“Girls are so mean to each other.”
That’s what one of my guy friends wrote. Plain and simple. When I read that I wanted to contest it but, instead, I found myself agreeing.
What is it that makes girls, young women and full grown women compelled to cut each other to pieces? At BU there is a constant undercurrent of tension between women, why? Fear of differences? Fear of inferiority? Utilization as a defense mechanism? Or maybe it’s just plain spite. All I can say for sure is that it is constant; in one way or another we have made ourselves feel of greater worth by building ourselves up on other females’ weaknesses or it has been done to us as individuals.
Ask me how I know. I’ve done enough and witnessed too much.
My freshman year put me in a position to experience inter-female behavior at its worst: an all girls Communication floor. The clicks formed quickly and ferociously; I found one in which to secure myself. I created what I thought were strong friendships based on exclusion and the mockery of women I should have had more respect for on principal alone. However, the inward dynamics of my friendships ultimately created resentment amongst us and broke the bonds we had created. I think it was the best thing that could have happened.
As emotional human beings we have likely experienced the simple joy a compliment, kind word or having a door held can bring. So as women, who have probably had shared experiences and should acknowledge that we are tied together, why do we use each other as step ladders? I think it’s because it’s easy. In the moment a judgment is passed over another for what they’re wearing or what we’ve heard everything is reduced to an externality. This removed state gives the sense of having a right to interpret things for other than that which they really are. Instead of seeing a woman who had an exhausting argument with her parents/boyfriend/best friend/girlfriend we are inclined to see someone who is too lazy to look decent when coming to class. Instead of seeing a woman who is well prepared and intelligent we are inclined to see a know-it-all who just won’t shut her mouth in our 8 a.m. class.
I will be the first to admit that I talk too much shit about other women and cast far too many dirty looks. But, with the friends I surround myself with now I am less inclined to do so. I often look at what I can contribute to the people around me because there is already too much that is taken away by life’s own accord. I try not to rob the women around me of what confidence and happiness they have because I enjoy mine. All of what I do contribute is only because I try and some days, I don’t. Being kind, something that should be so easy is so difficult, why? Asking that why is probably the most important thing we can do when passing judgment on each other.
Let me simplify my point:
Women have experienced at least one of the following: heartbreak, loss, hurt and the feeling of unmerited inferiority that can only be imposed by one woman unto another. I think the latter can be changed if we, as women, desire to change it.