Do women actually hate each other?

Author Kelly Valen was burned so harshly by her sorority sisters in college that she avoided female friendships. In 2007 she wrote a personal essay about her experiences for the New York Times entitled “My Sorority Pledge? I Swore Off Sisterhood.”

Now Valen has a new book called “Twisted Sisterhood: Unraveling the Dark Legacy of Female Friendships” examining female relationships from varied socio-economic groups across the nation. She surveyed more than 3,000 women to study the ways women relate to one another.

Time magazine recently interviewed the author about what she learned in her study. I can only pull three paragraphs so be sure to read the whole article on Time.com.

From Time.com:

“About those women, what surprised you?”

“Let’s start with the good news. Ninety percent of those women said that they did have a solid girlfriend in their life. That’s wonderful news. But 84% of those same women said they had suffered real genuine wounding at the hand of other women. That shocked me. More than that, 88% said that there was an undercurrent of meanness and negativity plaguing the gender.”

“Michelle Obama has said she works very hard to make sure her kids are not mean girls. How much control do parents really have here?
Parents get the first crack at it. We’re the ones that are setting the moral compass. The survey results showed that more than 90% of women feel that a mother can set her daughter on the right course. If you are sitting there with your girlfriends gossiping, judging other women and being two-faced and your daughter sees that day in, day out, it really teaches her to follow your way. It’s a powerful message about how the world works when you see your mother bonding with other women over that. I’m not here to judge; parenting is hard. But I think we could all benefit from better role modeling. “

“What can we all do now to change the experience for the next generation of girls?
It’s so basic it’s silly: it’s opening up. It’s smiling. It’s being more inclusive and reaching out to other people. Not just writing other women off or dismissing them because they are different or not a part of your regular day or safe friend group that you already know. It’s putting yourself out there and knowing that a lot of women feel the same way you do. Maybe they’re sitting at home too, just waiting for another woman to give them a chance. We’ve got to treat people with respect and dignity. If that sounds cliché, I’m sorry, but it’s a reminder so many of us forget.”

Are we creating the little “mean girls” that live in our homes? Are we modeling good behavior toward other women? Are we inclusive? Are we gossiping about other women in front of our children? Are we judging other women for them to see? Are we treating other women with respect and dignity?

Do you think women are harsher on each other than men? Why do you think so? Have you had other women treat your poorly? If so when?

- byline Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, Momania blog


82 comments Add your comment

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Kelly Valen

November 16th, 2010
4:45 am

Hi Theresa,

I happened to see this and it broke my heart to think that the media’s spin of my book’s subject matter has people suggesting that “women hate each other!” Not only would I never write such a thing – I don’t at all believe that. And I worry that such inflammatory questions distract us from the more serious discussions we girls and women might have about these issues. It’s my hope that we can keep our eye on the prize – happy and healthy girlfriendships – while curbing some of that darker stuff that goes on. As you rightly note, I think we mothers play a key role in this. Our jobs are tough, but even becoming more mindful of our daily behaviors, as well as our daughters’ (if we aren’t already), is a step in the right direction.

Hope you enjoy the book and thanks for giving me a chance to speak up. I can’t stop the media from spinning the topic the way it wishes or placing attention-grabbing titles on the articles, but I don’t want folks thinking this is what my book is about! I have a much happier perspective on the female gender than that!

Take care and I wish you a happy holiday season,

Kelly Valen
http://www.kellyvalen.com
Author, The Twisted Sisterhood

C. K. Bigoldi

November 16th, 2010
6:18 am

…Well surrprise surprise… who’d of ever thunk it…

Andrea

November 16th, 2010
6:36 am

Thanks for sending a response Kelly. There is room for improvement in our relationships and interactions with each other. I love my girlfriends but I would honestly say that those I would call my true girlfriends are women I have known for a long time. I have lots of women I know and interact with but I would not call all of them true girlfriends. What I took from it was more related to things you, as an individual, could change to make your interpersonal relationships better. Sometimes, that may include getting rid of some toxic people! Everyone doesn’t have to stay in your life forever and a day. Sometimes, their purpose in your life is for a brief time. Recognize when that time is over and move on.

mom2alex&max

November 16th, 2010
6:56 am

Of course we do. Just take a look at how we treat each other right here in this blog. We are our own worst enemies.

motherjanegoose

November 16th, 2010
6:59 am

@Kelly sorry for the negativity by the media. As I have mentioned here before, the media often twists things around. This is also a lesson we need to teach our children, that the media is not the gospel. My own have learned it about me. Even thought I did not vote for Obama, I am that sure Michelle has had to teach her children then everything said about their family is not true.

