Kim Schulze

Bitch Battles

2013-05-24 14:48
There is a common misconception amongst men, and many women, that women are bitchy to each other. The word "bitchy" is not used lightly here. It's the exact term that many use to describe the relationship between women.

The idea here is that women don't like each other for jealous reasons, and therefore resort to meanness and slander to put down the opposition, and by so doing, raise themselves above them. I don't conclusively know this, what with my studies in feminism being a smaller part of a larger course, but I imagine that feminists have historical reasons for this behaviour and/or misconception.

It could be that throughout time, women have been forced to peacock their way into beating each other to a better mate: Richer, more handsome and of high reputation, in order to raise themselves above the others. Ergo, women needed men to improve themselves. There were certain skills that lent to a certain sophistication that made one more appealing to the opposite sex: Piano playing, singing sweetly, sewing. In the 20th century this extended to cooking, child care and housekeeping. All this effort was made to beat the competition.

So it's arguable that this age-long need to beat other women to the limited pool of desirable men evolved into a genetic tendency to want to be better than other women in general. And now that relationships are evening out, what's appealing to potential partners now differs: It's no longer a simple case of class and protocol, if you both like each other, along with movies, Radiohead and want two kids and a house in the 'burbs, you go for it. So the need for that societal squishing is negated.

Why, then, you may ask, are women still so "bitchy" to each other?

I have an entirely different feminist theory.

Maybe they just don't like each other.

Oh yeah! Who would've thunk it – a world in which some women were allowed to not get along with other women.

Now I'm not talking about those girls (because it's usually when we're younger, ladies) who smack-talk other girls for no good reason. I'm talking about Jessica, who doesn't invite Michelle to parties and dinners. Not because Michelle has better hair and used to date Jessica's boyfriend back in high school. But because Michelle laughs like a hyena, interrupts everyone and answers the 30 seconds questions even when it’s not her team’s turn.

I posted a picture to Facebook of Katy Perry in her Grammys dress, with tits out everywhere. I wasn't mad about the silhouette and simply stated that I thought it was better on a flat-chested girl. (Only flat chested girl available in the same dress was of course the runway model, which didn't help my cause.) The comments were all the same: I'm just jealous.

If there's one widely popular strain of sexist stereotyping, it's the idea that any female disagreement or dislike stems from some kind of jealousy or ugliness. Unreasonable cause, if you will. "I man, I like lady with short belt-skirt and no panty. You no like her. You woman, you dumb. You jealous of short-skirt cooter lady."

This isn't to say that there aren't women out there who try to combat their insecurities by bashing other women. I'll be honest, it happens far too often. I think it will always happen, but in many spheres other than simple physical competition.

Us 21st century humans have issues for days, man. The difference here is that men do it too. GASP! No, never. Yes, actually. Shit-talking each other to do better at work or with the ladies is very popular, so I’ll have none of that nonsense that men are always buddies. The difference here is that people will simply conclude that Jim doesn't like Thabo. Not that Thabo has a great arse and managed to hook up with Jessica before Jim got the chance, and now Jim’s being a jealous cow.

I'm not conclusively saying that any disapproving comment made by one woman towards another is well-thought out and justified. Sometimes a bitch is just wearing stupid shoes, you know? But again, it's because you think her shoes are stupid. That's not even about the personal dislike.

It's simply the idea that women have no justification at all to dislike other women that bothers me. It insinuates that we're not capable of thought beyond our own self-doubt and the superficial.

So next time you're about to judgy-wudgy your lady friend for splashing out some girl-hate, give her the benefit of the doubt, yes?
* You can catch Kim on 5FM every weekday from 12:00-15:00 with more hilarity and quirky content. Candid opinions and the occasional outburst also available on Twitter, @KimSchulze and Facebook, publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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