Why Do Some Women Marginalize Other Women?

Recently I had an upsetting experience in which an organization I had been in a leadership role for nearly a decade, abruptly ousted me from that role for a period of time. When that time period was over, we had a meeting which I thought would be about how I would resume my former duties. Instead, I was asked to help rescue a project which the current group could not pull in on time.

I was dumbfounded. When I later asked re: my reinstatement to the board, I was told that there would have to be elections, and I would need to apply. Since I had restarted this organization about ten years ago and had been the key organizer for most of this time, I felt disrespected and cast out for no good reason, except for a conflict with another member, which she has consistently refused to work out.

It caused me to think of how my chorus, Womansong, has chosen to deal with conflicts which come up from time to time. We hired a couple of fantastic diversity trainers who gave us workshops and also some reading materials to support our transition to a more inclusive organization. One of those works is White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun. We identified two of the descriptions of this culture for the chorus to work on together: right to comfort and fear of open conflict.

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