Sisterhood Is...

Friday night I attended an Indigo Girls concert at Ravina. Ravina is an outdoor concert arena but it is mostly lawn seating. People usually come bearing picnic baskets of cheese, wine and other snackables. It really is an experience. Friday night was pretty packed on the lawn as usual. People scout out their own spots and it's normally pretty hard to get back to the path if you are sitting too far in.

There were quite a good number of little girls attending with their moms. One such little girl was being lead, quickly, out of the lawn towards the path. We overhead the mom say loudly, "Come on, you can hold it. Squeeze! Squeeze!" Uh-oh...the potty run!

The mom was taking her daughter away from the best exit path, so one woman yelled out, "Over here!" A collective "whew" could be heard as the mom turned quickly and they were well on their way to the restrooms. "Sisterhood in action!" cried my friend.

I have no idea if the little girl made it, but I hope that the super long line parted ways for one of the littlest fans. Sisterhood indeed.

by Veronica Arreola
View profile »

Professional feminist, former Bitch Media board member, mom, and writer. Creator of #365FeministSelfie.

Get Bitch Media's top 9 reads of the week delivered to your inbox every Saturday morning! Sign up for the Weekly Reader:

10 Comments Have Been Posted

thanks for a much-needed smile!

this little story made me feel good after an evening of struggling with nicotine withdrawal and moving-related stress. so thank you!

and sisterhood is powerful, necessary, positive, and all around us! :)

the group identity of sisterhood is just another group identity

What would this post look like if we replaced all subjects representing women in it with a label "white person", or with a label regarding the "national identity"? In the first case we would consider it as representing quite a racist point of view, in the second nationalistic. The fact that "sisterhood" is not such a widespread group identity does not, however, mean we should simply accept it as non-discriminatory. So my question is: why sisterhood? Why is it so important that a woman helps another woman, as if there is nothing else to them than this raw gender label? And, if a feminist man helps another feminist man should we then call this a brotherhood? And write articles about brotherhood? Building a group identity based on such labels is extremely slippery ground. Racists could also say: "We don't hate other races, we just think our own race is important, and we support the mutual support of those belonging to our race." Still, we call it racism, and we find it discriminatory. The point is: mutual help of people should be seen as valuable independently of race, ethnicity, gender, age etc. It is valuable because it is help as such, not because members of the same group help each other.


way to kill the buzz, man (man being a general term, for the PC)

Whoa there, renu

Slow your roll, friend. She's talking about a little girl and some human kindness at an Indigo Girls concert, and making what sounds awfully like a tongue-in-cheek reference to the radical-feminist classic Sisterhood is Powerful, not calling for a separatist matriarchy. You gonna go harass the author of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, too?

then why speaking of sisterhood?

Well, Tania, as you said, the story is about human kindness at the concert, so why labeling it sisterhood then? Whichever reference we wanna make, we should be highly concerned about the implicit levels of group identity which so easily gets formed in such contexts. And the post hasn't shown in any way such an awareness :-/

I think the post was just

I think the post was just supposed to acknowledge a good deed that someone saw, and it so happened to be women helping each other out. When do you see men doing that, let alone people? Today's world seems to be every man for himself and it's always nice to see people (no matter the gender) helping each other out, and not expect anything back.

renu, I am intrigued by your

renu, I am intrigued by your response. I wonder how you would share the same news - how would you describe it? you have a great point - sometimes the words we use to create community are the very words that can be exclusionary. help me understand your perspective a little more with your take on this situation. thanks! regina

hey regina! i'd just

hey regina! i'd just describe it as a nice example of human kindness or a good deed - as people above already mentioned. i see no need for labeling it with gender-related terms, since i don't think it matters here that a woman helped another woman, but that one person helped another. this is not to say that mutual help of women in political activism should not be supported, but the example above does not give us any reason to think that the fact these individuals are women mattered for what happened. it would have been equally nice if the kid in this story was a boy, or a little girl with her father, or if a helper were a man. there are situations in which women help each other to overcome certain problems where it can be relevant that they are women - for example, in becoming more politically aware, or becoming aware to which extent their sex has been "in-gendered", etc. but this example just doesn't have any of this, and in so far, i think, pointing out the group identity of women here is redundant and risky.

It's OK to boast the Sisterhood

While this is simple human kindness, the fact that no men stood up and helped the littler girl needs to be said. Obviously, if all women were helping the tiny tot, we can be a little proud I say. No need to crush a nice story I say!

//Jenn @ the <a href=:">Chicago Lawn Sprinkler Systems</a> Company.

Add new comment