We often hear statements such as "I'm not friends with girls, they are so catty. I prefer to be friends with guys." Granted, these statements reek of insecurities, problems with self-esteem and mysogyny, but it's true that most (although by no means all) of the female population feel the need to be hostile to each other.
"Look at her, she's such a (insert insult of your choice here)" some girls say to their friends while they see a prettier girl walking down the hall. Or maybe not a prettier girl, but the one who gets to date the hottest guys.
Why do we feel this need to be the very best of all the girls? Why is it that, for girls, everything is a big competition where the prettiest, purest, smartest, "nicest" girl wins? Why do we see happiness as a prize that is only awarded to one member of the whole female population? Why seeing someone happy automatically makes you feel like you won't ever be?
There are many answers to these questions, and all of them are related to the lack of proper feminism in society.
Firstly, girls are not encouraged to pursue the guys they like. We are told to sit, look pretty and wait for prince charming to woo us. Thus, we don't feel in control of our romantic lives. Sure, being in this position is comfortable - We don't have to deal with rejection as much as guys do, and this position (often, but not always) means the guys we'll be with like us better than we like them. Everybody wants to be the one that loves less. However, we're paying too dear a price for these few perks. We often feel like we have to be the very best to "catch" a good guy. We fear all of the good guys will be taken the moment our turn arrives. This doesn't have to be this way. If we felt more empowered to ask out the guys we like, we'd just have to choose a guy and go make our move. This way, maybe we could stop feeling like we have to be the very best to get a good boyfriend. I bet the guys are yearning for a break of always being the ones asking girls out!
Another reason why we girls turn against each other is because of pent-up resentment. As girls, we are told to just look pretty and don't disturb the world of men at work. We are told to be passive, nice, and sweet. However, when someone wrongs you, you have all the rights in the world to be angry. And the answer is not to express this anger in a passive-aggressive manner, but to express this in an assertive manner. Men can express their anger in aggressive ways, that's why they come to blows and maybe later they are sharing a beer and laughing about the whole situation. Girls fume with anger and feed their grudges, and that eventually destroys their friendships.
Lastly, we turn against each other because we were taught by society that our very best achievement is to get a husband and start making babies. Guys are not entirely (if at all) defined by their wives, so they can actually relax and be themselves. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could actually relax, too, and realize that having a guy is not The Be All End All, and that we are already complete? That way, we could relax and actually be friends with each other out of love for who we truly are.
I think the notion that we can't be friends with each other is... well, BS. Over the course of my life, I've met a lot of catty women, sure, but I've also met a lot of women that are 100% worth meeting and loving, and I'm proud of calling them my friends.
Originally published on September 4, 2013.