TWG…we see a lot of meanness right here on the blog….I cannot believe you are actually surprised at this.

My Mother was not a good role model at accepting others. She always condemned people who were not like us and did not want a thing to do with them.

I am hopeful that I have broken that model as I have friends from all walks of life and in 50 states.
I am meeting Becky for lunch today, Michelle for dinner tomorrow and catlady next week.
I had no idea who these ladies were but “met” them from this blog. They are not JUST like me ( good thing) but add interest to my life and I am thrilled to include them as friends. ( DB, Kathy and Newmom too). Sounds like a fun week to me!

George P Burdell

November 16th, 2010
7:49 am

Whether it is men or women, some people value power more than friendship.
Those that value power more than friendship will continue to use every tool that they can find, including gossiping, judging others and being two-faced.

Jeff

November 16th, 2010
8:02 am

Some people are just jacka**es whether they are men or women, black or white, and it doesn’t matter who they project it toward. Otherwise they wouldn’t be jacka**es. Yes, women are meaner to each other than men are to women, but men are generally able to move past it more quickly.

As my father told me, you can’t be mad at a pet alligator because it ended up behaving like an alligator. It’s what they do.

motherjanegoose

November 16th, 2010
8:09 am

@ George…I agree with the power thing.

We visited a church with our daughter at UGA on Sunday, the pastor said something about you are not a leader if you have no followers. If you have the power ( so to speak) but you have no friends…are you really happy or better off than everyone else?

@ Jeff….love the alligator story.

Off to Cobb and then lunch with Becky….have fun!

RJ

November 16th, 2010
8:15 am

“Even thought I did not vote for Obama, I am that sure Michelle has had to teach her children then everything said about their family is not true.”

@MJG, I’m sorry but I don’t get the connection. What does voting for Obama have to do with this topic?

Yes, women can be very mean spirited. I have taught my daughter to be careful with her words and how she treats others. I don’t have time to gossip. I treat people the way I want to be treated. If you don’t treat me the same I end contact with you. I won’t bring negative energy into my personal space.

Photius

November 16th, 2010
8:35 am

Women are wonderful people who add so much to life, however with the history of the world before us it is safe to say there is something wrong with the female species. Incessant talking, an inability to remain silent, hormones, cattiness, inability to let things go and move on, worrying, jealousy, neurotic behavior… How about the total inability of the woman to keep a secret; they all have to tell someone what they alone know. If women have a fight/argument although it might appear on the surface they both have made amends, we all know this is incorrect. Women harbor spitefulness and simply will not let it go. Then they reproduce, have a daughter and teach this insane behavior onto the next generation. The combination of behavioralism and conditions of their daughters upbringing in connection with genetic composition with greater emotions allows this insane female behavior to blossom. Women have and always will cut each other down and cannot seem to unify like the male species. This is why throughout the history of time a few women on occasion will hold positions of power/importance in top leadership roles while most will never arrive.

me

November 16th, 2010
8:38 am

@RJ I’m sure you just had to put the fact that you didn’t vote for Obama in your statement to get your point across. What does that have to do with anything? And Michelle has to buffer her daughters from all the racist ignorant Republican backlash. Hopefully her daughters will not take what is being said about their family to heart and not turn them into what these people are. Truly hateful and that is what stems our interaction between one another. Regardless of gender.

45 y/o female

November 16th, 2010
8:41 am

IMO, women’s “liberation” is what went wrong. My 65 y/o mother and I talk about this all the time, and this is the conclusion we have come to.

Mrs. G

November 16th, 2010
8:45 am

Have I had other women treat me poorly? Absolutely. This blog hit close to home… What I’m about to talk about didn’t happen recently, but it was emotionally devastating to me and still affects me in the sense that I find that I have a hard time trusting and opening up to other women.

In college, I dated a guy who I became engaged to but did not marry. He treated me poorly (he wasn’t physically abusive, but here’s an example: he knew how much I want to be a mother and, when I mentioned something about being parents one day (as he had always said that we would be, but that he was “uncomfortable” around kids…), he said, “Maybe one of us is infertile.” Who would want to marry somebody like that? Seriously? Also, he was jealous that I was more successful careerwise than he was, which wasn’t fun. And he was the most negative person I have ever met).

