What I see happening between mothers and daughters when women’s needs and feelings are not heard or honored by their family and culture, is that mothers and daughters are being set up to fight.
“When women are not heard, mothers and daughters fight over who gets to be heard. When women’s emotional needs are silent, mothers and daughters fight over whose needs get to be met. And when women’s lives are restricted by sexist gender roles that limit their choices and freedom, mothers and daughters fight over their lack of freedom.”
Finding the reasons for mother-daughter relationship conflict requires a much deeper exploration than women’s personality traits, mental or emotional health issues, and hormonal problems. It requires an understanding that it is between mothers and daughters that we see the harm sexism and gender inequality inflicts on women. We see how sexism is internalized and passed on from mother to daughter, and how this disempowerment causes conflict. We see that mother-daughter relationship conflict is a symptom of families and societies that do not care-for and support women to be fully voiced and free. And we see how powerful the mother-daughter relationship is to challenge and change sexist beliefs and harmful cultural practices.