Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mean Girls

Growing up we’re taught that boys are made of “snips (whatever that is) and snails and puppy dog tails” and girls are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice”.

Well isn’t that special. The only problem with that is it’s a big fat lie. We’ve all met sweet girls (I married one) and spicy women that is true but, individually and as a whole, women are anything but nice.

Am I nervous about writing that? Do I fear the repercussions of my actions? Is there any chance I’m wrong and have simply misjudged this fairer gender? Yes, yes, and no.

I’ve put off writing this for months in order to be sure of what I wanted to say and that it was at least based in truth. (And because of the fears listed in the paragraph above) I write this now with the hope for a positive change for women everywhere.

This is born of no ill treatment I’ve received from women. On the contrary I feel that by and large men tend to get their fair share of sugar and spice and, ya know, nice. I’m not even here to question the motives behind said niceness heaped upon mankind. (I’ll save that for a different time)

No ladies, I’m here to ask a simple question, “Why are you so awful to each other?”

As I was formulating my thoughts on this topic I came across an article on how women are viewed in the workplace written by a woman named Gini Dietrich, she said, “Here's the thing, though. We're our own worst enemies…We're catty, we're mean, and we're judgmental. We treat one another poorly, and we rarely support one another.”

That’s from one of your own, sisters.

Here’s an illustration of what I’m talking about. Say you have a friend who is overweight. That friend loses fifty pounds. If that friend were a guy his guy friends would say, “Dang man, you look great! What did you do to lose all that weight?” Furthermore they’d be genuinely happy for him. If a woman were to see this same man they’d say, “Wow, looking good! Did you lose weight?” And they’d be genuinely happy for him. However, if this friend were a woman…? First of all a man would say nothing for fear of overstepping his bounds and appearing to come on to her (single guys fearing rejection and guys in a relationship just fearing their companion). A woman would SAY, “Wow, you look great! What’s your secret?” (Implying something other than diet and exercise like bulimia, anorexia and/or a tummy tuck) Using every ounce of energy to force a smile and appear to be genuinely happy for her. Inside, regardless of her own dress size great or small, she’s begrudging the accomplishment and attention while simultaneously hating herself.

I think that’s where it starts too, with self. Women are so hard on themselves. They minimize their own assets and accomplishments while maximizing their own perceived flaws and imperfections. It’s no wonder that this cruelty extends to anyone with two X chromosomes.

For those of us with a Y chromosome, sure we can get down on ourselves from time to time but, for the most part we feel we can do no wrong. I’m a hefty approaching-middle-aged bald man; yet I step out of the shower, towel it up and stand in front of the mirror brushing my teeth humming I’m Sexy and I know It without a hint of irony. (I work out!)

Women on the other hand get as close as they can to the mirror inspecting every pore, worrying about every wrinkle and bemoaning the dark circles under their eyes. Everywhere they look they have impossible standards of flawlessness shoved in their faces. Picture “perfect” women on the cover of every women’s magazine. You know what’s on the cover of every guy’s magazine? Pictures of “perfect” women. Think about it.

This problem is perpetuated by their own attempts to cover up their “flaws”. Women go to great lengths to conceal not only their physical “imperfections” but they attempt to conceal their true nature, you know overcompensating with that sugar and spice stuff. Thus women actually believe that this woman or that woman is perfect and they somehow have failed.

I assure you that she is just as big a mess as you, in her own special way. We all live with challenges and insecurities. Just do the best you can and take care of yourself; chalk the rest (wrinkles, grey hair, etc.) up to a road map of your own personal journey in life. My giant butt is a landmark to my traveling companion on this earthly sojourn, bacon.

The physical appearance and skewed perspective stuff are just the most tangible examples. It goes deeper. Women cannot be happy for one another. They begrudge every achievement attained or fortune that befalls their fellow women and that includes close friends. And it’s not plain old envy or jealously either. Guys are envious and get jealous too. It’s more than that. It’s a special blend that can only come from womanhood. It’s…It’s like…It’s like boogers and lice and everything vice. I’m not saying women wish bad things on other women (although sometimes they do) they just don’t particularly care to see good things happen to them either.

I’ll end with a quote from Ms. Dietrich (show of hands: Who just judged her for being single? What is wrong with you? Haven’t you been listening?) and then a final plea. “If we [women] want things to change, that has to start with us. The next time you are faced with making a snap judgment about another woman, think twice. Support one another. Be kind. From there, change will happen.”

Now, stop being awful to each other.

***Disclaimer*** I wrote this with my wife’s full knowledge and blessing. She neither admits to these practices nor seeks to separate herself from her fellow women. She’s fine with me posting this with the understanding that she’ll offer me no protection when I’m inevitably attacked by womankind.

Guys, you’re up next. (Click here)

3 comments:

  1. Oh where do I begin...First, I know you wrote most of this to get a rise. Second, I get pure laugh out loud (LOL haha, yes I read that post too!) enjoyment from your posts. How do I fight back when my writing is second rate though!
    Alright, lets break it down....
    I might fall under the spicy category, but I will still try to defend my sex! We all have a little spice, this is true, but it is an even mix with sugar, and nice. Niceness is not always underlined with motives. And, just be grateful for any sugar you get, men!!
    I personally have felt genuine pride, and excitement for a close friend as she lost weight. The same genuine feelings remained as she got smaller than me!
    Now, I will admit we are hard on ourselves! And, we are our worst critics, but men started it all! I believe male is the dominant sex in the plastic surgery field. Heck, they probably invented it! Who held that perfection up on a pedestal? Shoot, even hair dye was invented by a man. Eugene Schueller, a man, and the founder of L'OREAL.
    As far as, "Women go to great lengths....they attempt to conceal their true nature" I don't know if I can defend all women on this, but I am who I am, and do not try to hide it! I get in trouble for it all the time. I am honest, grumpy(at times), and I eat a lot, even in front of other women! However, I also love, care, and consider other women's feelings. These are genuine things to me.
    "Women can not be genuinely happy for each other"?? We do compare and we do want to be better then we are, but not at another women's expense. Yes, maybe the women of the world, but I am surrounded by caring and loving women who, I believe, GENUINELY care for one another! Call me ignorant, if you will, but I have yet to give up hope for my gender! Without women this world would be a bit cynical and grave! We didn't have so many problems until women started trying to be more like men!

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  2. And, no, tomorrow is not soon enough to give it to the men!!

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  3. It is a sad world that we live in when we must think before we speak....who ever heard of such a thing? Oh, yeah, Christ. Why is it that we always need to make a comment other than just saying, 'you look great', 'I'm glad you're my friend', or 'The world is a better place because of you'. There is no need.

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