When I ended the engagement, two girls who I had been close to for ten years essentially ditched me. They were upset that I didn’t “fight hard enough” for my relationship with my ex (believe me, I did…but six and a half years of negativity took its toll). They were also upset that I met my now husband shortly after things ended with my ex; they felt that I should have waited longer to start dating again (they would not recognize the fact that things had been over with my ex long before they were officially over). Both girls had met my former fiance through me (AKA they were my friends first and I NEVER thought that they would be anything but supportive), but they acted like eighth graders and “took his side.” One sent mean, judgmental e-mails to me (especially judging me for my new relationship) and the other started ignoring me completely. The one who sent the e-mails, when she e-mailed me to tell me that she no longer wanted me as a bridesmaid in her wedding OR in her life, told me that I was right – the other girl did “hate” me and “wanted nothing to do with” me (which I had figured, as phone calls, text messages, and e-mails to her had been ignored for a couple of months and she had blocked me on Facebook; to be fair, I may not have been the perfect friend – when I broke off the engagement, this girl was upset that I didn’t tell her directly – she heard from the other girl, who is one of her best friends (and, actually, now her sister-in-law) – and that she never heard the details from me. Although I think that she treated me horribly, a part of me blames myself). The icing on the cake was a Facebook interaction between the two girls and my ex-fiance that I stumbled across; they were talking about what a rhymes with witch I had “turned into” and how terrible I was. I honestly couldn’t believe that they had nothing better to talk about. It all seemed so middle school! I stopped looking at Facebook, but continued to hear from mutual friends that I was being badmouthed.

Growing up, my mom taught me to treat others how I would want to be treated. Maybe those girls were never taught that, as I cannot imagine ever treating anyone – especially not someone who had been a “best friend” for a decade – the way that they treated me.

Becky

November 16th, 2010
8:48 am

As has already been said, look how some people on this blog are treated..Yes women are meaner than men to each other..I try not to be and I’m really trying to make sure that the girl isn’t mean to others..But in second grade, she already says that other girls in her class are mean to each other…

I don’t have that many close female friends, just a few that I talk to at work and friends from Church..Of course, I have 5 sisters, so I’m usually not missing out on female company..I lost my best friend of 36 yrs. in Sept., so this makes me appreicate the friends that I do have more..

@MJG..Will see you in a little while..:~)

Catfight!

November 16th, 2010
8:50 am

It’s all based in insecurity. The single largest draw on this society’s resources is not welfare recipients or unwed, teenage mothers, it is the middle class white women. They go to college, to marry. They demand the mcmansion, they demand kids, they demand SUV’s, multiple vacations, etc….. they assemble housekeepers, nannies, babysitters, in-laws, etc. who keep the house clean and watch the kids. they manipulate teachers, coaches, and other moms to ensure their lives go as scripted. They know all of this is true and it is a source of insecurity so they are passive aggresive (and sometimes not so passive) against their peers; other women living the same desperate script. There’s your book!

aboc

November 16th, 2010
8:54 am

@Jeff, If I am interpreting your alligator story correctly, then it is a bit ignorant. Would you generalize an entire race of people? Methinks not. Why would you generalize an entire gender? It sounds awfully sexist when you compare all women to the instinctual actions of an animal. I’m not calling you sexist, but maybe you need to be more aware of what you are saying. It puts the blame on genetics and nature, and not on the society that teaches and promotes many women to behave that way.

A lurker

November 16th, 2010
8:58 am

@Photius –I feel for your wife…….

Jeff

November 16th, 2010
8:59 am

aboc, what i was referring to was the jacka** part. If someone (anyone) is a jacka**, then that is what they are. You can’t expect a jacka** to behave in a way that is not in their nature. It applies to men AND women. I’m sorry I didn’t commuicate that connection more clearly.

But I appreciate you singling me out of all the commenters to call possibly sexist. No offense taken.

me is hateful

November 16th, 2010
9:10 am

me says … “And Michelle has to buffer her daughters from all the racist ignorant Republican backlash”.

aboc

November 16th, 2010
9:14 am

Jeff,

My apologies. That’s why I wasn’t sure if I was interpreting it correctly. I guess when we have idiot trolls like 45 y/o female and photius posting here it makes it easy to assume that other posters may have the same intent.

