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Generation XX

Girl Haters, I Am On To You

If you are a woman, and you have no female friends, it is not logical to assume that the reason for this is that there is something wrong with every other woman on the planet. Most women are able to maintain friendships with other women, so it may just be eminently more likely that, if you are a woman, and you have no female friends, there is something wrong with you.

When I hear a woman say, “I can’t be friends with women because they’re jealous of me,” a single thought pops into my mind, and that thought is: NO.

This premise is illogical.

Unless the woman making this claim is the single most beautiful, bright, talented, witty, wealthy, sexy, all around outstanding woman on the earth, this can’t be the case. Because plenty of women who fall into the aforementioned categories have great female friends, jealousy has miraculously managed to not rob these other beautiful, bright, talented, witty, wealthy, sexy, all around outstanding women of same sex friendships. Your awesomeness is not causing a lack of friendship.

On the contrary, awesomeness is a great reason to be friends with someone.

Let’s examine further.

Beauty. Most women I know do not require beauty of their friends, that would be shallow and gross. But they do appreciate it. It’s fun to be complimented by attractive friends, it’s fun to be part of a group that grabs attention, and, for the most part, people like looking at attractive folks. Humility in beautiful people is always especially appealing because you know they could have gone the other way. If someone is consistently praised for her looks yet refuses to be defined by them, you can assume she knows where physical beauty belongs in life’s hierarchy, not at the top. What’s better than a beautiful woman who’s also sweet?

On a physical attractiveness scale of 1 to 10, we could probably agree that a woman achieving 7 status and up is very pretty (no, I absolutely do not go around rating people’s physical attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10, but for this little argument I think it suits my purposes). How many sevens do you know? Probably many. Eights? Probably quite a few of those too. Nines and tens may be a bit rarer, but I bet you know some. Are they all female friendless? Of course not. Beauty does not equal female friendlessness.

Now if that beauty came with a few nasty side effects, on the other hand, like, say, a lack of humility. An unhealthy emphasis on looks. A desire to talk about one’s own appearance a little too much and a little too excitedly. What if that beauty came with the desire to compare other people against the beautiful self with no one else measuring up? And what if this beauty came with a chip? Or worse, entitlement. You might not like that beautiful person, but it danged sure wouldn’t be because of her looks. It’d be her self-centeredness and/or neuroses. Both of which are perfectly valid reasons to not befriend someone, and both perfectly unrelated to jealousy.

Next up, brightness. Can other people’s intelligence be intimidating? It can be for me. But I’d never begrudge a perfectly nice woman her brains, I’d mostly just be impressed by them. I’m especially impressed by really bright people who don’t seem to realize how smart they are. This is all the more impressive since I’m much more likely to meet people who are caught in the Stupid Person’s Paradox than I am to meet brilliant people who don’t seem to notice their own brilliance. Incredibly smart people for whom being arrogant, smug, or pretentious does not occur are wonderful! They can help you figure shit out–like the bill at dinner, or the bicameral system, plate tectonics, how radios work, who wouldn’t want those things in a friend? It’s the side effects of arrogance, smugness, and pretentiousness that no one seems to like. In sum, smart people have friends, know-it-alls may not.

Talent. Talented people are usually interesting. I like friends who are interesting. This is not scientific, but I bet you do too. I suspect boring is not something people generally go looking for in friendship.

Talent, which is essentially just the capacity for success in some regard, is a very attractive quality in a friend. Friends who are talented singers, for example, will invite you to shows where you will drink, dance, and potentially meet a bassist. Friends who are talented painters will invite you to gallery openings where you will drink, wear your snazzies, and potentially say fun things like post-this-or-that and neo-this-or-that. Friends who are talented business entrepreneurs will invite you to places where you will drink and they will pay. Friends who are talented writers will help you draft Letters to the Editor explaining how you did not appreciated that the Times’ review of the Mad Men season four opener contained excessive spoilers without warning.

