Why Women Hate Other Women

March 29, 2007 by Cassandra George Sturges, Psy.D  
Published in Women

Women think of men as being promiscuous, unfaithful, lying, cheating dogs. But what most women need to come to grips with and understand is that research shows that a man is most likely to have a sexual affair with a woman’s best friend, relative or neighbor… a woman whom she trusts, loves and respects.

From the time that little girls are born, society expects them to fit into a certain mold, a particular role and possess certain characteristics. The characteristics that are expected of them are assumed to be natural and inflexible. Little girls are always instructed on how they should look, how they should behave and how they should feel. Little girls should be beautiful, dainty, neat, polite, nurturing and well behaved. When she deviates from the identity given to her by society she becomes disillusioned about her self-worth and role in society. This is the root of self-hatred and low self-esteem for many women.

Women compete with each other at a societal level, the criteria for winning is usually set by others and the results are subjective and intangible. Women are usually judged by characteristics that they have little control over; something that they did not create, and that exist outside of themselves such as their physical appearance. Her success is based on subjective, biased, external validation by others. She can’t see how to beat her rival because her rival is in no more control of the outcome than she is. How can you really be more beautiful than another woman, when the decision is nothing more than someone else’s opinion of beauty?

How can you change someone’s personal preference for a certain body size and shape, a particular eye color or a fondness for blondes? How many people are needed to think that you are beautiful before it is a valid or meaningful judgment? Who do you need to tell you that you are beautiful before you can believe it to be true… construction workers, truck drivers, the man walking down the street, your pastor, the Pope, your boss? Women compete with each other for male attention and compliments as if it feeds their self-worth and self-esteem. Women try to dress sexier and have shapelier bodies than other women.

Women instinctively know that most men have little power when it comes to sexual intercourse in male and female relationships. Women know that if a platonic relationship exists between a male and a female, ninety percent of the time it is a platonic relationship because the woman does not want to have sex with the man instead of visa versa. Most women do not feel that men are psychologically or biologically capable of resisting another woman’s sexual prowess because of their undying love, loyalty and respect for their committed relationship with them. If a man does not engage in a sexual relationship with a woman who is drop dead gorgeous, most women believe that it is because the other woman was in control of the outcome of the type of relationship. Women intuitively know that most heterosexual males find extraordinary beautiful women sexually irresistible and if that extraordinary beautiful woman wanted her man, he would be hers for the taking.

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25 Responses to “Why Women Hate Other Women”
  1. bcw Says:

    some people are skilled and cunning enough to manipulate other people, you know. and some people really truly cannot control themselves. so the tired old line of “the only person you can control is yourself… period” is DEAD WRONG.

  2. Teri Drake Floyd Says:

    I just wrote an article about a similar topic and yours was a link at the bottom. I love this article! So true! And so very tragic.

  3. Lisa Says:

    I am writing a paper for my Pshychology class titled Women Issues in the Workplace: I do not want to see you at the Top!

    This article is fabulous. Thank you for sharing with us.

  4. Bebe Says:

    This is an amazing article. I especially appreciate the line, “Whatever you seek in other people develop in yourself. You don’t need to marry a doctor; become a doctor.”
    I love it!
    Keep up the good work!

  5. Javriel Says:

    there are roles for men and women. get over it. quit focusing on feminist blabber and do something good for humanity as a whole

  6. Nikki Says:

    In response to the comment by Javriel, she is discussing something that needs to be spoken about. It is NOT feminist blabber and this is something good for humanity. Your negativity and your ignorant view of a womans life is only damaging. I am an ugly duckling. When I was young I was treated like crap because I was not cute. I had real friends though. Now I am so called ‘hot’ and have had the worst time making friends. I am sweet, honest and loyal but as women our stability is based on something we cannot control which leads to the megalomania of todays women. We are not valued for what we do. It is oppressive and painful.

  7. jules Says:

    My boyfriend’s boss who used him as a sounding board for all of her woes has been very cruel not only to me but to him as well. This is an older, married woman who resents me as I have taken her “friend” away. She is married but her husband has tuned her out. I am also younger and take care of myself. Another negative. I would hope to inspire other women but it seems it is easier to simply be mean.

    Bottom line is that I have had to smile and take it from her and the other women who she keeps in her office. At times I feel attacked. I never told my bf to discontinue his friendship with her. I understood it. He is good friends with her husband who also works there.

    Unfortunately it is SHE who has destroyed their friendship. There are times when I am upset over it all and it does affect my relationship. It is the only issue we argue about. Of course this woman would be happy to see us break up. I have no one to talk to as it does get annoying I am sure for him to have to hear.

