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Prancer
11-20-2010, 07:30 AM
According to a survey and a new book, they might be.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/18/women-own-worst-enemies-study?CMP=twt_fd

Japanfan
11-20-2010, 10:21 AM
There is some degree of truth in this but certainly sisterhood among women exists also.

The interesting question is why do women back-stab each other and be mean to each other? Why animosity and competition instead on harmony and cooperation?

One reason is that women may see each other as competition for the pick of the men.

However, another reason is that taking sides against women often wins them favour with men. Women want to be on the winning team, which they see as dominated by male.

And yet another is that women may see other women as their equal and men as their superior (which may explain resentment among women towards women in positions of authority). It's much easier to be nasty and dismissive to an equal than a superior.

Jot the Dot Dot
11-20-2010, 11:30 AM
Maybe the women's movement should abandon "I Am Woman" by Helen Reddy as their unofficial anthem, and adopt "We're Not Gonna Take It" by you-know-who ;) http://www.thegauntlet.com/photos/DeeSnyder.jpg

numbers123
11-20-2010, 03:34 PM
I agree - some of the most devestating things that happened in my life were delivered by a woman.
Maybe because I thought as women we should stand together and when we don't it cuts even deeper? Or when women give up something we think at least other women should recognize it and tell us how appreciative they are about it?
And from my experience with telling my husband about my hurts that women have delivered to me, he tells me that it isn't personal, but something that just happens. And in general women think things are personal - as in what could I have done differently etc.

myhoneyhoney
11-20-2010, 05:47 PM
According to a survey and a new book, they might be.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/18/women-own-worst-enemies-study?CMP=twt_fd

I believe it. All you have to do is go on some parenting/mommy boards, kids' schools, and the Dr's office. Straight VICIOUS!!!! One example: another woman told me I don't deserve to be a mom because my 1st son was an emergency c-section. She told me that I should have risked letting him DIE so I can give birth the "right" way, which according to her is vaginal without any sort of drug interaction. I was 22 then, very young and stupid because I cared what other people thought. It hurt me very very much.

Matryeshka
11-20-2010, 06:37 PM
I'm sorry, I have to go an evillle feminist rant here. For one, this idea is neither new nor groundbreaking. The idea of woman as their own worst enemies is as old as Eve. I see nothing incredibly interesting in her findings. Secondly, I wonder who she surveyed and exactly how many--a little over 3000 does not seem like a representative sample to speak for all women.

I've seen movies, the TV shows, the books about horrible women who do horrible things to each other and it's presented as normal. Maybe I've been incredibly lucky, but the vicious things that women supposedly do to each other have never been done to me nor have I done them to anyone else. Are all my friends good little angels, no, of course not, and yes we've said/done hurtful things to each other, but I really believe in those circumstances, my male friends would have (and actually have) reacted the same way. I don't recognize these women that consistently insult each other. Anytime you get any group of people that hang out together on a regular basis, there's going to be hurts and misunderstandings, even among a group of guy friends. I'm tired of these stereotypes that women are all vicious monsters to each other and groups of guys are just always hunky-dory with each other.

Again, I could just have lucked out entirely throughout my entire life, but AFAIK, none of my girl friends fit this idea of friendships laced with a deep, pathological need to cut each other down for the sake of men. If you need that in your life, you need a hobby.


Almost 85% of those who took part in the 50-question survey admitted having suffered serious, life-altering knocks at the hands of other women.

They reported that many of their female friendships had an "intense, sinister underbelly", characterised by "intrafemale incivility" and insidious, "gratuitous negativity". More than 75% had been hurt by the jealousy and competition of a friend.

I want to see the way the questions were asked to elicit responses that stated "sinister underbelly" and "gratuitous negativity." Who talks this way? And if your friends treat you like that, why would you stay friends with them? Maybe it's my personal prejudice, and maybe I'm with this statement unwittingly becoming part of the vicious sisterhood, but the very few women I've encountered that are that way are ones that come from some sort of privileged background and I think do it out of boredom and do not speak for the majority. I'd love to see the socio-economic background of these women. I think most women that have jobs and families and stuff to do don't behave this way--they don't have time. :P


Even celebrities have begun questioning how adult women interact. Gwyneth Paltrow posted anguished messages on her website about schadenfreude and frenemies. Sienna Miller recently told InStyle magazine that, "I've been at war, without a doubt. I have really experienced the judgment of women. There's no sisterhood."


