Oh, you all know at least one. Who knows, maybe you are one. A girl who hates other girls. A girl who says, “All my friends are guys.” A girl who generalizes about other girls, calling them “bitches” and “superficial” and “annoying,” and using all of those things to justify to other people why you don’t have female friends. Here’s a newsflash, cupcake: maybe you don’t have female friends because you’re a jerk and not very pleasant to be around.
There’s nothing wrong with disliking other individuals, regardless of gender. But when you start proclaiming for everyone to hear that you’re just too good to hang around with other people of your gender, you’re saying less about their personality flaws and more about your own. You’re so convinced of your own amazing special snowflake-ness that you’re completely discounting the fact that there may be more women out there just like you. If you don’t like girls who are into fashion and makeup and like to go to the mall, I promise you that you aren’t alone. If you’re annoyed by girls who seem to expend all of their energy on getting guys to like them, there are tons of other girls who also hate that. If you like sports or cars or computer programming or video games, well, these are not the domains of men exclusively. Think about it. You’re a girl. You possess all of these qualities that you value in a human being. Why would you choose to believe that you are the only one out there who possesses those qualities as well as being female? It just doesn’t make statistical sense.
Why the need for an “I hate other girls” proclamation? Is there some underlying desperation for male approval, some need to prove that you’re so different from all the other girls out there, when all that boils down to is that you’re one of those chicks who just wants dudes to like her? And you do it by insulting and generalizing about other women. And here’s the thing, once you do it, you start to make it OK for everyone to do it. So saying, “Girls are bitches” or, “Girls are shallow and catty” just opens up the door for guys to say those things. It’s one of the ways that society at large helps to keep women down: by turning us against one another, even subtly. And I know that girls who hate other girls are the first ones to say, “Oh, I’m not like that. I’m like a guy! I like guy things, and guys are easier to be friends with.” So you probably shouldn’t be surprised that all those women that you’re being a jerk about aren’t banging down your door to be your friend. Because by saying all of that, you’re being shallow and catty. You’re reducing women to stereotypes while somehow frantically begging everyone not to apply that stereotype to you.
Not to mention, female friends can be awesome. You have stuff in common! You can have easy conversations, or crazy adventures, or build stuff together. You can play video games, or go to baseball games, or take apart engines. Whatever it is that you like to do. Why is it that so many girls think that they can only do those things with guys? People deserve better than to be reduced to their gendered stereotypes. I have awesome female friends. I can have heated discussions about TV shows or great novels or how to best insulate a drafty house against winter winds. We quote bad movies and veto outfits and critique each other’s writing. With some friends, I do “girly” stuff like go to the mall or shop for makeup. But that’s not the sum total of our friendships. We are complex, whole people who interact with each other in complicated and interesting ways. If I were to decide one day that I’m too good to have female friends, or that I hate other girls, I’d be denying myself some of the best and strongest relationships in my life. And, frankly, I feel a little sorry for those girls who have decided that they’re just better than the rest of their gender. Because they’re missing out. We’re awesome. You should want to be our friend.
(A slightly more profane version of this post appeared at Nice Girls Don’t Swear.)