits bulging, ass jiggling, fully made up, with every hair in place. A cunning little thing—I found out later he wasn't her first dad conquest—she rooted out his interests like a horny ferret and made them hers.
Pretending to be desperately interested in ethnobotany—ETHNOBOTANY, come on, no one is interested in ethnobotany except maybe five people at Harvard—they'd have long meaningful conversations about medicinal plants during soccer practice. When I told him he was being hit on, he was surprised. Right. I wasn't buying it, so I made him promise that the second she propositioned him to tell me, which, bless his clueless little male heart, he did on the day and hour I predicted it would happen.
Our story had a happy ending but it messed us up for years. Other friends weren't so lucky. My friend T, happily married to her soul mate, had the same experience only her husband left her and married the other woman. I know others. So do you.
This bad behavior must stop. I get that we didn't write the rules—that we're hardwired to find the strongest caveman to protect us while we raise his cubs but we no longer need men in this way. Sure, they make our lives hell at work treating us like sexual objects, talking over us, stealing our ideas and getting promotions with our hard work while believing from the bottom of their hearts we're inferior beings. But we're working. It's been a long, hard battle and we won.
I am not setting myself up here as some paragon of virtue. I am not blameless. I was a shameless flirt. Although I had a rule—don't sleep with married men—I still shook my tits and swung my ass at them at work and laughed about it later with friends. I wasn't remotely interested in any of them. I liked the attention. But they had wives at home. They were in long marriages and it's not fair. These women were raising children, trying to keep their families together and their husbands interested in their exhausted, aging bodies. And although these men loved their wives, they're coded to procreate and keep the human race alive and they must do it with as many women as possible—hence, their need for variety. That's their thing. They will fuck the ugly babysitter even when their wife looks like Angelina Jolie—even when she is Angelina Jolie.
Melvin Konner writes in his book "The End of Male Supremacy," "Women are not equal to men; they are superior in many ways, and in most ways that will count in the future. It is not just a matter of culture or upbringing. It is a matter of chromosomes, genes, hormones and nerve circuits."
If this is true, if women truly are superior beings—and yes, after 60 years as a female on this planet I, too, have come to this conclusion—then we bloody well should start acting like it. We must rise above the reality show consciousness and be our best selves. We must become the moral backbone in a world that is under attack if we want to survive.
So, stop hitting on each other's men, stop putting your sisters down, stop the fat shaming, the bitchy comments on hair and makeup, the nasty catfight mentality, and the jealousy of accomplishments and good fortune. We are not competitors. We are not enemies.
The "Me too" phenomenon will probably disappear in a few days—the internet moves fast—and become yet another forgotten trope. But maybe something has changed and there's no turning back. I hope so.