I don't think negativity expressed towards these two are simply because of some insidious twisted sisterhood. I've heard guys (the ones that know who they are, anyway) express negativity towards these two as well. Paltrow and Miller aren't exactly the standard-bearers in women being role models. Paltrow's "little people" comments and ill-informed comments on politics is the cause of a lot of the ire felt towards her, which has nothing to do with gender. Johnny Depp got the exact same type of comments lobbed at him after that inteview he did with the German magazine. Paltrow might like to think it's because women are sooo jealous, but it's because she's delusional. Her performance on Glee, for example, as a cool-but-vulnerable sub has garnered her mostly praise.

As for Sienna Miller, really? She got Jude Law by being the other woman and expected sympathy when it was done to her? This is just a case of a mean person getting back what s/he did to someone else. Tiger Woods got the same initial treatement as well--dropped from sponsorships and ridiculed all over the news for cheating. And now both of them are more on the good side of publicity than the bad side.

It's not always "they don't like me because I'm a girl." Sometimes they don't like you because you're you. :P I'm tired of people taking for granted women being mean to each other as a given instead of looking to see if there are other issues at play. It's like saying snow causes the flu because people tend to get more sick in winter, when that's not the case at all.

Yes, some things do need to change--women need to stop referring to other women as hos and bitches and get upset when men do the same. But I don't think it's helpful or groundbreaking to present groups of women as vicious circles bringing nothing but destruction. I seriously wonder about this woman's motives in publishing this and just who she's trying to "help."

Hannahclear
11-20-2010, 07:00 PM
All you have to do is go on some parenting/mommy boards

This is true. But to qualify, the bitchiest interactions I've ever had with other women were all on the net. Which is to say that they might actually have been with middle aged men. In real life, I find other women to be nice people.

IceAlisa
11-20-2010, 07:02 PM
I agree with the premise to an extent. Women likely have a different kind of aggression from men, as has been documented in school age children.
I personally don't recall a life-altering blow delivered by a woman (knocks on wood) but don't rule it out as a relatively frequent occurrence either.

Not that men don't do such things, but perhaps they go about it differently, and are not necessarily better or worse.

cholla
11-20-2010, 07:07 PM
I've never believed in women sisterhood to begin with, so I'm not surprised. I've always been more comfortable around men because there wasn't any competition between them and me while it seems women always feel the need to prove me and/or themselves they are better than I. They can be 100 times better, it's fine with me, so why do they bother ? Not that I care anymore at 46 anyway. My closest friends are mainly males and always have been. I've no problem with that - but other women do and never refrain from voicing they so-called "amazement", considering me a traitor to their cause or something of the like. The most painful blows I got in life were delivered by women, it started quite early, and led me not to trust them most part of time. Sisterhood, my rear-end... Like this woman who told me, the day my son died, that I didn't deserve to be a mother because I had no "sense of community". I have always been a loner, true, as a child and a teenager I was considered an outcast but I like life that way, I still do, I'm indeed not much into social things, or at least not very often. But what does this have to do with deserving to be a mother or not ? Now that I'm older (and supposedly wiser), the blows still come my way but I've learned how to handle them (or even dodge them), not to care too much and it takes an awful lot to derail me. But still, when something really gets on me, it's always coming from someone of my own gender. I've worked in a mainly female environment only once and I could hardly believe what I saw, the endless bickering, rivalry, squabbles and this extraordinary propensity to be two-faced and find it perfectly normal... I can't stand hypocrisy, it drives me up the wall. I still have to see a man as two-faced as a woman can be :2faced:. I still have a few of these twats gravitating in my entourage and I'm always amazed at the nerve they have, the way they lie their teeth out right in your face. What do they think ? That I'm a dupe ? :D They usually learn the hard way that I'm not. I can be real vicious. Hey, I'm a woman too ! :P

Hannahclear
11-20-2010, 07:09 PM
I just wanted to add that the only awful interactions I've had with women were during childhood/adolescence. Girls really are vicious to each other during those years. Maybe it's just that you get more choice of the women you are around when you grow up.

