Why do women hate each other so much? I pondered this idea on my way to work this morning. I’ll painfully admit it. I’m one of those women that judge other women. I make up stupid stories in my head about how sucky their lives are and how mine is better. I judge based solely on appearance most of the time, unless I have the chance to talk to them. To make it worse, I am one of those women who then wonders why I don’t have many female friends and/or why girls don’t like me. Pretty hypocritical, I know. And very embarrassing.
First, let me give you an example of what I’m talking about…When Derek and I go to the gym on the weekends, there is a couple there that we see almost every time. They are probably our age or maybe a little older; I would say early 40s at most. They have two boys that are elementary aged. The wife is short, has long brown hair, and blue eyes. She has on a full face of make-up every time and her hair is usually down and styled as she works out. Her outfits are perfectly coordinated with her shoes every time. She does no cardio–just weights. I mean, why would she need to? Her body is perfectly chiseled and she could be in a fitness magazine except for the fact that her face is old and kind of ugly. See what I mean? I can’t just give the girl a compliment. And she and her husband are unhappy. It’s obvious by the way she walks around the gym–looking. She’s always looking to see who’s watching her. In fact, I think they might even have an open marriage because he is always trolling too. And, clearly, someone who is that in shape is mentally unhealthy because they’re married to the gym. Yep, ridiculous!
I am quick to dislike short blondes right off the bat. They are the polar opposite of me. But why such a disdain? Do I secretly desire to be a short blonde and am jealous that I’m not? I don’t think that I am. Whenever I see someone with a huge diamond ring, I think to myself, it doesn’t mean he loves you more, honey. If I see a woman perfectly poised and in a $600 outfit and fake nails, I assume that she’s a high maintenance trophy wife. I mean, could it be possible that the girl makes her own money and has nice taste? No, probably not. (Just kidding there–just trying to prove my insanity)
I started writing this post this morning and then paused to further ponder my and society’s problem of women-judging. I was driving home and the DJ on the radio was talking about some creepy fan that has fifteen tattoos of Miley Cyrus. The DJ, who is a woman, said, “blah blah blah fan with 15 tattoos of Miley. And she isn’t even that cute.” What was that? I laughed out loud because it was a prime example of what I’m talking about here. Either the DJ was just stating the fact as she sees it, or she is somehow jealous that no one in her life deems her cool enough to pay tribute to her with ink.
I know that there are many of us out there that are like this. My mom was this way and I often wonder if I picked up this lovely little characteristic from her. Or would I have acquired it on my own anyway? I tell my female students that they need to support one another and form a female alliance, but what kind of shitty example am I? At least my students hate each other because they’ve slept with each others’ boyfriends or back-stab each other on Facebook. I don’t even know the women I detest. And I don’t really detest them; I just envy them for some dumb reason or another.
But the question is: why? I wondered about this for almost 15 minutes in the car this afternoon. The funny thing is that we don’t admit that we do this. We truly think that we don’t like them for legit reasons. Why do women envy each other? When I ponder such things, I am always drawn to thinking about our most primitive selves–our caveman selves. And I’m not talking about evolution here, so please don’t mistake what I’m saying. I’m talking about our most primitive functions as men and women. We are designed to procreate. And we are designed to do that with men (no, I’m not homophobic either–just talking about the penis and vagina here). Maybe this jealousy thing is our way of competing for men. We are subconsciously vying for men and the way we do that is by eliminating our competition. Since we live in a civilized society and we can’t “eliminate” these fit, rich, gorgeous women, we just bash them and call them bitches and secretly covet them. Sick, right? I don’t know, but when you commute 15 miles each way in Denver traffic, your mind wanders!
By the end of my commute I had gone full circle, and I was brought back to my two original questions: why don’t I have a lot of female friends and why don’t girls like me? I think you could probably answer this for me, but here are the conversations I had with myself:
Why don’t I have a lot of female friends? Well, Marisa, you’re probably too busy judging them and comparing yourself to them., and envying them for things you think you don’t have. The reality is that you do have what they have. It just looks different.
Why don’t girls like me? Women envy you. Yes, Marisa, it is possible. They do to you what you do to others. You’re pretty and smart and have a handsome husband and a gorgeous little girl. You have a nice home with a nice car and you’re really good at your job. You’re funny and witty and tell good stories. You’re tall and have great hair when it’s styled and not in a bun. You’re happy and you exude it. You have a wonderful family who supports you. You’re wise beyond your years and a really good person, except when you’re judging others based on external characteristics. Yeah, we need to work on this, my friend.
Well, holy shit. I hit the nail right on the head! So the moral of my story is this: I am a good person who could use a little work. I was raised to accept others for who they are–not what I think they are. Nor should I cheer what people are not. I have no need to compete. I have everything and everyone I’ll ever need in this lifetime. What I need are strong, like-minded woman friends. I’m ready.
And to those of you reading this who are women who do not behave this way, I applaud you. I wish I could be more serene and find my confidence from within. I’m going to work on it. Please tell me your secrets because, clearly, I have a lot to learn and a long way to go.