I'm reading Arthur Golden's "Memoirs of a Geisha" (and yes, the movie release has encouraged me to finally read it). My eyes were open to the fact that many geisha were sold (first half of the 20th century, maybe even later) by their parents or relatives when they were little girls. This is blatant slavery.
But then, there is a bit of sisterly bonding involved. Almost like young, American women pledging to a sorority and vowing to become "family" for life. The girls rushing are put through tests to demonstrate their loyalty to their big sister and sorority. A novice geisha was dependent upon learning from and pleasing her adoptive big sister, with hopes of becoming a successful geisha.
Reading this has sparked my awareness of relationships women have with one another. In my experiences, it seems across the board that women can be outright catty and plain to mean to one another - with usually a man on the other end being the ignition. I've never had a tolerance for these types of games or personalities, which is probably why I didn't have many female friends growing up. But maybe this is all a means of survival - survival of what, I'm not sure of.
Being around boys and men while growing up, I've noticed that they don't seem to concern themselves in these petty ways. Maybe they are better able to conceal their insecurities.
I'm curious how other women around the world "survive" under their respective conditions. Maybe there is a story to be told - or maybe it has been told...