Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Growing up, I wasn't socialized as a girl. Despite my yearning and inclination, that opportunity was closed off to me. Being excluded from it always made me wonder how women communicate and relate to each other.
On Sunday, I read this quotation in The New York Times. Tell me what you think of it:
"It's no secret that female friendships are born through the sharing of personal information and feelings. Intimacy is our currency. But...this also makes us frightfully adept at hurting one another.... [G]irls are dangerous creatures, and we dismiss them at our peril."
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hmm, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I agree with the first part about intimacy, but I don't like the idea that girls are dangerous creatures. I feel like that feeds into a dangerous stereotype.ReplyDelete
Absolutely true. I think that girls CAN be dangerous, in terms of emotional damage. I think middle school is the cruelest time of life and it behooves me that anyone, boy or girl, can make it through that unscathed. I think boys can be hurtful to one another, I just think girls get better at it. Secrets and gossip are a strong thing in US culture.ReplyDelete
I've probably rec'd it before, but Men and Women Talking Together by Robert Bly and Deborah Tannen is one of the most entertaining videos I've watched. I haven't read the book, but I definitely rec the video.
Also I'll comment on an Ally blog post. Busted up wrist or not. ^_~
You're a champ!Delete
As mother to daughters, I was going to say what Megan Mae said more bluntly, i.e. middle school girls are MEAN!Delete
So true. Maybe thats just my experience, but its like any relationship...you just have to be careful before you share too much.ReplyDelete
I agree with Maria and Kallie both!!!ReplyDelete
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I do believe that female relationships are built upon feelings and intimacy. We're talkers, we're feelers. But as far as women being dangerous, I really think it depends on the individual. But like Megan said, secrets and gossip seem to play such a big thing in our culture here in the U.S. Look at shows like Gossip Girl, which young girls are watching and absorbing.ReplyDelete
I think it has changed over time. When I was a teen, I could share intimate things with girlfriends without retaliation. However, by the time my daughters were teens, it seemed very, very different. Their teen years had much more "drama" than I remembered from mine. I read many books on the subject trying to figure out what could have changed so drastically from one generation to the next.ReplyDelete
Oooh, I have to agree. The girls I knew while growing up knew just what to say to hurt each other the most. I also had friends who would regularly pressure me into sharing too much personal info, only to throw it back at me when it when it suited them. I spent years avoiding friendships with women and now only have a couple close female friends.ReplyDelete
I don't think this is as much about the girls as it is about the nature of friendship. No friendship can thrive without intimacy, regardless of the participants' gender, and in any friendship we render ourselves vulnerable. What makes this seem particularly female, however, is that girls are socialized to be maintainers of social relations while boys are often socialized to shun touchy-feely stuff, including intimacy. As a result, men sometimes have stunted social lives as adults. I read this study somewhere about how women are more likely to break up a heterosexual relationship because they can get a lot of the social support that a relationship affords them from their circle of friends and relatives instead, whereas men tend to have less support in these areas because they didn't maintain them as much. Massive generalization of course. Also, boys but not girls are socialized to openly express aggression and criticism (whereas girls are supposed to be nice and not complain), which for girls only leaves the indirect, back-stabbing, forms of relational aggression - snide remarks, gossip, social exclusion etc - to express their frustration with someone's behavior.ReplyDelete
I take it as right as well as most girls cruelty. I was really close to girl when I was little (as well as now) due to my passion to everything technical. But I want I really found out from my attempt to have a real-deal friends with girls it turned out very dangerous.ReplyDelete
I think true. Females can be super close, but can also drive each other insane, haha.ReplyDelete
Yep, totally true. Girls can bond like nobody's business, but man you piss someone off, they'll use anything and everything to hurt you back.ReplyDelete
On the flipside, I'm thankful to have many girlfriends and I think we're all fairly mature at this stage in our life that things like that won't happen and I couldn't imagine my life without them!
hmmm.. I agree that sharing details about ourselves and our lives build female friendships. I feel that this can be used in a cruel way at times but that this is not true of all females and female friendships.ReplyDelete
Oh, so true. Of course, this is a highly generalized comments, and not all women are "dangerous," but there is a reason why one of the most famous quotes of all time is "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."ReplyDelete
Honestly? I think you're fairly lucky to have grown up in a male role, then come into the female role later, when your peers are mature. Teenage girls are the absolute WORST beings on earth.
Agree. Like Emma said (above), it is highly generalized, but there is a lot of truth to the statement.ReplyDelete
I don't think all girls are dangerous, but I do think girls have to learn to "read" other girls, and sort out those who will be wonderful friends, from those who look like they'd be great friends on the surface, but really don't like anyone other than themselves - and have perfected being mean in sly, passive-aggressive ways. That's not always easy to do, especially when so many of us simply want to be liked.ReplyDelete
I think every relationship has the potential to turn ugly. But I think the competitiveness most women feel towards each other can make it worse. We don't mean to be but the media is constantly telling us we need to have better shoes, and hair, and clothes, and jobs than all our lady friends. Sometimes there is that urge to take a 'friend' down a notch so we can be the best.ReplyDelete
Unfortunately, this is kinda true! Our ability to be so close to our friends emotionally, gives us a double edge to hurt the ones we love! I guess as women, we easily let our loved ones occupy our heart, thoughts and emotions, and that makes us vulnerable too! So it is from both sides- hurt-er and hurt-ing that we are prone to a messy situation! I hope this makes sense:-)ReplyDelete
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MMMM - Interesting question - Yes I agree that girls "share" feelings a lot more then boys, and our relationships are intimate because of it....As far as being dangerous goes - could be I suppose....I think if you have chosen the right friends, there is little danger and also remember that if they have your secrets - You have their secrets - kind of levels the playing field I guess....Lots of loveReplyDelete
I think this is true maybe gets more intense in the teen years -teen girls can be a nightmare and affect you for the rest of your life. I think in a weird sort of way its a competition and there is constant comparison. Its an odd world that i think you are better off without.ReplyDelete
Yes, true. Women trade secrets. And because of that vast base of knowledge, even if someone doesn't trade their secrets, the signs of particular things are usually obvious. Because women have experience knowing that this behavior usually relates to this type of secret.ReplyDelete
That means that women have insight into their friends that makes it easier to hurt their friends. And insight into other women even if they aren't in on the secret, they can observe the signs and also are more able to hurt.
Yes. We share feelings and intimate details of our lives. But I disagree with the second part. I mean, for me, I don't have friends that fuck with our trust. Not at my age anyway. I'm sure in my twenties it was way different.ReplyDelete
Some, not all women, will sell your secrets down the river just to make themselves feel better. Women generally compete with one another. I don't feel the need to compete or gossip and I've surrounded myself with friends that feel the same. :)ReplyDelete