You don’t need to be a world-renowned psychologist to know that girls can be mean. Little girls fall out with each other and make new best friends every day. Teenage girls snipe about each other’s looks behind each other’s backs and swipe boyfriends from each other. And grown women gossip.
We’re perpetually comparing ourselves with one another, which means, when we’re at our worst, we justify ourselves by putting each other down.
We’re so good at it, that we can do it super-subtly. Sometimes we don’t realise how rotten other women are making us feel with their words, and bravely take their words on the chin, even incorporating their negativity into our life’s philosophy.
Tracy McMillan’s latest offering on the Huffington Post is a good example of this: Why You’re Not Married.
The inference is that this article will be helpful to read. That it will help women to find their soulmate, to stop fiddling around and selling themselves short and just, for crying out loud, settle down, have babies, stop upsetting the social order by being older than 27 and not being married, and be normal.
But what she says is brutal! Mean mean mean mean mean.
‘You’re selfish’ she says. ‘You’re shallow’. She’s writing mean things on purpose to catch our attention but single women are bombarded with articles about why they’re not married yet enough to have a low opinion of themselves and their relationship track record without being told mean things in the name of reverse psychology.
You don’t get men writing articles about how inadequate men are at finding love or getting involved in relationships. Men don’t write articles that tell their fellow gender-mates that they’re shallow, selfish or liars. Neither do they tell one another that they ought to have been married years earlier but they were too picky, or too empowered in their career, or [insert oft-repeated reason for singleness of your choice here]
I would like one of two things to happen.
Either I’d like men to start writing the kind of thinly veiled as advice abuse to each other, so I know that they have the same over-analytical paranoias.
Or I’d like women to please stop writing articles like these.
Preferably the latter. (Please)