Girl News: Why Girls Hate Each Other

By Kate Carraway

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If you think that things are good for women because you like the look of Bridesmaids, bought the new Beyonce song/lie about girls running things and follow that one brown comedienne on Twitter, then I have to ask you if you’re fucking retarded and didn’t notice how, compared to boys, almost every single thing about being a girl is worse.

I understand but am still obsessed with how much girls fucking despise each other. Like everyone else who grew up post-sexual revolution (Dear 1995 babies: that was before AIDS, and after what we call “second wave feminism”), it was always fine and normal for boys and girls to be friends with each other. This stops when your guy friends start marrying assholes who don’t trust you – more on that later – but as for girls being friends with girls, well, it was just never the same. It was/is haaaard for girls to be friends with girls. Yeah, this is all going to be really sexist, by the way, but I’m thirty, a militant feminist, politically queer, an ex-slut, straight-but-sort-of-bi and I’ve read every book, ever, so I’m allowed.

Like, if you know any pairs of best girlfriends who aren’t using some mutual admiration and a few in-jokes to cover a whole load of jealousy and resentment and let-downs and unspoken everything, you need to lay down in front of them right now and ask for their mercy upon you because rest the fuck assured they are GODS.

Anyway. There are two essential truths about girl-on-girl friendship: 1) underneath the harsh hate-tokes, girls really, really, really love each other and understand that we’re part of an all-powerful pussy tribe bound by wisdom and empathy and being on the same period cycle and 2) we still want to kill and eat each other (not in a sexy way). Here’s why:

GIRLS WANT TO (BE THE ONLY GIRL WHO GETS TO) FUCK

Trust: women are unbelievably into fucking, not in the context-free-sexual-encounter-anytime-anywhere sense but in the wants-to-get-way-wide-for-the-right-cock sense. So, while guys compete for the attentions and sexings of women in an explicit way, women compete in this sneaky-deaky bullshitty way, neg-ing their girls out of going for a potential lay, and most of all just being jerks about other women all the time to anyone who will listen.

Obviously, women evaluate women as sexual competitors and the reason we squeal so loud when we see each other is because we’re muffling the sound of Babe-Value Calculations that are happening in the one part of our math-brains that we use (sexist!). OK, this is happening less and less as we get cooler with each other’s sexual agency, but this is a Historical Document. Unless you are super-fucking-smooth-icy-cool, your friendship will sink or swim depending on your respective values. We build packs around our proxies, which is why a megababe is rarely friends with a normal.

This is also why you can’t (usually) stay friends with guys OR their girlfriends when they get into a serious relationship/married/babies. Even though it’s been 30 years since we all agreed that “platonic” exists, your man-pal’s gf/wife is convinced that you want to bung him (as if!). Have you ever been at a party with your male friends’ girlfriends? It’s a panopticon, and the non-boyfriended girls are in the middle.

GIRLS WANT EACH OTHER’S BODIES, FACES, CLOTHES, LIVES

It’s less true that girls are jealous of other girls than they are fucking repulsed by themselves. The tall, thin girls want big tits; the milky-creamy thick ones want to go bra-less; the volleyball captains try so hard in their stilettos that it’s kind of hilarious. The only women I know who seem genuinely cool with their bodies are lesbians or extreme nerds. I remain mystified by those depressive-pixie silent-emo girls, the little ones with too-long bangs. What do they want? What do they do when they’re alone? Throw up their cigarettes?

Anyway, until sometime later on – definitely not before 25 – everyone wants what everyone else has, and it’s gross. The only universal, certain thing is that all girls want to be skinny, but everyone says “Ew, skinny is gross” while they’re masturbating to fashion magazines. Actually, white girls also rub it out to Rihanna, I know that much.

You’re not allowed to like your body (that would be “conceited”) but if your friends are cool feminist types you’re not allowed to try to change it, and if your friends are more, uh, standard-issue types, you’re not allowed to not try to change it. So even though your body is absolutely implicated in girl-girl friendships in a way that it isn’t in guy-girl friendships (until you end up sleeping together, HA HA ON YOU, SHITTY GIRLFRIENDS), there is a simultaneous culture of dishonesty, resentment, faking it and (the worst part) mandated reassurances of “you’re beautiful” and “you’re gorgeous” and “I’d kill for your legs.” COOL. Picture me air-barfing into my palm and tossing it at this whole idea.

GIRLS CAN’T JUST HANG OUT

Here’s what you do with guys: aggressively consume, comment on and catalogue movies and music and shows and books. Here’s what you do with girls: talk and shop. I’m not kidding. I know it's cliched, but those are the rules. You’re supposed to be bonding and sharing (and I want to do those things! I do want to talk about your day!) but there’s no reason to really try to make them laugh or be impressed by how much you know about hardcore bands (EVERYTHING). Girls who like to like stuff usually do this with guys instead of together which is called “gendered social conditioning” and also “sad.”

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