Today I want to share a surprising syndrome I was made aware of reading this book:
After working tirelessly as the official spokeswoman and inspirational leader for Women in Peacebuilding Network, or WIPNET Leymeh Gbowee was asked to come to a meeting at the WIPNET offices. Most of the women who had been a part of the Liberian Mass Action for Peace were there. They formed a circle and one by one the women began attacking her. She was undermining them, she was still trying to run things, she had stolen money. She had taken credit for everything WIPNET had done while “not doing shit,” and all she ever wanted was power.
Some time later, Gbowee met the American Feminist Gloria Steinem who talked to her about the “pull her down” syndrome:
A way in which too often women denigrate other women. This infighting happens in any society or group than has been impoverished or disenfranchised for a long time. You see one person doing well, think she is getting it all and want only to take it away. I understand it, but it is very destructive. (Page 199)So there you have it – pull her down – syndrome. It is similar to how Americans love to build up their celebrities then tear them down. Think Martha Stewart and Paula Deen. This instance is much sadder though. Didn’t the women of Liberia have greater problems? What good was it going to do harboring grievances and jealousies against each other?
Have you heard of “pull her down” syndrome? Do you have any examples you’d like to share?