I have very wonderful female friends. They are amazing people and I am so grateful to know them and to be able to have them in my life. I love them all very much but...I don't like most women. It's hard for me to admit this because, despite my great affection for humanity in general, I know I carry this horrible character flaw.
Someone very close to me once called me a "freak of nature" - and I think sometimes he might be right. Put me in a group of women and in a few short minutes I'm looking for an exit. (or barring that, large amounts of alcohol) I've wished for that phone call - the one where my mother needs to be taken to the doctor, or my husband has a flat tire and needs to be rescued on a roadside somewhere, or hell, even the one where the library is in the middle of an enormous Dewey decimal emergency - hoping for anything, anything, to save me from having conversations about People magazine, potty training, that fabulous dip recipe, television shows I've never seen, the newest Jodi Picoult novel, and the latest workplace gossip. I have even considered licking doorknobs in the height of flu season just so I'd have a real excuse to skip a bridal shower.
Now, I admit, most of this is probably due to my impatience, snobbishness, lack of empathy, selfishness, whatever - but it's also because I know how a lot of these gatherings end...
Women bitch about everything: their families, their jobs, their kids, their husbands - and they especially love to bitch about other women. The undercurrents of meanness - both spoken and unspoken - in many of these conversations would probably astonish the uninitiated but I, like most other women, have been witness to it my entire life.
Well behaved women, it's said, seldom make history...but women who aren't well behaved seldom make friends. There is sometimes an element of fear and mistrust when women interact with each other, and rightly so. We learn early that if you dare be yourself, your life will soon become fodder for the gossip mill. (trust me, there are few things in this world more vicious than a middle school girl) Women, long been thought to be the ones best at communicating and conveying emotions, fail miserably when they have to deal with anger and jealousy - and frequently turn to cattiness to compensate.
The entire world recently got a glimpse of this dirty little secret, this long running psychological war. Professional, educated female writers were so rattled by the GOP's vice presidential nomination of Sarah Palin that their illusion of a great supportive sisterhood slipped away, leaving only the ugly truth - "real" feminists have to be exactly the same. Fall out of line by unapologetically believing something different than the rest of them and suddenly you're not even a real woman. And so, with carefully crafted "grrlpower" façades completely shattered and their true selves fully exposed, these women reduced themselves to nothing more than spiteful, malicious little girls in the the locker room, spreading lies about a rival.
"She's such a bimbo!" one crows. Another giggles and adds, "...oh my Gawd - and what's with her shoes?" Laughter ensues and someone else says, "Puh-lease...have you seen her hair?" At this, there is much disgusted eye-rolling. "And, did you know? She hunts- with guns. Eeeew, like how totally redneck!" Another nods in agreement, saying, "Yeah...and she's not really that smart, you know."
We all know that women like this are secretly miserable, insecure creatures at their core, seething with adolescent hatred and envy. I suppose I should pity them, but I can't. They're worse than a nest of vipers. My only hope is that they'll soon be poisoned by their own venom...and oh, and how it will sting.