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Why women are still 'mean girls'?

Posted by on Nov. 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM
  • 32 Replies
1 mom liked this

Why women are still 'mean girls'

By Peggy Drexler

updated 8:30 AM EST, Fri November 22, 2013                                                    

(CNN) -- Study after study confirms that women backstab, undermine and put down one another-at work, in the PTA, out for drinks-basically taking every chance they can to act out the movie "Mean Girls" long past high school.

Such "intrasexual competition" pressures young women to act and look a certain way. It threatens self-esteem and destroys relationships. It is all that feminists have fought against.

In the latest study to call out the horrible species that is womankind, researchers at McMaster University in Ontario invited pairs of female students to a lab under the pretense of discussing female friendships. But the real test came when a third woman the researchers described as having a "low waist-to-hip ratio, clear skin and large breasts" was sent into the room in search of a professor.

In instances where this third woman was wearing a T-shirt and jeans, she elicited little notice and no negative comments from the other women. When she wore a low-cut, ill-fitting top and ultra-short skirt, however, she generated a far different reaction, categorized as hostile and aggressive, with the other female subjects staring, rolling their eyes or showing outright anger.

Is anyone surprised here?

The researchers suggested the reactions of the subjects-which were almost unilaterally negative-offered further proof that women, particularly adolescents and young women, try to take down other women they perceive as rivals for male attention, in order to "eliminate the competition." The results also offered additional evidence, they argued, of the notion that the more attractive a woman is the more likely she is to be a target for contempt.

I'm not sure I buy it. In one observed encounter with the short-skirted woman, a female subject was verbally rude, asking her with disgust, "What the (expletive) is that?" In most cases, however, the students waited until the third woman left the room to laugh or express their disdain, in one case commenting that the woman's breasts "were about to pop out."

But is that mean? Or a statement of fact?

This study may confirm that college-age women aren't always sweet and kind-as if anyone thought they were. And it may confirm they speak their mind more often than not-an otherwise positive sign of progress. It may also confirm that young women are reading too many celebrity tabloid "fashion police" columns, in which famous women are routinely bashed for their wardrobe choices.

Are the comedians who participate in such fashion critiquing misogynistic mean girls? Maybe. But they're also reacting to poorly chosen outfits worn in public settings and, frankly, they often have a point. As the subjects of this study likely did, too.

Look, the news isn't good when it comes to women supporting women. But by parading a woman-low hip-to-waist ratio or otherwise-in a purposely provocative outfit around a classroom setting (instead of, say, a bar or a nightclub where such dress might be far less out of place) the researchers in this study were creating a setup that, at best, served to pit women against one another.

Then, when the students reacted quite predictably, the researchers condemned and labeled them-the mean girls versus the slut-reinforcing gender stereotypes in the process.

Perhaps the female subjects in this study are indeed evidence of a new breed of women-hating women. Or perhaps they were simply reacting (as most people might) to a peer dressed inappropriately for a situation.

In fact, it's probable the students might have had a similar dumbfounded response to an attractive, shirtless young man entering the room to ask where he might find his female professor. Or perhaps even to a female student wandering in dressed in a ball gown and full makeup. But were those scenarios part of the test? At the risk of sounding bitchy, of course they weren't. 

by on Nov. 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM
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by Platinum Member on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:02 PM
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 While I think the study was poorly done, I do think they have a point.  Women, especially insecure women, tend to put down other women who they deem attractive or a threat of some kind.  They don't take the time to get to know the woman before making judgements about her.  They just make a snap judgement and stick to it. 

That mentality can make it hard to find female friends. 

by on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM

I remember being treated horribly for having a nice figure. I can't be sure that's why I was treated badly by some women but I did have a very honest coworker once tell me that my physique was intimidating. I knew that I couldn't change my appearance but that I could be more outgoing. I started a new job several years later and made more contact with my co-workers, who happened to be mostly female. That particular job was far less socially stressful. I still go out of my way to be warm towards people who seem to feel uncomfortable. I am astounded by how many women who are in their 30's and up still act like clickish bitches in some settings. It's disgusting and embarrassing.

by Gold Member on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:23 PM
13 moms liked this

I am constantly picked on and hated because I am so fucking awesome. It's sad and I feel endlessly sorry for those less than me. 

by Teflon Don on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:25 PM
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I know the feeling...

Quoting lizzielouaf:

I am constantly picked on and hated because I am so fucking awesome. It's sad and I feel endlessly sorry for those less than me. 

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

by Member on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:27 PM
Women are mean for the most part. Making new friends for me is really hard. They just assume things right off the bat. I feel like its a defense tactic for most, like "I'm going to hate her before she has a chance to hate me first".
by Roma on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM
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Quoting lizzielouaf:

I am constantly picked on and hated because I am so fucking awesome. It's sad and I feel endlessly sorry for those less than me. 

I can't hear you, I'm in the kitchen eating my feelings.

by Silver Member on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM
Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. .....
by Gold Member on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:33 PM
3 moms liked this

One example of, sadly, many that I have come across was this:

I attended a women's professional networking event for the first time. I've always been pretty good at putting myself out there, so even if people seem to want to not include me, I can chat it up pretty well. In my 20's especially, I would notice older women in particular really giving me the cold shoulder. Although they might have just looked at me and decided they hated my ass, I often wanted to say, "Guess what? I don't want your shriveled up old man,"  because those were the "vibes."

Anyway, at this event, this 20-something beautiful and tiny woman came in. I love being an observer. EVERYONE ignored her. I watched as she tried to make it into circles of conversation, and I watched people really block her out.  It's as if some women think that young attractive women are stupid or something.

Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore, and I approached her and talked with her. The event lasted about 2 hours, I think a meal was included. By the end, I was still the only person who had socialized at all with this woman. It was really clear to me what the "problem" was. And this was among professional women!

Pisses me off!

by on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM
2 moms liked this
Yah,me too,doncha know.

Quoting lizzielouaf:

I am constantly picked on and hated because I am so fucking awesome. It's sad and I feel endlessly sorry for those less than me. 

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by on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:53 PM
This is what I've been saying

Yeah they did the study poorly. It was indeed a situation where the woman looked out of place

A imitäe study in a new situation would be better, but it was still true in this study to a degree. Women have the perfect excuse. They e been taught that female sexuality is immoral and they can make themselves feel better when a sexually superior woman is around. Y telling themselves that she is immoral and that they are better for their modesty when if we are all honest with ourselves, how many women really never fantasizes about being some beautiful object of affection for many men and superior to female peers?

The woman doesn't even have to be provocatively dressed really. Just have a nice body ad look like a model. If women see men ogling a woman with a face and body that they envy then they will get sooooo piiiiissed lol

I remember being thirteen and going in chat rooms and those photo rating sites. There would be those girls that looked like they popped out of men's magazines and men are flooding their pages with comments and high ratings and you'd see other girls calling them whores and trying to down rate them
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