Tuesday, May 20, 2008

They'll make you cry, baby and then blame it on you

Photo: MTV

Something that has always been a great mystery to me, is why some girls can be so awful to one another. I just don't get it. What exactly is the purpose of trying so hard to make someone feel like crap? What is the need to get in shots whenever possible? Is it jealousy? Is it insecurity? A combo? Either way, it has the tendency to quite literally suck the life out of those who become victims of this type of behaviour. Not only does it get tiresome, but it can be damn hurtful. It can become increasingly difficult to keep one's sense of self intact, even for the most well adjusted women.

Girls are biologically and socially conditioned to be nurturers who bond with each other, experts say, but the relational aspect of femininity has a powerful dark side where sugar and spice can become curry and cayenne. When underlying insecurities and the resulting rivalries flare up, the culture of girls--rather than one of supportive sisterhood--can become vicious.

"Relational aggression" is the new buzzword for girls who tease, insult, threaten, maliciously gossip, play cruel games with their best friends' feelings and establish exclusive cliques and hierarchies in high school. Sadly, it doesn't seem to end at that age level. I wonder if perhaps this is an outcome and result of a culture and a society that believes we are separate, that has dehumanized many of us, so that my pain isn't yours and yours isn't mine. It seems to become possible for some girls to look at each other as objects to be managed and controlled, and ultimately conquered. This further allows that the only thing that matters is getting what we want, and the idea that we have an inherent right to have what we want, that annihilation of any opponent by any means is acceptable. This is a view that is doomed to implode--and should-- I believe.

Why are so many successful women so harshly critiqued by their own gender and held to a double standard in their accomplishments? We need a revolution in this way of being. As women, we need to love and support one another. We need to be there for our girlfriends. Unfair criticism is not being supportive. I'm sure you've heard the line, "a true friend will tell you when you have dirt on your face." That being said, a true friend also won't push your face down into the mud so you come up all covered in shit.

Enough of the cold hearted bitchetudes, ladies. Especially as I get older, I choose to surround myself with a group of kind hearted and supportive women. I haven't chosen to cultivate friendships with people who are not of that nature. I realize and appreciate the rare and precious value in friendships that are qualitative. I pray for my own friendships to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. Our deepest friendships offer a sense of continual discovery, but they can also provide a sense of consistency during years of change. I believe that we should be able to genuinely enjoy another person's gifts, not feel threatened or envious of them, but rejoice in them as if they were our own.


Sarah said...

I've never understood this whole mean girls thing either, especially as adults. Like, hello! What ever happened to "Girl Power"...cheesy but true. We gotta support each other!!

TM said...

Sigh... I'm with you on this one! I can remember back to Grade 3 when I was told the clique "decided they weren't going to play with me until Spring" ... sickly, that one instance led to a lifelong weariness when it came to making friends with other females. I've led a generally insulated life away from women up until recently when some great ladies were there to catch me when I was falling down... which has gone a long way toward building my trust in other women - though, even though scars heal, they'll always be there.

Sorry for the therapy session! LOL

Keira-Anne said...

That was a really beautiful post, Jen. And now I am even more excited to hang out with you again soon!

I know that we've both spent a great deal of time discussing this topic in recent days and weeks, and you hit so many nails on the head in this particular post.

I really do think that, underneath it all, it's almost spiritually linked. The concept is one I haven't quite figured out how to expand on in writing, but it makes sense that when one is successful and happy and enjoying fruitful relationships with others, there's always a killjoy...someone who is out to rob happiness.

For whatever reason, it seems that in 2008 it's been coming out of the woodwork. I've encountered much resentment from different women - women I don't even know personally. It's all very baffling.

I think the only thing we as women can do is, as you said, choose to surround ourselves with positive, like-minded, supportive women in the spirit of sisterhood and shed the mean girls from our lives. They dig their own holes anyways.

Much love to you.

Jen (MahaloFashion) said...

Girls are catty and jealous that's why I don't really get along with them hahah

Barbara Doduk said...

I've blogged about this before as well, and I have experienced it a lot. I haven't had many women as friends up until the last years, because I was so weary of the bullshit catty crap I'd dealt with.

I still see it happen a lot. I think it is the way certain women are, as they have little to offer the world outside their image and those women put other women down to make themselves feel better.

All the rest of us women can do is try to rise above their crap.

Kris said...

Great post, this is something that has boggled my mind since I was little. Those types of girls are the reason I was always one of the boys growing up.