I’m starting to think that all women are catty, no matter how nice they are or how loving they claim to be. When backed into a corner, or found in a less than pleasant situation, their claws will always come out. They attack the nearest or weakest target they can find. It makes me sick, especially when the attack is public.
Women don’t seem to realize that we are much stronger together. We can’t seem to get past our first instinct: to tear each other down so we can climb to the top. Don’t pretend that instinct isn’t there. It’s the same instinct that gets people to the top in business. It’s the same instinct that pits best friends against each other when trying to find a husband. Instead of being able to see each other as true support women see each other competition. When you think about it logically it makes no sense, but when we still seem to think tearing another person down makes us better.
Often we see the destruction of others – through their self-esteem or relationships or some other source – as our easiest pathway to success or even more basically as a means of self-defense. I’m starting to believe even if we claim, or actually are nice, the catty nature that urges us to tear other women down so we feel better still exists. It doesn’t abandon us after we graduate middle or high school. It doesn’t feel once we enter the real world. I once hoped that women in the real world would be kinder and supportive. I have learned it is quite the opposite: the catty behavior perfected in middle school never disappears it only becomes more outrageous and costly when practiced by adults.
We tear down other women’s opinions so we can feel justified in our own. We quietly point out their flaws so we feel better about ourselves. I hear compliments all the time, but mixed in is backhanded commentary on how I am worth less than the compliment I just received. I hear nice things about how I look until a guy notices me instead and I suddenly am no longer looking as nice. I hear women talking about positive body image until they are threatened and need to insult others. I see sites built to be a community of women racked with petty comments and heated fighting. I hear my friends compliment each other then proceed to people watch so they can talk shit about the other women they see. I hear so many hurtful and catty things each day that it justifies my decision to spend 90% of my time with my guy friends.
I know some women that don’t revert to this juvenile lashing out against other women, but their numbers are few. I’ve been shocked so many times in my life by women I respected once they showed me their “catty” side. I’ve often been left shell-shocked, silent for minutes or even hours, at the betrayal and hurt I felt when they directed their mean-spiritedness at me or someone else. I want to think we don’t all do this but at the end of the day I feel I can’t make that claim. I love to compliment other people but even I’ve made snarky, catty comments about women I don’t know. And it’s not even just the words. We throw evil looks toward women that look different or better or special without a second thought. That one nasty look might ruin their day but it somehow makes us feel better. We say things with our eyes and our body language that hurt just as much as words ever could.
It’s all very juvenile. It’s sad. Even worse is it’s something we never seem to grow out of no matter how much we try. But enough is enough.
When will we learn tearing down other people doesn’t make us any better?
Photo by moonwire