Mrsunderstood

November 16th, 2010
9:26 am

@ Catfight!

You’ve hit the nail on the head for the most part. I have also found since the economy went on the skids that there is even more bitterness amongst these women.

Being a stay at home mom has always brought alot of bitterness my way from other women. I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to continue to stay at home even when my husband lost his job. He successfully found another job, but instead of people being happy for us they distanced themselves from us further.

I am extremely careful not to discuss finances or other things that would harbor any more resentfulness towards me, but that hasn’t seem to help. I now find myself with less real friends within my community and weary towards the ones that are questionable at best. I find myself hiding out alot of the times keeping myself busy at home to avoid certain people.

When I do go out I seem to have a barrier around me with unfortunately probably portrays me as elitist or snobby, which is not the case. I am who I am and I am tired of pretending to be something I am not just to get others to be nice to me.

Even my post will probably get some anonymous backlash. The civility and politeness is our society is gone. I find that very sad.

Denise

November 16th, 2010
9:40 am

@me – RJ was quoting MJG regarding her not voting for President Obama, not indicating whether RJ voted for him.

On topic…

I have some wonderful, wonderful, wonderful girlfriends and acquaintences (sp?). I am thoroughly blessed and grateful for their presence in my life and can say that I would be worse off if I did not have them in my life. However, I have had to nix people from my circle because they brought nothing but toxicity to me – the gossip, the lack of support, the meanness, the messiness…all the things that we all hate from women. Unfortunately, I think women, moreso than men, sometimes MUST have to show OUR (I do it sometimes, too) superiority to make ourselves look better. That shows our insecurity. I do believe women are more insecure than men, too. It’s unfortunate because women have so much to offer (as do men). We are nurturers, mothers, great supporters of family and friends…but we sure can be witches. I pray about my “w”itchy-ness because I don’t like it about myself.

Kate

November 16th, 2010
10:04 am

This article doesn’t surprise me one bit. Both girls and women are mean to each other and in my experience even your closest BFF will turn on you in a heartbeat if there’s a man involved. Any time I’m around a group of women I feel downright trans-gendered! I’ve never had a lot of female friends. I have always felt more comfortable around men and, even in a nonsexual way, truly prefer them to women. Since by all outward appearances, I am female, I have always assumed my general aversion to women is due to my dislike of gossip. I’m also not bossy or judgmental. I don’t mean to sound holier than thou, it’s just that I honestly don’t care about the random details of the lives of my neighbors, acquaintances or even celebrities. This doesn’t seem strange to most men, but when you’re surrounded by a group of women that eliminates about 90% of the topics for conversation. The remaining 10% (and these percentages can vary greatly by the time of the month, the weather, the direction of the wind and various other forces that are as much a mystery to me as they are to most men) is taken up with declaring INSERT NAME HERE as being too fat, too skinny, too easy, drinking to much or not enough, and/or having out of control children. Above all else, men are more easygoing and a lot more fun to be around. Yes, I know I shouldn’t make sweeping generalizations about an entire gender but there are a few things you notice after a lifetime of being on the outside looking in.

Layla

November 16th, 2010
10:08 am

I have two female friends that I absolutely trust. One I look upon as an older sister-figure, as I’ve never had a sister. The other is closer to my age and I consider her my best friend. But generally, I do not trust women. The ones I have known throughout the various stages of my life were manipulative, lying, back-stabbing witches who seemed to only care about themselves.

I trust my male friends a lot more. I may not like or agree with all of their actions, but I know I can count on them. And, as far as I know, they’ve always been honest with me, even when I didn’t want to hear it. I’ve found that men are more loyal. Women can be a lot more territorial and calculating- switching loyalties depending on what they want at the moment.

JATL

November 16th, 2010
10:13 am

Thank you Kelly! It’s so nice to hear from the actual source!

This is what I think is “new” (as in the last 20-30 years) in female relations is that we are finally, truly reaching a time when men and women (boys and girls) are actually friends -quite often -and there’s not a romantic component to that relationship -ever. There’s not so much a “sisterhood” anymore as in -”We’ve all got to stick together because we’re women and men are dogs.” We’ve found out that while some men ARE dogs -a lot of them aren’t, and on the flip side -a lot of women are ALSO dogs -of the female variety. I think this has always been true though. Throughout time and literature we see examples over and over of the spiteful woman, gossiping women, clique-ish groups of “mean” women or girls who make others lives miserable -this isn’t a new trend. Maybe the problem these days is that there are too many of these types of girls/women?

