Can women be both creative and competitive?

I think I must be going through a growth spurt.  Can that still happen at age 34?  Maybe there is a psychological development that happens the year you turn 35, and that is the reason for deep thoughts by yours truly.  Okay, so you know that I am on this “remember you are a girl so act like one”- kick.  I think it has triggered an area of my brain that hasn’t been used before, and now out poureth the questions.

What are women generally into?…now asking this question is not meant to categorize or alienate or stereotype or any of those things that are definitely taboo.  I appreciate the complexity of humanity, and especially the feminine portion, and I am open and willing to accept that no one person is simply defined (ok disclaimer done)…but what are those activities that are most often associated with  women in our culture?  Of the things I decided that are more by and for women, women seem to be more interested in creating things.

When I think of those things that are utterly girly, I think of frilly dresses and done-up hair.  I think of Martha Stewart…flower arrangements and a five-course meal. Women enjoy crafting and scrapbooks, baking and accessorizing.  Women do make-up and nails and the beauty of a space is generally the woman’s responsibility.  Gardening and care-taking, nurturing and multi-tasking.

Some guys are great at these things, and some women (like me) suck at a lot of them.  Not because I want to suck, because I don’t, but I think that because I went the competition route, I never really learned how to do or fully appreciate the creative stuff.

Build it….. or break it.
Cooperation versus competition.

Relationships based on cooperation and creation can make and build great things.  Relationships steeped in competition are difficult and often counter-productive.  Maybe the problem with society is not that women have gone back to work and the children are raised differently than they used to be, but maybe, just maybe the problem is how and why women are in the work place to begin with.  We are there because we are competing more than we are cooperating now.  Seventy years ago, when women rarely worked outside of the home, the collective female energy was just that, collective and more singularly focused.

Back then, the focus was to achieve more opportunities and just look what amazing and driven women “created”.  Women now have the opportunity to be and do anything we want.  For me personally, I thought that what I wanted was to compete and battle and win every chance I got.  The problem is that now I don’t have that circle of women friends that I might have had if I had gone another route.  The women I played with and against through the years on my sports’ teams are mostly just acquaintances now.  There are a few close friends, but not many.  Too much carried with us maybe, from when we battled for playing time, or when I was asserting my competitive nature more than my cooperative/nurturing one.

The movement on behalf of Susan G. Komen is a great example of what can be created with collective energy.  We need more of that.  We are smarter now, we have more opportunities now and we can change the world in amazing ways.  Women have spent a lot of time inserting ourselves into the man’s more competitive world, and we have proven that we can absolutely do it.  I fear that the cooperative creativity may ultimately suffer because competition has started to make its presence known in everything we do. We compete for higher sales of make-up and cooking items and fragrant candles.  We try to have the biggest and most popular websites and businesses.  Competition is necessary, and many women would not be where they are without the drive to compete, I am just wondering if we might not build even bigger and better things if we weren’t competing against each other.

One thought on “Can women be both creative and competitive?

  1. Ahh, there's the topic of competition again. I think you're right about cooperation suffering because of people competing. After my competition post, I had a long talk with my father about it, and he thinks that the need to compete is instinctual, human nature, and like you said, necessary. But everything in moderation right?I do think women need to be more cooperative and less competitive. We need to stick together! I'm trying to overcome my competitive streak or at least use it for more productive things like 5ks. Great post.

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