Anita18
11-20-2010, 08:25 PM
I've seen movies, the TV shows, the books about horrible women who do horrible things to each other and it's presented as normal. Maybe I've been incredibly lucky, but the vicious things that women supposedly do to each other have never been done to me nor have I done them to anyone else. Are all my friends good little angels, no, of course not, and yes we've said/done hurtful things to each other, but I really believe in those circumstances, my male friends would have (and actually have) reacted the same way. I don't recognize these women that consistently insult each other. Anytime you get any group of people that hang out together on a regular basis, there's going to be hurts and misunderstandings, even among a group of guy friends. I'm tired of these stereotypes that women are all vicious monsters to each other and groups of guys are just always hunky-dory with each other.

Again, I could just have lucked out entirely throughout my entire life, but AFAIK, none of my girl friends fit this idea of friendships laced with a deep, pathological need to cut each other down for the sake of men. If you need that in your life, you need a hobby.
Me too. My immediate work group is mostly women and we don't act like that with each other at all. It also help that I work in a scientific setting where it doesn't matter a whit how you look, and none of us care about it. What we bought last week doesn't enter our minds at all. OTOH my roommate also works in a lab (same campus, even) but for some reason the women in her group are really into makeup and fashion and I see her going out shopping more and caring more about her appearance just to keep up with them. Which wouldn't be a problem but I'm wondering where she's getting all the money to do that, since as a grad student she gets paid less than I do, and my coworkers stick to strict budgets. :o

I think most women need some kind of community, and are afraid to strike out on their own completely new, even when that community is hurting them.

And from my experience, men don't care nearly as much about women's appearances as fellow women do. Especially when it comes to weight. I don't think most men are attracted at all to skinny sticks such as myself (unless they want a modelesque trophy wife, sorry I'm not that personality either), yet I've had numerous women express they want to have my body type. Makes me very :confused: [/rant]

numbers123
11-20-2010, 09:24 PM
I have to say that the most destructive interactions that I have had with women have been in the business world. By women who didn't like business decisions made by others and impacted my career by their devious manipulations of others in a team setting. In those situations, I believe that men would have accepted those decisions as business and not a personal attack.

Neither of those situations were about someone being more attractive, nicer, etc. but about status/power

Tinami Amori
11-20-2010, 09:52 PM
“Women’s sisterhood” is an artificial creation, as far as I am concerned, and is based on the assumption that women must stick together against the opposition - “evil men”.

When the element of “evil men” is eliminated from or a “non-factor” in any given “women’s group/company/ society”, large or small, for example all-girls boarding schools, sororities, nunneries, all women’s hospitals, etc., you get the same social dynamics that deal with egos, survival, bias, personal preferences and dislikes, mob mentality, individuality, ambitions, power struggles, etc…

When its all-women’s company with no men in sight, and important considerations are at stake, women do have vicious physical and verbal fights, lie, cheat, manipulate, torment, back-stab, fight for dominance, form partnerships and cliques, etc.

I’ve been exposed to the “internal politics” of 2 research department at major US research institutes. One department was all-women, one was all-men (so it happened). The games, the manipulation, and ego clashes, the power struggles in EACH department were practically identical and the methods used were practically identical.

Take out the element of “men” – and it’s about “human nature and survival”.

However, I must say, men are a lot easier to be friends with. They don’t fuss about “silly unimportant things”.

- Once I forgot one of my male friend’s birthday. He did not even notice, he was busy at work that evening.. His wife was offended and called me to say “how good of a friend are you, if you forgot your best friend’s birthday!!!???”.

- One of my ex husbands from late 80’s and his wife (my good friends for many years) invite me to dinner every week. I often do get held up at work, and come about 30 minutes late. He is ALWAYS ok with it, does not even notice it! and often late himself!. She had a fit – you disrespected me because of “some work!”. She starts yelling “you and Felix are work-junkies! I cook dinners for you and you guys are always late!”.

