Chicks Being Catty


Mud wrestlingShortly after the Academy Awards show was on a week and a half ago, I started seeing all kinds of stuff in the blogosphere and Twittersphere about people bashing Anne Hathaway. And I mean serious bashing, as in tons of articles about people who claim to hate – yes, hate – her. Call me clueless, but I don’t get it. What’s the problem with Anne? She’s a great actress, she’s beautiful, she’s happily married. Honestly, I’ve got no beef with her. But many people, for reasons I don’t understand, take issue with Anne. And, I have to say, many of those Anne bashers are women.

When I was a teenager I worked at a fast food restaurant. I actually stuck it out for, I think, three years, and I got pretty comfortable there. I knew the job and I knew the people, many of whom became friends for a time. But I remember toward the end of my burger-slinging tenure a girl was hired who I hated immediately. Oh, I knew nothing about her, of course. Nothing about where she came from, or what her interests were, or who she hung out with. I just knew that I despised the sight of her. And, to be fair, our animosity toward each other was mutual. If pressed, I could cite reasons for my snub. But see, the thing is, those “reasons” were completely made up. It’s not like we had some kind of incident where things went terribly wrong and thus caused our dislike toward one another. No, on the contrary, I just knew by looking at her that I couldn’t stand her.

Several months later we found ourselves at the same party and I, probably fueled with alcohol-courage, decided to talk to her. And guess what? She was totally cool! We chatted for awhile and decided we’d gotten off on the wrong foot. Now, it’s not like we became BFFs or anything. But we repaired the weird damage that had been part of our relationship and tossed away the previous animosity we’d had.

This whole Anne Hathaway bashing and my teenage incident makes me wonder what it is about women who are catty toward other women. If you look at it from a distance, it makes no sense. We women have to survive and thrive in a world that’s often ruled and run by the guys. And we do a damn fine job of it. There are so many wonderful, creative, smart, powerful women out there for us to admire. We all need to bond in sisterhood and support each other. And, in many ways, we do. I have wonderful friends for whom I’d do anything and they feel the same toward me. But then sometimes, for whatever reason, we come across a certain woman who just rubs us completely the wrong way and the claws come out. Rather than supporting that female in a bond of sisterhood, we’d much prefer to scratch her eyes out.

So what gives? Is it jealousy? Envy? And why is it only certain females? We can admire someone who we feel is prettier, smarter, thinner, richer than we are and be fine with her, but then we meet someone else and despise her at once.  Sometimes I honestly wonder if there’s physiology involved. Maybe we unknowingly give off territorial pheremones to certain women because . . . well, just because. Because we don’t want her around us, we don’t want her knowing us, we don’t want her stealing our man. We look at her and think, “that bitch isn’t all that. And, P.S., she looks fat in that outfit.”

It all seems rather unnecessary, but I am curious as to what you all think of this? Why do some chicks just rub you the wrong way and others are friends for life?

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7 Comments

  • cmkempe
    March 6, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Divide and conquer. If you make any less powerful group fight another powerless group, they don’t fight their oppressors. Every unfair system uses this dynamic. Divert your energies into something useless and damaging to yourself. Alas! SF fans making fun of fantasy, horror writers making fun of romance, and so on. Depressing.

  • madelineiva
    March 6, 2013 at 9:24 am

    My friend once suggested the theory that the person you instantly hate is often someone similar to you, but just a few degrees different.

  • Elizabeth Shore
    March 6, 2013 at 10:04 am

    It IS depressing. It’s tough enough out there without creating adversaries who should be friends.It’s a mystery to me but at the same time, I’d be lying if I said I’ve never had it happen. Ugh.

  • LizEverly
    March 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I agree with everything you are saying. But on the other hand, we don’t HAVE to like someone just because she is a woman. I am all for sisterhood and and supporting one another. But if you don’t like someone instantly, maybe that’s your intuition telling you to watch out. My daughters are in middle school and I swear middle schoolers wrote the book on this catty behavior. Kudos to you Liz for approaching the other young woman and chatting with her, the mature and right thing to do.
    That said, there ARE people, both men and women, that rub me the wrong way, instantly. I try to be polite, but I don’t fee obligated in trying to like someone anymore.

    • madelineiva
      March 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Yeah, sometimes you just don’t like someones stinkin’ looks. ;>

      I laugh at myself when I’m like this. I hope taking it lightly leaves me more open to changing my mind. Sometimes I’m wrong. Sometimes I call it right.

      Still, what Margery said is pretty wise and true.

  • LizEverly
    March 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Absolutely!

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