Girl Hate. It’s a thing.
I’m all for playful competition. Playful competition, IMO, has a basic element of respect, and that’s partially because it’s in some way – explicitly or implicitly – consensual.
There are a bevy of other terms that apply in the case of Girl Hate; negging, slut shaming, humiliation, dissing, posturing, one-upping. And yes, cattiness.
Most of these terms (or actions) may apply in the case of any kind of meanness, but in the culture of women it’s something we aren’t “supposed” to acknowledge because we aren’t “supposed” to be in competition, whereas competition between men is totally on the table.
Most of us women have felt the sting, or outright emotional evisceration, that Girl Hate serves up. The shame. The broken trust. The sense of needing to watch one’s back. The desire to retreat in an effort to end the cycle. Or, conversely, the desire to launch a counter-attack in an effort to defame the girl who is defaming you. Territorial prowling. The subtle art of social girl-on-girl domination.
As Laci Green says in the clip attached here, “It’s not as sexy as it sounds.”
If we can’t address it, we can’t heal it. Naming it is the first step to making the space for meaningful cultural exchange.
My Embracing the Red Queen: Women, Competition, Cooperation, and Co-Creation retreat for women, Sept. 20 – 22, at Isis Oasis, will address this complex issue head-on. We will claim our full voices, and dive deep into the process of healing the fractures.
(Big shout out to my crew; Durga Fuller, Jenya Turner Beachy, Jonna Weidaw, and Freyja Scott.)