There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."
The above quote, which I once upon a time shamefully attributed to Taylor Swift is actually a Madeleine Albright quote. Albright made the statement while giving the keynote speech at the Celebrating Inspiration luncheon in 2006, a luncheon celebrating the WNBA's All-Decade Team. While exploring the notion that the world would be a better place if women were universally empowered and respected Albright said this: "I have a saying; I think there is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." It’s a simple quote, a little on the dramatic side but poignant nonetheless.
If you're active on social media you've probably seen the "You can't sit with us." memes and accompanying hashtag, #youcantsitwithus. Usually the image is of a waif, sourpuss looking group of models or some young group of self-proclaimed "hotties", "bad chicks", "baddies" or whatever else the young and self absorbed are calling themselves these days.
Where does it come from? The phrase is a quote is from the movie Mean Girls. Yes, Mean Girls. Yes, that teen movie that stared Lindsay Lohan way back when Lindsay Lohan was still considered an actor. Ask me exactly why a movie that came out in 2004 appears to have rocketed to cult-following status in 2015 and you'll be forcing me to lie to you. Now, I don't want to do that so let’s just proceed. Oddly enough, there are several quotes from the movie that seem to have found a second life on social media. This just seems to be one of the more popular ones.
When the antagonist, Regina George show's up in sweatpants on a Monday, a clear violation of the clique's strict dress code, one of the other mean girls quickly lets her know that she is not welcome to sit with them while they lunch (Ouch. Harsh much?). What does this have to do with me, or you or either of us making power moves? Well I bring it up because the Power Moves and Pumps movement speaks to the ambitious young woman and ideas like this are all too popular among this set. “You can’t sit with us” has taken on a life of its own and the masses are now using it as some sort of an indicator of success, superior beauty or financial status. Essentially what it conveys is “My friends and I are in a much better place in life than you are and because of that you are not allowed in my circle. As a matter of fact, don't even look at my circle. My circle is too good for your inferior eyes”.
Sure, it's true that you shouldn't accept just any ol’ Tammy, Diane or Jane into your inner circle. Some characters are simply dead weight. Not only does dead weight not add any value, dead weight is an absolute detriment to your own personal growth. I feel like I might be rambling a bit here so I’ll get to the point. While you should never let anyone threaten your growth, if you are a success, near success or on a journey towards success, than why not help someone else become successful as well?
This “I'm too good for you” attitude has got to go. Truth is, you almost certainly aren’t nearly as important as you’d like to think you are. Like, not even close. Sure you can tell people they can't sit at your table if you want to but what about all the other tables ahead of yours that you're not allowed to sit at because you're not good enough? Forget the tables. What about all of the buildings you aren’t allowed into because you’re not good enough, hmm? Is Oprah inviting you and your girls to Sunday Brunch? No? Didn’t think so.
Stop it with the adolescent, pretentious behavior worthy of a tween dramedy and reach out and help another young lady with the desire to succeed. It’s a much more rewarding feeling when you’re able to invite someone to have a seat at your success table than it is to turn them away. Most people who have achieved great success didn’t get there by their own merits alone. Someone at some point let them have a seat. Let your next power move be to offer someone a seat and you won’t have to worry about finding your place card and reserved seat in hell (Maybe you will. I don’t know your life or what else you’ve done but you get my point).
Thanks for reading. "Now… Let the power moves continue."