If you want to raise a “nice” girl OR boy who will become a good, generous and kind person, then you should start at the very beginning by thinking about how YOU model relationships with your friends and others (women particularly if you have girls -men if you have boys). Do you act really nice to their faces and then speak horribly of them when they go home -in front of your children? If so, your kids will learn that this is just fine. It’s human nature to do this type of thing sometime, but being a gossip or two-faced is modeled behavior. Do you make plans and ALWAYS cancel at the last minute due to your whims and not something serious -therefore communicating that your time is more important than that of anyone else? Are you ever out and out rude to other people in person or on the phone in front of your kids? Do you give generously, hold doors open, compliment other people -women or men, make an effort to speak, make eye contact or wave to folks when you pass them or if they do that -you don’t ignore them, do you guard against making judgments about people who you may perceive to be of a lower class than you in front of your kids? All of these are lessons your children take to heart. I know when I was growing up, my mother would comment now and then on how certain women or girls were really b!t**y -just like their mothers! Or, I would comment about a “mean girl” and my mom would say, “Well, she’s just like her mother.”

There’s an entire culture and class of women out there (and race and ethnicity are no barrier) who are raising daughters (and often they’re the same ones who really get upset if they don’t have girls), who think it’s all about the type of clothes, jewelry and material goods you have; who flat out tell their girls they should only go after guys who are rich or can give them something material they want; who don’t care a bit for education or intellectual pursuits or urge their daughters in that direction because tans, hair, nails and working out are more “worthy” pursuits. They gossip, lie, fight with their “friends” and say ugly things about other women all the time -”She’s gross because she’s fat; OMG -I don’t think she’s bought new shoes in years; Yeah, I guess you could invite HER if you want to look like a geek,” it goes on and on. These are the women you run across and are amazed that they never progressed past high school. Men have a whole class of these bozos too.

This isn’t new -and if you don’t want a girl or boy who acts nasty, then don’t be nasty yourself. Yes, I’ve been treated terribly by other women as have every other woman I know. I’ve also run across some real, grade-A, a$$h*le men out there -hasn’t everyone? I’m really fortunate that I have a very close-knit group of girlfriends, and we’ve been close friends for years -15 + in most cases. I don’t think women on the whole hate each other, but we are tough on each other -as it always is in similar groups. Familiarity breeds contempt and women are quick to dress down other women simply because they are familiar with being a woman and don’t understand how some of these females could do the things they do or think the things they think. There’s nothing new about that though!

JATL

November 16th, 2010
10:17 am

@TWG -please dig out my lengthy essay of the day! Not sure why it’s not posting, but when I try to re-post it, I get the WordPress error that I’ve already “said that.”

Mrs. G

November 16th, 2010
10:19 am

I’m back… Another thing that I notice with women is that, with a lot of those that I encounter (at work, through friends), they don’t seem to want to make any more friends. A lot of these ladies built their social circle years ago and don’t want to welcome anyone new.

Young@heart

November 16th, 2010
10:22 am

From a young age of 11, I learned never to trust other girls and as I grew up I still can’t trust other women…I hate the Mean girls and they exist from 5 to 95! I try really hard to always think of others and how they would feel, I get along better with men than women.

44 y/o mom

November 16th, 2010
10:22 am

45 y/o I agree with you. I think we are still trying to find our way. It’s like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, “Put em up, Put em up!” women today are ready to fight for freedom. I think that gaining our strength, dignity and equality has brought out the lion in us. We have fought for those we love for so long that we recently have learned we have the right to fight for ourselves too. We just have to learn to do it without hardness of heart. We still have a lot to learn about counting each other as friends rather than enemies. Men can say they are not like us but men also tend to keep friendships more “on the surface.” It is born in a woman to dive in and invest her heart. Therefore she gets burned. Non the less, we keep trying. We get some bad with the good. It is worth the struggle.

SJ

November 16th, 2010
10:31 am

Have I been treated poorly by female “friends” in the past? Sure I have. I’ve also been treated poorly by various males. However, I’ve also had the good fortune to have female friends to talk to and to help me through difficult times. It is mostly my female friends who help me when I have a family problem, or when I need for someone to meet my child at the bus stop because she forgot she was being picked up that day, or who brought food or clothes when a tragedy struck.

