"Of course, not every beautiful woman lords her privilege over her less beautiful friends. Still, some do." Two newish articles about rivalries between women hit the Daily Mail and The Frisky, but aren't these issues more of a human trait?
Anyway, according to these articles, women have some special bond through our giant shared vagina which means everything is automatically peaches and cream between all of us, and if someone is ever mean or nasty, this is to be ascribed to the entire gender. And you should dump all your women friends. Because if they aren't bitchy to you now, it's only a matter of time.
Jessica Wakeman over at the Frisky is specific: it isn't all women that are the problem, just the stuck up pretty ones:
Let me be clear: I do have girlfriends. I'm not incapable of being friends with women. I have some really great female friends who are all regular-looking like me. When we bicker, we get over it. But when a normal-looking woman like me befriends someone who is model-pretty, there's trouble.
Let's face it: Beauty is a privilege. It acts like a honing device for male attention, opens doors to clubs, causes compliments to rain upon the lucky ones. But if the parties aren't careful, a beautiful friend and a regular-looking friend can get locked into a power dynamic.
Of course, not every beautiful woman lords her privilege over her less beautiful friends. Still, some do. Beauty is a universally valued quality for a woman; it offers privileges that can always be relied on. The logic of one's arguments, or articulation of one's emotions, unfortunately, is less reliable. And because plenty of women and men want to be around attractive women just so those privileges can rub off of them, some beautiful women aren't used to hearing "no."
I truly think my friendship difficulties with pretty women stem from my challenging them with words or reasoning, instead of just falling in line with the power dynamic they try to exert.
Jealous? No. I'm resentful.
Damn Jessica, tell us how you really feel. Wakeman continues to launch a tirade against two of her former roommates but the indictment against pretty feels a bit thin - after all, this is just general douchebag behavior, and I've had conventionally attractive and less attractive friends alike behave badly or act stubborn or pig headed. It just kind of happens.
Over at the Daily
Fail Mail, Louise Chunn really believes those of us in the possession of lady bits should really act more civilized:
[W]hen you liberate girls - and women - to say what they really think about everyone else without censure or fear of disapproval, then you let the struggle for supremacy among females out of the bag.
It is an ugly and mean way of behaving - and I believe it is stripping away the bonds that hold females together as friends.
There goes that one big happy vagina theory again.
My mother kept on at me so tiresomely when I was a little girl because she knew female rivalry started young. My brothers would be encouraged to compete with each other at games and sports, while I was taught that comparing myself with others was not good for girls.
Yup. And women can't channel this urge through healthy competition, like sports, probably because we will damage the bonds that unite our vaginas into one. We really need to switch to rings or something.
For example, in some circles, women talk about how much their husbands or boyfriends spend on them, whether it's holidays, clothes, jewellery or even cosmetic surgery.
Of course, this makes every other woman in the room feel that little bit less loved and appreciated, at least, materially. It is just the sort of conversation that makes binding, supportive friendships seem like an outmoded concept.
Or maybe it's a reminder to find a new social circle, with people who are a bit less invested in being/keeping up the Joneses?
After much hand wringing about the petty slights young women inflict upon each other daily, Chunn concludes:
[I]t is also true that you can make good friends at the school gates, at work or anywhere at all. But you have to put your mind to it.
If your first thought is to compare every woman with your own level of prettiness, weight or fashionability, you can't expect to have a mutually appreciative relationship, because that is not what you are offering.
It's a two-way street - and if you behave yourself, it's one of the loveliest, safest places to walk. But if you let your inner bitch out of the bag, it's a battlefield.
It's also a battlefield if you drink that patriarchal kool-aid that women behaving like other humans is deviant behavior, but that's a post for another day.