Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
In every dysfunctional group of women friends there resides a Queen Bee, some Wannabees, and an Afraid to Bee. Rosalind Wiseman wrote a great book with that title that expounds on how the relationships of women can prove flawed because of our civilization's distaste for overt displays of female aggression. Queen Bees dominate others, Wannabees facilitate a Queen Bee's domination of other women and Afraid to Bees are addicted to the less than noble pursuit of playing the perpetual victim. Translated: Sometimes women are mean to each other when they grow up because as little girls they weren't allowed to whack each other over the head when they had disagreements the way that little boys could.
Therefore, some women tend to express aggression in ways deemed passive aggressive such as, say, I don't know... gossiping. I really don't want to admit this, particularly because more than a few men will be reading this blog, but the majority of women I know fit into one of these three categories. And at one time or another, almost all women I know revert to at least one of these categories, if only due to a temporary lapse of their sanity. Don't get me wrong, though, I still prefer to be friends with women and hold a fundamental distrust of women who say that they only have male friends. Still, I recognize that the waters of womanhood are often complicated most by, well, other women.
As a recovering Queen Bee, I still find myself lapsing into that behavior on occasion. I'm not afraid to admit that every now and then I might hear myself speaking a little louder, or flicking my hair just a little bit more than usual when confronted by another woman I might perceive as being intellectually or physically superior to me.
Of course, since I'm in recovery, I thankfully do not lapse into my high school behavior of methodically tearing this other woman down behind her back while all the while smiling sweetly and reassuring her of my everlasting friendship. Well, unless she really gets on my nerves, then recovery be damned.
Many women mistakenly think that they are one of the few women who are "direct," and don't participate in the drama of women's social politics. Methinks they doth protest too much. Any woman who has ever gratuitously bitched about her mother-in-law is a participant in this drama. Any woman who has ever maliciously and unfairly judged another woman's parenting skills is a participant in this drama. Any woman who has ever told or laughed at a blonde joke is a participant in this drama. Any woman who has ever made mean comments about another woman's appearance, clothes, or weight, and that includes Britney Spears, Angelina Jolie or (gasp) Oprah Winfrey, is a participant in this drama.
The truth is that aggression and frustration must manifest. If a person is not emotionally developed enough to express aggression or rage directly and maturely, they will do so in less positive and high school prom queen-ish ways. (Oh, if you're a prom queen, I'm not talking about you, I meant that other prom queen.)
And the problem, dear prom queens, is that this kind of behavior is just mean. This behavior robs women of the feeling that every woman, no, every person, has a right to feel, at least around their friends. It robs us of feeling safe. In robbing us of our safety, the remnants of the dirty political games of female adolescence can ultimately rob grown women of the fundamental right to be ourselves around others.
Historically, in almost every culture, a woman's quest to be authentic, original and true to herself has been extremely arduous, if not impossible in some cases. Women owe it to one another to be kinder to each other, to support one another, to encourage the journey towards the discovery of who we really are. In order to do that, though, we have to stop being mean girls and start acting like real women.
All that said, you better not talk about me when you log off, or else.
Labels: Undercover Feminist