I’m very disappointed at the negativity and ill will directed toward women on this blog today. It seems that there are some men (and women) who can’t face their own inadequacies and want to blame others for their problems. Women are not perfect, but we can’t all be lumped together in one group, nor are we in any way “less” than the men who are also part of our lives.

JATL

November 16th, 2010
10:31 am

@Photius -seriously? Sounds like you’re around the wrong women! I hold so many secrets -some of them that I’ve held for years -and I never betray a confidence. I don’t know what it is about me, but people seem to want to tell me their deepest, darkest secrets -even rank strangers! I could cause some serious mayhem if I started blabbing what I know about a number of people, but I would never do that. Why? Because my mother was the same way, and she AND my father always told me to never betray a confidence and they practiced what they preached!

Sorry you made the choice to be around the wrong type of women -although there are a number of “types” of men who aren’t acceptable to really good women -(you know, the kind who keep secrets and don’t harbor spitefulness). Perhaps, due to your obviously sexist generalizations of ALL women, you’re one of those types that just doesn’t measure up to the really good stuff.

SJ

November 16th, 2010
10:37 am

@JATL – THANK YOU!!!

44 y/o mom

November 16th, 2010
10:44 am

It’s funny how woman can fight against each other but when there is a man involved we all tend to pull together to beat him up. LOL sorry random comment, just noticing the notes.

44 y/o mom

November 16th, 2010
10:48 am

I came on here to research for a term paper on female relationships. It has been helpful. If any one here knows of any good sites for researching this please send them to me. I need to locate one sided friendships, the whole one gives while the other takes thing and healthy supportive friendships. Thanks you

Macy

November 16th, 2010
10:51 am

I think techology is also making us meaner and unsociable. When composing emails, posting on facebook or even the occasional blog – I find myself constantly editing what I say before I hit submit so I “don’t offend”. Others however just let whatever just flies off their minds without a care in the world.

The women I have problems with are the ones that are so wrapped up in their kids lives that they look down on other kids. There is a fine line betweeen being proud of your kids to bragging about them to the point one is obsessed with it. I have an acquaintence that pushes her kids successes on others to gain acceptance in a community that she doesn’t really fit into.

Women in general are very insecure.

FCM

November 16th, 2010
10:53 am

We have said that there is nothing meaner than a Middle School girl….do you think that one day they just “change”?…..Biologicially speaking women are predisposed to fight for the best available male to procreate with….they are not supposed to like each other.

Now granted, humans have civilized themselves. Still the basic animal instinct is still there. So no it would not surprise me to find that woman would actually hate each other….Nor does it surprise me that we can surpress that and move forward as a species to be around each other and behave.

Macy

November 16th, 2010
10:57 am

LOL 44 y/o mom Photius is giving us a glimmer of hope. But it does appear to be true, when a man says what he truly feel, he gets bashed and women unite. No wonder men are often quiet and avoid conflicts. I agree with women’s liberation being a bittersweet momoent in our history (herstory) :)

Have a good day ALL!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 16th, 2010
11:05 am

JATL — You’re the new spam target — it used to Motherjane everyday but now it’s you — very odd —
This article reminded me of a friend who works for a large international company. The top four company officers are women and they are just vicious to each other. My friend is amazed at how crappy they treat each other every day!!! How much they try to undercut each other. How much they are willing to screw each other over. And their employees!! In the friend’s local branch all the drama is also caused by women — There are three in particular who just can’t get along. All with power and all making each other and other employee’s lives miserable. My friend just tries to stay away.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 16th, 2010
11:12 am

I am so excited: Prince William and Kate Middleton are finally engaged!! I remember waking up in the middle of the night to watch Diana and Charles marry!

http://www.accessatlanta.com/celebrities-tv/prince-william-gives-uk-743048.html

Michelle

November 16th, 2010
11:12 am

I agree with several of the posters who have mentioned being insecure! Many things are said and acted upon out of insecurity and the fear of “not fitting in.” I wonder, if parents spent more time with children loving and nurturing them, teaching them how to be “their” best, would a lot of these problems be as they are now?

If kids felt secure at home, wouldn’t that be evident out in life as well?

