We Have Seen the Enemy



As always, JudgyBitch has written on a thought provoking topic. And, per usual, I had to take what was supposed to be simple comment and transfer it, here, when it became too wordy. (And, admittedly, it’s probably too wordy as a final blog post, but, I fight that battle incrementally.)

This time the subject includes the phenomenon of women sabotaging other women. Her article focuses primarily on the premise that women heartily support other women that are overweight because this gives them a competitive edge. By creating the belief that being fat is acceptable, the theory goes, those women that are overweight or would lean towards becoming so, will, thereby, reducing their ability to compete in the ‘sexual market place’.

From JudgyBitch’s article:

It always comes down to sexual economics with women, and especially with feminists. Feminism is collective bargaining for women to keep the price of women high. Women used to keep their own prices high when they controlled access to sex, but the sexual revolution destroyed that quite nicely, leaving women bereft of power. Now women are in full out, cut throat competition with one another, while pretending to be part of a sisterhood of love and acceptance.

That’s an interesting idea and one I’ve run across before. It just doesn’t make sense to me because anyone with the ability to read and think understands that obesity is not in any person’s best interest and to think otherwise is simply not rational. But, I can see how women comforting and encouraging other women who are unhappy with their weight could be interpreted as having ulterior motives. It depends on what the message is that they are giving.

That women are vicious to one another, there is no argument. The motive I am not entirely certain is a binary one.

It’s clever. It’s also cruel. No one hates other women quite like women do. And no one hates other women more than a feminist.

I don’t know. Sometimes, I think I dislike women more than the average xx hater and I definitely reserve special disdain for those women that use the system to skirt accountability (today’s feminist). I know exactly what she is referring to and having experienced it first from my feminist 2.0 mother, my response wasn’t to conform to the same behavior but to avoid relationships with women altogether when it wasn’t impossible to do so. And I am unapologetic to that end.

This doesn’t mean that I am inherently any different from other women, because I’m not. What is different is having had the ability and incentive to recognize the reality that exists which contain the ingredients that make poor behavior readily possible and subsequently disciplining oneself to not engage in acting that way. And, I don’t care who you are, I doubt any woman will ever be perfectly successful in this effort.

It is exactly the same for men. They manage their own traits that make them prone to behaviors that they correct for. Whereas theirs may involve physical acts of aggression, ours are centered more around conflating emotional responses to being the same as rational consideration. We tend to first assume whatever we are feeling is true or speaks to something being true. That is simply incorrect and causes all kinds of problems in the world of relationships, parenting, politics and personal efficacy.

So, while it is true that women are susceptible to a host of biologically influenced and socially reinforced behaviors, it is also true that women have the ability to identify the source and manage as any adult would be accountable to do.

But, our society sends strong messages countering this belief and rewards women for acting without integrity. In fact, women are rarely exposed to lessons that teach and reinforce concepts of integrity, duty, honor or valor. We do experience themes of sacrifice, cooperation, friendliness, and compassion. This is just referring to the general societal framework everyone develops within from birth to adulthood. What we receive individually is an entirely random ball of wax.

Speaking to my personal experience with this propensity of many women towards overt and covert hostility, it hasn’t always been possible to altogether, avoid . And in those circumstances involving employment, in-laws, etc., if I wasn’t outright steamrolled, each and every instance required managing for either the aggressors or the covert tactics of the type that includes what is described, in the article, that being the most benign manifestation. I’ve rarely been completely successful

It’s been dialing down as I get older, but I haven’t turned the corner quite yet, so still catch the occasional backhanded compliment or bullshit comment.

Now, I get to walk my 21 and 25 year old daughters through it when they sense something ‘amiss’ with another woman in their lives, whether she is a friend, co-worker or social acquaintance.

Unlike me, both my girls have been outgoing. One is a perpetrator but is still figuring this out and the other has recognized that she wants no part of it. She’s exceptionally physically attractive and attracts immediate female hostility that she doesn’t fully understand, yet, as something that she cannot prevent from occurring, no matter what she does. That’s simply the way it goes. She gets the societal benefits of being attractive, and likewise, bears the costs.
So, I am only able to offer her some words of wisdom such as not expecting reason to work when trying to solve problems created by irrationally driven behavior. And, on the flip side, not to go to the hardware store expecting to buy bread. Their social needs that require a buddy to do female interest things belong in a relationship with a woman, not a husband or boyfriend.

My general disinterest in having female friends is not what would work for my daughters, and that is probably more a function of having had a failed role model who acted egregious enough to cause me to reject the role completely and my individual deficits in social intelligence because of my not being inclined towards socializing any more than I have been obliged to.

As an individual, I happen to have personality traits that aren’t very dependent on socializing. I’m reserved, pragmatic and I spend my time in my head no matter what I’m doing. So, when I need a “girlfriend” type of support, I hire a therapist. I’ve also never been chatty and similarly, I tend not to enjoy being engaged too long with chatty people. Women, in general, talk more than men do, in my opinion. My relative silence creates immediate awkwardness with women that, again, I am not apologetic about.

So, as far as my daughters are concerned, the goal is making sure they can discern who to befriend and then to practice sharing girlfriend things with their girlfriends and to vigilantly resist the temptation to make the men in their lives substitute girlfriends.

When women insist that men serve as the source of what we would expect from other women, those same women wind up wondering why they aren’t attracted to their man, anymore, after they’ve, in effect, emasculated him. So, I don’t want my girls to have that kind of crazy interfering with their having successful relationships with the men they will probably one day marry. (If the feminist social politics don’t fuck that possibility up altogether beforehand, that is.)

But, the bottom line is I got the same potential crazy making juju. To illustrate, my writing is probably so verbose to compensate for how terse I am when speaking. All that talking I’m not doing has to be counterbalanced, somehow. I am a woman, after all, and some things are just the nature of the beast.