Woman Bashing

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I find it hard to believe that this is an experience that is only limited to myself. I often hear it in class, I hear it at bars, and in groups of friends: women proclaiming, “I just can’t hang out with other women” or “I prefer to be around men, they’re just easier to get along with.” Also, my personal favorite, “Girls just create too much drama!” If I have any pet peeves, this is probably it.

There are a couple of things that come to mind when I hear this. First, that I am a woman and that I am next to this person and I have ears. So yeah, I’m a woman with ears and you don’t like hanging out with me (or would prefer not to) because of my sex. Secondly, and maybe this ought to leave me more confused than anything, the speaker is also female.

Does this mean that the speaker is different from the rest of the female population? Is she alone the one drama free, pleasant woman in existence? I have my doubts. Why would you associate negative qualities of something that you are? You obviously know that being born a female does not make you one way or another, but why hold these stereotypes against other women?

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By saying this, you’re saying that men are just more enjoyable to be around and that developing any meaningful bond with another women is difficult because we are irrational/dramatic. That it is preferable to just be “one of the guys.” Ariel Levy put this eloquently in her book Female Chauvinist Pigs, “There is just one thing: Even if you are a woman who achieves the ultimate and becomes like a man you will still always be like a woman. And as long as womanhood is thought of as something to escape from, something less than manhood, you will be thought less of, too.”

I’m not sure why females say this, or anyone for that matter.  Maybe it is to seem like you can relate to males, to put males at ease? It’s confusing because the first thing that comes to the minds of men you’re conversing with is probably  “she is a female.”  Sometimes it is more subtle, like when women are told to “grow a pair” or to stop being a “pussy.”

Jessica Valenti, in her book Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide To Why Feminism Matters, asks to hear the worst thing you can call a woman and the responses are pretty typical: slut, whore, skank, bitch. Then she asks what the worst thing a man can be called? Males were called pussys, girls, fags, bitch. What Valenti noticed was that the worst thing for men was to be associated with being a female. Valenti says, “The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.”

Being a female is not a condition to overcome. To the women who “just can’t be friends with other women,”  remember this, there are other woman out there who think the same exact thing about you – so why stereotype other woman?  I’m a woman and I like to think that I’m a pretty decent person, so please don’t make implications about who I am based on my sex.

Author: Elizabeth Lemon

Liz  is a recent graduate at UMASS-Lowell. Her personal blog is Post College Progression.

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6 thoughts on “Woman Bashing

  1. Can you tell me why all women should get along with all other women? This never happens among males. Is there some special logic that I don’t know about that declares that all women should get along with all other women?

    Is there some physical law that says every woman is intrinsically different and that no two of them can act the same based on hormones or seem to belong to a group classed by certain behaviors? Would you say the same of men?

    • All women don’t have to get along with all other women. But do men write off every single other man as being someone they can automatically never get along with?

  2. Does this mean that the speaker is different from the rest of the female population? Is she alone the one drama free, pleasant woman in existence?

    Irrelevant. Whether the speaker is or not, she’s saying that women (at least a good percentage of them) are this way and men (at least a good percentage) are not. Apparently, even if she’s a catty bitch herself, drama isn’t an issue when she’s around dudes.

    This is fairly common knowledge, I thought. If not, well then news flash: Many (most? goddamn near all of them that I’ve ever met, anyway) women are emotional, catty, manipulative, dramatic and self-absorbed, ‘mostly’ – but by no means exclusively – with other women because they are in competition with other women. It starts in kindergarten and continues all through high school, college and university. Women use ostracization, shaming and peer pressure as their preferred methods of violence. It’s ugly, I know. From what I’ve heard from the women I work with, things do not get much better as they grow older.

    My guess (and it’s only my conjecture) is that the main reasons why it’s easier for many women to hang out with men rather than women is that:

    a. men genuinely tend not to be emotional, catty, manipulative etc…
    b. there’s no competition with men. other women are the enemy
    c. men tend go out of their way to be nice and accommodating to women. I’m sure there are many instances where that attitude is (at least to some degree) a method of getting into the girl’s pants, but I sincerely doubt that that is the majority of cases.
    The fact is that most men are genuinely softer with women and many, many women like that. You can argue it’s benevolent sexism if you like, but it’s no less sexist for the women to take advantage of it, so…I dunno. Check your privilege.