- Another couple, my very good friends, was celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, and wife asked me to take the husband out of the house for the evening, go play ping-pong or billiards, so she can set up the house for a reception the next day. We go to a pool-hall, have a few beers, then few more, and then few more….. what are we supposed to do for 5 hours on Thursday? When we come back – she yells at me for getting her husband drunk, and kicks us out, telling me to keep him at my house till he sobers up……. That’s blimey illogical! She told me to take him out to a pool-hall!

- I go to a meeting in the next town, where my friends, husband and wife live. She learns I was “in town” and throws a hissey fit about me not stopping for coffee. I ask husband if he was offended – he said he thought nothing of it.

- I take another couple on vacation to France with me few years ago. She wants to know EVERY second of our schedule, what hotel, what city, what kind of weather, this and that….. He could care less and tells me “we’ve never been to France, and you know ever inch of it – so do the planning anyway you want to”.

- If a female friend calls and I am busy on another line – she is offended I can’t talk to her, and before she hangs up wants all sorts of assurances that I’ll call her back, and when, and how quickly……. When I tell a guy “I am on another line” – he just says “call me back when you can” and hangs up.

I am not mean to and don’t back stab women, and don’t recall women back-stabbing or being mean to me… But men are sure easier to be friends with. Women are just so fussy and sensitive about so many unimportant things. (well most women…. I do have few female friends who are too busy with their lives and important work projects to be fussy about silly things).

Prancer
11-20-2010, 10:09 PM
Hmm, well, I mostly agree with Matry. When I saw that Oprah was praising this book for its honesty, I was :confused:. Women have been saying this forever.

I also thought the language in the survey was ridiculous.

But more than that.....


Maybe because I thought as women we should stand together and when we don't it cuts even deeper?

This is something I do not understand about women. Many of them seem to think that other women should support them because they are women.

The mommy boards are a good example of this. Yes, they are full of people passing judgment on other people. At the same time, there is a constant rejoinder that women should be supportive of one another's choices.

Um, why? If I think what you are doing is wrong or stupid or misguided or whatever, it isn't any less so because we both happen to be women. Why should I support your actions just because you are a woman if I think they are wrongheaded?

The flip side of that, of course, is that women pass judgment over fairly meaningless things. But so do men. Contrary to what many women and most men believe, studies have found that men talk to each other about the same things to the same degree that women do--but men don't consider it gossip, while women do. Both men and women think that if a woman says "She has a really big nose" about another woman, it's a personal attack, while if a man says the same thing about either a woman or a man, it's just an observation.

professordeb
11-20-2010, 10:38 PM
I'm with cholla - much prefer hanging with the guys over women. Our church had a women's group and they would do things about every 2 months. The first one that someone invited me to (along with daughter who was a young teen) was a get together where we would sit down at tables, enjoy coffee/tea along with some chocolate goodies and have someone there as a speaker. Daughter went because she was part of the group putting on a bit of a play to re-inforce the speaker's message. Me - I declined. I'm not interested in sitting around and chatting - I'd rather watch a hockey game, and I did. Next one was a shopping trip in the U.S. (I live in a border city on the Canadian side). UGH!!! I hate shopping so naturally I passed again. A couple of the women asked why I'm not attending and my response - do something fun cause chatting and shopping are on my list of fun. OK, so they are going to have a car rally - something I thought I'd enjoy. Well much to my dismay, I got tied up doing something for my daughter and by the time I got home from it I totally forgot I was going to go out and have "fun". Darn, I was so ticked with myself. Then I found out that they really could have used another few bodies. My body was willing but the mind forgot!
Then there's what the men get to do. They went to a Detroit Tigers baseball game in early summer. Men only - I was ticked. Late summer there's a push to go to see the Toronto Blue Jays and it's right around my birthday. Hubby and I sign up - at last something fun. Alas, not enough interest so they cancel the trip and instead have a BBQ - JUST FOR THE MEN!!! So I go from thinking I'm attending a family event to being relegated to sitting at home. I was so (fill in with any swear word of your choice) mad, I could have spit nails - and I don't mean finger nails.

My definition of fun doesn't seem to line up with a great deal of women I know. Too bad, I tend to like hanging with the men - they chat about more interesting stuff and I'm less likely to get judged on my appearance. My motto - if you don't like the way I look (cause I don't wear any makeup pretty much all the time), then don't look at me.

OK, got that off my chest. Thank you my FSU friends.