It’s every man’s wet dream . . .
This is actually more like it, with Lois from Malcolm in the Middle:
Women pulling each other’s hair out in a hissy fight. Women tumbling all over themselves, punching and kicking and biting each other until there’s blood. This is, in effect, good entertainment.
Why do we do it?
I’ve had several boyfriends over the years simply baffled by women’s behavior toward each other. About the cattiness that starts before puberty, intensifies, and then never really lets up until WAY after menopause. (I’ve actually heard tales of women verbally fighting in nursing homes, long after there is anything at stake besides a good death.)
Let me try to describe and to explain it.
First, we can hate another woman instantaneously – without anything more to go on than what she is wearing. You’ve all heard it or seen it before. The way a younger, more attractive, smarter, funnier, prettier, sexier woman (it only has to be one, but can also be a combination of these traits – the more she has, the worse the reaction) walks into a room and the other women all turn to look at her. It’s like we have a sixth sense just for knowing when competition is in the room. “Look at her,” we think, “she thinks she is hot stuff.” Then, the deadly venom: “But she’s not.”
From this point, the woman is our enemy. We go into battle mode, but it isn’t like men. We don’t just start something right away. No, we are like cats. We stalk our prey through many hours, days, months. Hell, I’ve carried grudges for YEARS. (There’s still a girl from high school that I would punch right in the face if I ever saw her again.)
There are two types of women who hate other women (which is, quite literally, almost every woman on the planet): the woman who kills them with honey (and stabs them in the back), and the woman who is a straight-up bitch upfront (who will eventually, given enough time and booze, start one of the above fights).
My mom, she was a classic category one, with a sugary voice and a bitter memory for slights. I’m a two. I react first, ask myself questions later. I’ve actually been in physical fights before, where I literally punched a woman in her eye. And this was a FRIEND of mine. (Sorry, Robin!)
Neither way of dealing with other women is terrific, and both methods lead us to increased risk of heart attacks and ulcers.
In other words, women just can’t seem to get along. (Look at the Hilary debacle, the way women judge her, not on her policy, but on her person, as just one potent example. It took the woman publicly breaking down for women to show her any sympathy, for Christ’s sake.)
For some reason, I’ve only had ‘hate’ mail from other women on this blog. Men who read it have tended to disagree with me, but with my points and my arguments, not with how I look or what picture I put up. It’s sad to me that women are like this with each other – catty and silly, and not about substantive topics, but about how we look, what we are wearing, and who is ‘better’ than someone else.
This is probably why women still make much less money than men – we waste too much valuable time on each other.
“A year after they graduate from a four-year college, women earn 20 percent less than their male counterparts, according to a study released in April by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. And it widens to 31 percent less 10 years after college.”
That is just a sad statistic.
I found another writer on this topic, and I basically agree with her points:
“Why Women Hate Other Women” by Cassandra George Sturges
Women compete with each other at a societal level, the criteria for winning is usually set by others and the results are subjective and intangible. Women are usually judged by characteristics that they have little control over; something that they did not create, and that exist outside of themselves such as their physical appearance. Her success is based on subjective, biased, external validation by others. She can’t see how to beat her rival because her rival is in no more control of the outcome than she is. How can you really be more beautiful than another woman, when the decision is nothing more than someone else’s opinion of beauty?
How can you change someone’s personal preference for a certain body size and shape, a particular eye color or a fondness for blondes? How many people are needed to think that you are beautiful before it is a valid or meaningful judgment? Who do you need to tell you that you are beautiful before you can believe it to be true… construction workers, truck drivers, the man walking down the street, your pastor, the Pope, your boss? Women compete with each other for male attention and compliments as if it feeds their self-worth and self-esteem. Women try to dress sexier and have shapelier bodies than other women.
