Why do women give each other such a hard time?

(58 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Wed 30-Jul-14 20:06:12

I find women are in constant competition with each other . It can be about looks, child bearing/ rearing/ men / work blah , blah , blah.
I was talking to my female friends about a nasty comment that one of them made about me and the overwhelming response was that women are bitches.

This makes me sad but there is a lot of evidence to suggest it is true. I am long term single and instead of applauding my independent spirit I have been called many names such as spinster, desperate, sex starved, batting above my average..... By other women!

Am I being unreasonable to wonder if this is natural or a product of patriarchy ? If it is natural then surely feminism cannot fully succeed?

PetulaGordino Wed 30-Jul-14 20:43:11

I don't believe it'snatural. I do believe it's a product of the patriarchy, as an oppressed group will seek to gain a small amount of control in a world where they have little, and if that comes from policing themselves then so be it. Plus added bonus of patriarchy endorsed! So their status is raised within the ranks permitted

Plus as many women are likely to be arseholes as men, all things being equal. But the patriarchy provides a particularly miserable framework for that

I'm sorry you've been on the receiving end of shitty behaviour

scallopsrgreat Wed 30-Jul-14 20:48:52

Because men never say shitty comments about women do they? They never abuse them in the streets. They never verbally abuse them in relationships. They never pronounce judgement on women in the media. They never judge them in the work place.

Of course they do. All the time. Every day. And they do a lot worse. More than women do to other women. All the time. Every day.

It is just minimised and ignored and forgiven much more easily. Because that's the trick of patriarchy. It pits woman against woman so men's shitty behaviour is obfuscated.

scallopsrgreat Wed 30-Jul-14 20:50:40

But no it's not natural. Because when women are given the space and time and encouragement to support each other, they do.

caroldecker Wed 30-Jul-14 21:02:52

scallop not convinced, I believe humans are naturally competitive rather than co-operative.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jul-14 21:08:01

scallop I totally agree. Ive experienced abuse in the street when I was bigger.

And ive also seen different replies from male posters when an OP Is posting about the same subject....depending on whether the OP is a man or a woman.

scallopsrgreat Wed 30-Jul-14 21:16:10

I'm unconvinced of that carol. In fact I'd say it's impossible to tell in a society geared up around competitiveness. But even if it were natural is the nastiness that accompanies it natural? Do the two have to go hand in hand? Just musing really.

Even in today's society co-operation achieves great things. It's just that women aren't encouraged to be cooperative with each other. Women organising themselves for each other's benefit is seen as a frightening thing. It is nearly always challenged.

A very simple example is there are a group of three of us at work who regularly talk to each other. We are known as the coven. There are three men who do similar. Barely noticed.

JustTheRightBullets Wed 30-Jul-14 21:26:00

My experience is different. The women in my life are generally a positive and supportive influence, with the occasional exception. I certainly don't feel judged or criticised by them when it comes to my choices.

Maybe it's partly down to individuals?

beatrixpartyrail Wed 30-Jul-14 21:45:32

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

CaptChaos Wed 30-Jul-14 21:58:47

There are a lot of women where I work. On the whole, we are a really supportive bunch (with a couple of notable exceptions). The men are aloof, not supportive, not combative. Unless, and as we're making sweeping generalisations here, there is a mixed group of the younger contingent, in which case, the claws can noticeably come out.

However, I think this says more about young women wanting to conform to their peer's norms in order to fit in than that they are suddenly possessed by bitchy fairies.

scallopsrgreat Wed 30-Jul-14 22:08:26

No beatrix. Just focusing on men's behaviour towards women.

'What about the menz' is when you focus on what happens to men when the thread is about what happens to women. If you notice I was still focusing on what happens to women.

beatrixpartyrail Wed 30-Jul-14 22:19:41

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Wed 30-Jul-14 22:30:10

Beatrix -

1) I've never seen anyone misinterpret the phrase 'what about teh menz' before, so nice work on that

2) A thread in Feminism entitled, 'why do women give each other such a hard time', carries the implication that men don't (give women a hard time). Seems legit to address this in the thread.

beatrixpartyrail Wed 30-Jul-14 22:47:33

1. Thank you, but it was more of an intended novel use of it - maybe a little too 'thinking out of the box' for some.

2. Some carry

scallopsrgreat Wed 30-Jul-14 22:48:53

I do think that there is a derail going on here. But it isn't me.

CaptChaos Wed 30-Jul-14 22:49:06

1. Didn't work, and not because 'some' aren't thinking.

2. Not really.

Can we get back to the discussion now?

scallopsrgreat Wed 30-Jul-14 22:49:40

<disengages>

beatrixpartyrail Wed 30-Jul-14 22:53:19

Be my guest

whereisshe Wed 30-Jul-14 22:55:40

I don't find women are in constant competition with each other. Not my friends, nor my acquaintances, nor my work colleagues.

I wasn't very well programmed by my mother though, from a patriarchy perspective. It's possible there are women out there trying to compete with me and I've failed to notice.

I guess I'm trying to say that it seems to happen in pockets and some people get more abuse from other women than average. There was a thread the other day about body hair and someone (sorry can't remember who) pointed out that men make the rules then women police other women's conformance. I wonder if this is a related symptom?

CaptChaos Wed 30-Jul-14 23:04:33

There was a thread the other day about body hair and someone (sorry can't remember who) pointed out that men make the rules then women police other women's conformance. I wonder if this is a related symptom?

I think you're probably right. In my recent experience it has been the presence of men in the group which has precipitated the outbreak of bitchiness in the women.

Bifauxnen Wed 30-Jul-14 23:06:00

Competitive doesn't mean bitchy. I have a friend who I play sport with, we are competitive but supportive. There is a type of woman who likes to pull other women down to make themselves feel better but they are they types that do seem to crave shallow male approval. They get disproportionate press imo.

Bifauxnen Wed 30-Jul-14 23:07:37

But the types that do it are... <obligatory cursing of autocorrect>

Bifauxnen Wed 30-Jul-14 23:08:51

That's not right either ffs blush

OutsSelf Wed 30-Jul-14 23:16:12

I don't recognise this in my own life. The only person who has said to me that women are bitches is my MiL but she is happy to say she actually just does think that men are better than women. She's also the only one around me that would criticize a woman based on her clothes, or her voice, or whatever. She thinks I am ridiculous and hysterical, but I know that's just the voice of the patriarchy whispering in her ears.

OutsSelf Wed 30-Jul-14 23:18:35

The word competitive actually means, in the original Latin, is 'to seek together'. Competition in this sense means you are bringing out the best in each other.

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