Now, if your friend is a talented singer who doesn’t invite you to shows, doesn’t introduce you to the bassist, and insists on singing anything that comes on the radio–from Bon Jovi’s “Shot through the Heart” to Jay-Z’s “Hustler”–in an operatic style, then you might not maintain the friendship, but it will be because this friend sucks, not because you’re jealous of her immense talent. Likewise, if she is talented and desires to talk exclusively about her talent, and has no interest in recognizing anyone else’s talent, then you will also likely not want to be friends for the reason of her sucking.

Wit. Everyone loves wit, period. Funny in a smart way people are excellent to be around, EXCEPT when they don’t let anyone else get a word in, need to attract attention at all times, enjoy all of their own jokes more than anyone else does, are mean spirited, or lack the capacity to be serious. If you are witty but are also an ass, it is the being an ass part that prevents friendship, not the witty part. Your ability to entertain me will not make me jealous of you, it will make me like you and want to have you over to my house to watch and make fun of bad TV.Wealth. Like looks, wealth probably doesn’t much factor into a reason for being friends except for those shallow folk. Your wealth, on its face, is a reason to neither like you nor dislike you. In fact, if you are the good kind of wealthy, which is the kind who doesn’t talk about wealth, I probably won’t even know you’re rich (or at least not know how rich) and won’t be able to be jealous of your schmoolah even if I want to be. If you are wealthy and talk about it a bit, but are generous to charities and such, it shouldn’t hurt my opinion of you one bit. If, on the other hand, you are wealthy and want to fly to Las Vegas on a Thursday and get bottle service at all the hot clubs and get annoyed with me when I say, “welllll, I can’t really afford that right now”¦and also I have to work on Friday”¦and also that sounds d-baggy” then we might have a problem. If you are wealthy and you make fun of my Grocery Outlet Bargain Market obsession, we might also have a problem. If you are wealthy and are a Republican and say shitty things like, “why can’t hobos just pull themselves up by their boot straps” when you inherited your money from your great-great-great-grandfather’s boots (and actually those boots were kind of stolen), then we’ll definitely have a problem. If you are wealthy and you wear Sperry topsiders when you’re not on a boat, then even other Republicans won’t like you. But none of these problems will have stemmed from me being jealous of your cash monies. If anything, you’d be jealous of my moderate income, because mo money, mo problems, everybody knows that. But I’ve never used my totally medium income as an excuse for people not liking me, you shouldn’t use your income as an excuse either.

Sexiness. I am not jealous of your sexy sex appeal. Your sexy sex appeal will not bother me unless I am mid-attempting-to-sex-appeal somebody and you bust in (with your actual boobs) and try to out sexy me. Also, sex appeal is subtle (not to mention sexy). So if you’re the type of gal who fondles her own breasts during polite conversation with people you find attractive or want attention from, I’m backing away because you’re creepy, not because you’re sexy. If you’re the type of gal who frequently self applies the term sexy and talks extensively about having too much attention, I’m likely shying away because you seem desperate or insecure, not because I’m threatened by your intense sex magnetism. If you are my roommate and I come home to find you in the laundry room in your bra and undies folding socks (the pants and shirts are already folded, so you could easily be wearing some) while my boyfriend and his brother sit uncomfortably in the attached living room waiting for me to come home, I will think less of you because of your apparent lack of appropriate boundaries, not because of your jealousy evoking sexiness.

If you are all of these things: beautiful, bright, talented, witty, wealthy, and sexy, and you are also kind, thoughtful, and fun, then I will probably like you. If you are all of these things: beautiful, bright, talented, witty, wealthy, sexy, kind, thoughtful, and fun, and are also not arrogant, smug, superior, selfish, ignorant, showy, greedy, rude, or nuts (in a bad way), then I have no doubt that I will like you. Jealousy couldn’t drag me away!

Women, if you do not have female friends, I can assure you, it is not the result of jealousy. It is the result of a serious personality or character flaw on your part. Women are not hard wired to hate each other, I don’t care what anyone says. Megan Fox, you do not lack female friends because women are jealous of you, January Jones is much more beautiful than you are and women love her, I suspect you lack female friends because you say stupid things like, “women don’t like me because they’re jealous of me.”

Come on, girl haters, go on out there and make a lady friend.

Adorable elderly lady friends photo from iStock

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