Women instinctively know that men have little power when it comes to sexual intercourse in male and female relationships. Women know that if a platonic relationship exists between a male and a female, ninety percent of the time it is a platonic relationship because the woman does not want to have sex with the man instead of visa versa. Most women do not feel that men are psychologically or biologically capable of resisting another woman’s sexual prowess because of their undying love, loyalty and respect for their committed relationship with them. If a man does not engage in a sexual relationship with a woman who is drop dead gorgeous, most women believe that it is because the other woman was in control of the outcome of the type of relationship. Women intuitively know that most heterosexual males find extraordinary beautiful women sexually irresistible and if that extraordinary beautiful woman wanted her man, he would be hers for the taking.
Women are so busy competing with each other for male attention that they do not have the psychological, intellectual or emotional insight to change the social climate that is causing them to suffer from low-self esteem. Women think of men as being promiscuous, unfaithful, lying, cheating dogs. But what most women need to come to grips with and understand is that research shows that a man is most likely to have a sexual affair with a woman’s best friend, relative or neighbor… a woman whom she trusts, loves and respects. One of the reasons that men who cheat are so successful at it is because women allow them to because they are in competition with each other.
Women believe that they are superior to other women if they are physically more attractive. In a commercial for a diet pill a woman bragged, “I am now smaller than the woman my husband left me for.” This statement leads me to believe that she felt that she deserved her husband’s infidelity when she was over weight. Her motive for losing weight was to be physically smaller than the other woman that her husband left her for. She viewed the other woman as competition more so than feeling betrayed by her husband’s disloyalty. The wife’s motive for losing weight was not to improve the status of her health or increase her self-esteem but be smaller than her competition__ the other woman. The weight control commercial is blatantly telling women that they need to look a certain way in order to earn their husband’s love and fidelity. It doesn’t matter whether or not you cook his meals, raise his kids, and support his dreams… what matters most in a relationship is whether or not you are physically attractive enough to keep your man at home. There is an assumption that it is natural for a man to cheat on a woman who he feels is no longer sexually appealing. Many women believe that it is their fault when their husband or boyfriend cheats on them because they are not attractive enough to keep him faithful.
A woman’s perception of self-worth is validated outside of her self from others and this affects her internal psychological concept of her own value as a human being. Women compete indirectly with other women because they have not learned how to recognize and channel their internal desires, feelings and goals into physical, tangible realities. Once women learn that they can not control or live vicariously through their children or the man in their life; they will stop hating each other and focus on their individual unique gifts, talents and assets.
Why do women hate other women?
1. Women feel that their biological prime-time is limited. She can easily be replaced by a new younger, more beautiful woman. Youth is a woman’s fair-weathered friend.
2. Women feel that other women control their man’s sexual fidelity.
3. Women feel that their level or degree of physical beauty is based on luck as opposed to something that she controls.
4. Women feel that other women can take something that they have worked hard to earn by using their beauty on the job, school and the legal system because men will be taken by her beauty.
5. Women feel that other women can not be trusted. They gossip too much, they are phony and they would take your man right before your eyes.
6. Women feel that other women divert attention away from them.
7. Women feel psychologically competitive with other women to be more attractive.
8. Women subconsciously believe that if they merely looked like another woman, they could inherit her life, her diamond, her man, and people would look at her with the same admiration.
Basically, women need to stop worrying about other women and get on with their own lives. Maybe we’ll begin to be competitive about things that count: like our careers, how much time we spend on ourselves and our families, and how much self-esteem we have. Maybe we’ll stop trying to be better than each other and start trying to be the best possible version of of ourselves – whether or not we’re wearing Prada, or have an IQ of 146, or have a rich husband, or the best boob jobs, or wear a size 0.
Hating other women is exhausting. I spent the larger part of my life doing it – from age 13 to 35. This year, I’m turning 36, and I’ll be damned if I waste one single second more of my life on worrying about what other women think of me. I don’t care if it costs me $4000 in therapy bills to do it, I’m kicking the habit for good.
Because, just like my grandmother once warned me, if I see life as a competition, I’m bound to lose. Someone is always going to be prettier, smarter, funnier, taller, shorter, skinnier, faster, richer than me. With 6 billion people on earth, I expect she was right. I’ll never be the “best” at anything. But maybe, just maybe, I can learn to be OK with that fact.