Girl on girl crime. You see it every day: at parties, on social media, in the whispers of the library…
Girls just can’t seem to be nice to other girls. Is it because they feed on drama? Do they feed on souls? Is it that time of the month? No, boys, it’s you! Seriously. A fair amount of a girl’s crazy comes from one thing: we’re trying to impress you.
Don’t let it go to your head, we aren’t doing it on purpose. A girl doesn’t talk about how Susie gained three pounds because she wants Brett to like her. But girls do tear down other girls because of anxiety over finding, or keeping, a mate.
Female competitive psychology wasn’t really explored in depth until the 80s, mostly because most psychologists were men and because the words “aggressive, competitive, violent” were still more strongly associated with men. But after a couple centuries of living with women, I guess they observed enough crazy to decide that “aggressive and competitive” mating applied to us too.
So, here are some psycho female tendencies explained by psychology:
- Forever insulting other girls. David Buss found in the 1980s that competition for a mate takes two general forms: building up yourself and tearing down your competitor. Now this makes perfect sense but the way men and women do it is different. Men will flaunt abilities and social status, and rip on another guy’s physical strength and economic status. Women will flaunt their youth and looks, and in turn tear down those traits in other women.
- Manipulation. Another couple of psychologists, Maryanne Fisher and Anthony Cox, followed up on Buss’s work and discovered manipulation of mate and competitor was a huge part of mating, especially in females. So the crying, smack talking about your ex, embellishing stories thing…still about sex.
- Being fake. This one was very interesting, because it’s a female practice I have long questioned the motive behind, so here it is: a women’s first evolutionary priority is to maintain her body in such a state that it can have children. For this reason, they “rely on veiled aggression toward other women,” because downright physical and verbal aggression could result in a fight which could damage their womb!!! GIRLS ARE FAKE TO PROTECT THEIR UTERUS. HA HA.
- Being mean to pretty girls. This one is survival of the fittest. If a new, attractive competitor shows up to the watering-hole, two things will happen: the existing females will befriend her as an asset to draw males to them OR they will exclude her, viewing her as competition. This is also the explanation for when you ask a girl, “why don’t you like her?” and she says, “I just don’t.”
- Slut-shaming. This one is great. I actually laughed out loud. Women hate “sluts” because they are procuring and successfully mating with more partners! Although, a study showed that women did not want to befriend said “sluts” because they didn’t want that label attached to them, because such a label could also hurt their mating potential. So this was a win-lose for sex-enthusiastic females.
- Moms calling their daughters fat. No really, this is a real thing. And it happens because mothers (and grandmothers, apparently) are deep-down really butthurt that they have passed reproductive age. So, they focus their energy on their daughter’s physical attractiveness so that a mate will choose her and bring new resources and protection to the family. So don’t worry, you’re not fat, your mom is just mad about menopause.
- Being over emotional. A study showed that the constant stress of mating interfered with the overall happiness of women more than it did in men. Also, it showed that women were quicker to pick up on subtle emotional cues and aggressions that men did not see. So while a man might hear a simple statement from another female as her “just being friendly,” a woman says, and another woman hears, something completely different.
So, girls. Next time you turn to your friend to whisper about the new girl in your class or how short Becky’s shorts are, just remember: you don’t need to be mean just because your ovaries are anxious. You’ve got at least 20 years until menopause. Just chill, drink your tequila, and hug it out in a bathroom somewhere. It will all be okay.