    “You obviously know that being born a female does not make you one way or another, but why hold these stereotypes against other women?”

    Actually, being born a female gives you a very good chance of being one way or other. The same is true for men. Not all women are catty, but many, many are. Then again, not all men are easy-going and fun to be around – Relative to most women, however, and given the reasons above, men still have a distinct advantage.

    You can take comfort in knowing that women’s caring and emotional nature (that not all women share, of course) makes them much better to talk to about emotional issues than other men. (that is to say, I’d rather talk to a woman about my problems than a man). More benevolent sexism?

    This all presumes that you’re not 100% on the side of ‘nurture’ in the nature vs. nurture debate. If you are… well, that’s insane.

    “By saying this, you’re saying that men are just more enjoyable to be around and that developing any meaningful bond with another women is difficult because we are irrational/dramatic.”

    Exactly. Welcome to statistical probability.

    “There is just one thing: Even if you are a woman who achieves the ultimate and becomes like a man you will still always be like a woman. And as long as womanhood is thought of as something to escape from, something less than manhood, you will be thought less of, too.”

    Why did you include this quote? Are you implying that the men these women prefer to be around look down on her because she’s ‘escaping womanhood’ by preferring to hang around with male friends? Ludicrous. But above all irrelevant to the topic of the article. I thought your problem was with women not valuing relationships with other women. What do men have to do with that?

    “I’m not sure why females say this, or anyone for that matter. Maybe it is to seem like you can relate to males, ….”

    Maybe it’s just an honest statement about how the women feel? Isn’t that possible? Are you saying they’re lying? If it is to seem like they can relate to males, why wouldn’t the women just say ‘I like hanging out with men for XYZ reasons’ and leave the comments about other women out? If these women are going out of their way to mention that they consider other women a problem, maybe you should take them seriously.

    “…to put males at ease?”

    What unease would men feel when spending time with a woman that could possibly be alleviated by the woman telling him/them that she likes hanging out with ‘men’ (not specifically him/them) in general more than other women because other women are a pain in the ass? What insecurity would that statement address? You just pulled this out of thin air.

    “the worst thing you can call a woman and the responses are pretty typical: slut, whore, skank, bitch.

    Males were called pussys, girls, fags, bitch. What Valenti noticed was that the worst thing for men was to be associated with being a female. Valenti says, “The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.””

    a. the worst names for women are names for women who engage in a type of behaviour that is generally frowned upon by society at large (including and, in fact, predominately women). Slut, whore and skank are all the same insult. A bitch is an overly aggressive woman. All of women’s insults refer back to their alleged character. That the insults are gender specific is no more remarkable than the fact that a dick, jerk, asshole, douchebag, sleazebag etc. (btw, the list of gender specific insults for men is significantly longer than for women..curious) refer pretty much exclusively to men and their behaviour.

    b. fag has nothing to do with being a woman. It has to do with not being masculine.

    c. the worst names for men are to be called weak or unmanly. There is nothing inherently wrong with being a girl in men’s eyes, unless you’re not a girl and don’t want to be considered physically weak, overly emotional and scared of everything as women are often known to be. This is because men and boys have to be (and want to be, whether it’s good for them or not) ‘manly’. If a man is not manly, he will be punished for it by both men and women. Go ahead and blame it on the patriarchy (which is a fantasy btw – just so we’re clear) but women contribute to this expectation on men, arguably, far more than men do.

    “Being a female is not a condition to overcome.”

    Correct. It’s a reality you have to deal with. It’s the problems that come with being female that you should be striving to overcome. men too, btw, just in case you think I’m being sexist.

    I’m a woman and I like to think that I’m a pretty decent person, so please don’t make implications about who I am based on my sex.

    As a feminist, making implications about people (mostly men) based on their sex is what you do. It’s the core of feminism. patriarchy theory couldn’t exist if that weren’t the case. kinda sucks when it’s done to you, doesn’t it? we call this a taste of your own medicine.

    In short, your post was incoherent and ridiculous. Women don’t like other women because women are catty bitches to each other. I don’t like bitchy dramatic people either. Don’t know why the surprise.

  3. This was a actually really beneficial submit. In theory I’d wish to create like this also – getting time and actual effort to make a great piece of writing but what can I say I procrastinate alot and by no means appear to obtain a little something done.

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