Becky

November 16th, 2010
11:12 am

@Macy..Your 10:51 posts really hit the nail on the head..I have that coworker..Anything that her children do is sooo much better than anything that your child has ever done, has ever thought about doing, or will ever think about doing…Then she wonders why I tend to tune her out at times…

Off topic, but wanted to know how others feel..At what age do you stop talking to your children in “baby” talk? This same coworker talks to her Mom, 21 y.o. daughter and 20 y.o. son in baby talk every day..I never spoke to my two in baby talk after they hit about 6-8 months, so??

SJ

November 16th, 2010
11:14 am

I’m not sure that I agree that there is nothing meaner than a middle school girl. Has no one on this blog been bullied by a mean boy? I have, and it was no picnic. Has no one ever seen weaker boys taunted and tormented by their stronger peers? How often do we read about girls kicking and stomping someone else to death at a party? How is that less mean? Or is it just that we expect it from the boys, while girls are supposed to play nice?

I’m also surprised at women who are nostalgic for the “good old days.” Really? I personally enjoy being able to choose a profession that women were once prohibited from joining. I enjoy being able to vote, to drive, to make decisions without my husband’s permission and to protect myself from an abusive spouse (fortunately not something I’ve had to do). Yes, that makes me responsible for those decisions, but I’m willing to accept the consequences of my bad decisions. I can understand how some men might regret not having all the power anymore, but I can’t understand why a woman would want to go back.

Men are “often quiet and avoid conflicts?” Having studied war and the resulting carnage, I have to disagree with that.

RJ

November 16th, 2010
11:21 am

@me, please re-read my comment. I didnt’ say I didn’t vote for Obama, MJG did! I was responding to her post! I agree with you 100%.

Kate

November 16th, 2010
11:23 am

Since I had been working at the same company for a couple of years when we graduated, I shared one observation with my husband (then boyfriend) about office politics when he got his first “real” job after college: Anytime there’s trouble in an office, you can almost always trace it back to a woman. He didn’t believe me until his first female boss “threw him under the bus” during an office budget crises (of her making.)

JATL

November 16th, 2010
11:30 am

@TWG -it’s probably because the last several days I’ve had truly epic-length posts, much like MJGs have often been! Don’t know -but I would like for it to be dug out!

JATL

November 16th, 2010
11:31 am

@TWG -oh -didn’t scroll high enough! Thanks!

Young@heart

November 16th, 2010
11:35 am

Dang I some of you are right….Can’t trust men either….sheesh

Spacey

November 16th, 2010
11:52 am

I’m just amazed at the comments I’ve read today. Just sitting here with my mouth open…
Anyone can be mean. I don’t think that women are more prone to meaness than men.
A few posts had me really floored this morning.
@Catfight, how are women that employee others, pay their bills, raise their children a drain on society?
@Mrsunderstood, what I would like to say would only enforce your negative view of women. I hope you find someone to talk to about it.
@Kate, My entire management team (except for one) are women and I love it. Great job, everyone is understanding and they work hard.
@SJ and JATL – Thank you! The hate directed toward women in general on this blog today was sad.

I agree with those that said meaness is probably caused by insecurity.

catlady

November 16th, 2010
12:10 pm

I have thought about this a lot. As a professional woman, I have seen a lot of women who don’t seem to want to “pull a sister up”. It is as though they believe there is a very finite amount of space at the top, and as a female they are not going to do anything to promote another one up with them. (NOT saying they should just because they are women, but when you see then actively sabotaging other women…)

We also have a lot of women with too much time on their hands, so they turn to idle gossip and backstabbing. My perception is men don’t tend to do that as much.

As to the tone on this blog, I don’t have the same impression of the negativity some of you say you have felt. There are some folks who are routinely abrasive, but few who seem nasty to me. Maybe my skin is too thick? (I know I lost my temper the other day on here and called someone an idiot–which I don’t think I have ever done– and I am sorry I did, but they WERE saying purely idiotic stuff) I don’t think as women we have to make nice-nice and be all sweetness and light every moment. I think on this blog we can recount our experiences or insights or observations, even when they don’t agree with others. If you expect everyone to agree with you all the time, you need to stay home with your mama.

And regarding patterning yourself after your mama, I see that too, but hopefully most of us are enlightened enough to declare that we WON’t be like our moms when they were doing the “wrong thing,” while embracing the healthy things they did.