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He said, She said

Are women the queens of cattiness?

He said

Shannon, what makes every good soap opera so juicy? What makes people tune into these ridiculous reality shows?

Dare I say, the female scoundrel. The Joan Collins character on Dynasty. Heather Locklear on Melrose Place. Heidi Montag on The Hills. You know, a woman who appears to take real pleasure in the anguish of others.

But, I believe these women exist in real life, all around us, which makes me ask: Do women genuinely want to see their girlfriends happy?

Seems to me there's often a "misery loves company" mentality among women, whereas if one isn't happy, she becomes the mole who indirectly invades the happiness of her friends.

Anyone involved in a circle of friends realizes we all go in and out of relationships. And the hierarchy and cohesiveness of the group fluctuates based on this ebb and flow.

But why, when one member appears to find a man — some sort of peace and happiness — another very cleverly seems intent on sabotaging that relationship?

I'm not so sure I can find an example like that in men.

I mean, if one of my male friends finds love and disappears off the singles scene, we may jibe him a bit and call him "whipped," but that's about as far as men take it. We don't go around stirring the rumor mill about his newfound lady or guilt him out of the group.

I've discussed this with the fellas and we agree, it seems as if the unhappiest day of a woman's life is when her girlfriend finds a man whom she really likes.

Your thoughts?

She said

Dave, you might just have a point about catty chicks, though I would argue men also are capable of trying to undermine each other.

They just do it in different ways — she leans more toward the blatant; he leans to the passive-aggressive.

Both methods are hurtful and wrong, though probably human nature.

So in the name of anthropology, let me offer my theories to explain the phenomenon.

First off, I have long said that a woman's tendency toward cattiness and jealousy is greater than a man's. I base that on experience and lots of observation.

Growing up, I can't even count how many slumber parties ended in at least two girls arguing or starting troublesome whispers about another.

I also think women tend to get into a relationship and very quickly start pondering the "long term" and the "serious."

A lot of men don't move so quickly and tend to be more casual.

So when a woman sees her girlfriend in a relationship, she assumes — based on her experience — that the girlfriend is already thinking about the long-term, which might mean less time for Sex and the City lunches with girlfriends.

So maybe cattiness is her defense mechanism.

Not cool, I know.

I guess that means we women aren't perfect after all, huh?

Imagine that!

Are women the queens of cattiness? 07/09/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 3:20pm]

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