    Grrrrrrrrr! Unnecessary behavior on her part and it only is getting worse.

  8. Stephanie Says:

    Okay, it never occurred to anyone it is the herd mentality. Some people follow along other crowds and cannot take rejection. Take me, I spend a lot of time writing poetry and working on ‘art’ projects or just listening to music on my own. I have never sought out a crowd. The whole need for conformity, cliques, social approval from women, herd mentality and gossipping bypassed me down the highway. I don’t get it at all. I don’t even UNDERSTAND it. I am clueless.

    And so certain women hate me. And many women hate me more now that I am overweight, and ostensibly less of a ‘threat’ to them, than they did when I was thinner, younger and more attractive. Makes me wonder. I’d think if it were about sex with me, they’d have found me more of a threat when I was twenty, a redhead and very thin and attractive. And yet, men often prefer women who are a little heavier and more voluptuous. I really think it’s about stupidity more than anything else.

  9. Steve Says:

    Our mom taught our sisters when were are teenagers, how women operate

    In high school our sisters started to pick up on the feminist-encouraged male bashing, insulting and blaming boyfriends etc

    Our mom would talk to them about it. One day in the living room she explained “love triangles” this way:

    Woman doesn’t appreciate her husband. Woman talks bad about husband to best friend. Best friend always listens and validates.

    But deep down best friend is taking notes. “She’s complaining about that? Wow…what’s the big deal?” Best friend starts to weigh things out..

    “Well I don’t mind most of the things about him that she complains about…but she’s my friend I could never take him from her…even though mmm he smells so good…but well she doesn’t even like him…I mean she always complains about the sex, his socks on the floor, his night with the boys…so if she doesn’t like him…then she must not love him…so really, if I take him from her it’s not really a bad thing…heck I’m even doing her a favor!….and him too!”

    Before you know it hubby, who feels under appreciated and hence low self-esteem….is sneaking around with wifey’s best friend.

    “Happens all the time” our mom used to say. Now at nearly 40 years old, I can say, “Yep…sure does”

    I don’t blame society for women’s choices. Us men also have the same pressures regarding strength and looks and so on. Sometimes women just have to Woman Up and stop blaming society

  10. Fedup Says:

    I am sick of women. Most women take and take but don\’t give anything. They either want to control or they don\’t care about anyone but themselves. I am woman and I feel women need to really sit down and think about some of the ways they look at things. They compete in everything and are so territorial. I find men to be more empathetic than woman and we are the ones who supposedly are more nurturing.

  11. Sick of silliness Says:

    Interesting post! I am a petite, intellegent redhead. At school I dressed like a hobo and pretty much ignored men in order to minimise my threat and I had good female friends. These days, I refuse to sell myself short anymore and it has cost me most of my old friendships, as well as potential new friends.

    I have an awful time with other women – even my oldest female friends hide their husbands and boyfriends away from me.I have never stolen or even flirted with anyone’s boyfriend/husband but men do give me too much attention for most women’s comfort.

    It doesn’t matter how I react to the attention or even if I make a point of rebuffing it – the women will whip their men away and if I am not cut off completely, we will forever continue to meet up as just “the girls”. It makes no difference whether I have a boyfriend or not myself.

    It has come to the point where I am ready to give up trying to have proper friendships with women – they are just too irrational in their competitiveness and insecurities. For me, in most cases, it is nearly impossible to pacify those feelings enough to have a friendship.

  12. djv Says:

    The post just above this one is the most interesting as it suggests women are actively controlling the social interactions of themselves and their boyfriends. What I find just as interesting is that it can also happen to guys. I had a gf that was easily the hotest girl to hit our little city. She had a perfect body and smile. No guy could ever turn her down and I even asked her. Only 1 guy has ever turned her down. So I’m like her first real bf and I didn’t realize that I should have started limiting the interaction my male friends had with my gf. They all started juicing at the mouth when they saw her; asking me where did I find her?…she’s so hot she’s on fire! Once I left her with a supposedly close friend and he said “my last name is Fucard b/c I f**k hard”…She later told me (I found out later he did this with another girl and a guy called him out on it). I was completely burned – I was no longer in Kansas. I have forever kept my hot girlfriends from my guy friends. Not that they are bad, but it’s like not leaving your iPod in your car – you shouldn’t temp people. Maybe the women in the above scenario are not so much worried about you, as they are about their man’s weakness. That’s not your fault. I learned the hard way and my talent’s for picking up beautiful women (inside and out) remain my gift that I will not allow anyone else to take the benefit of. One more thing – I also notice that women really want a guy who has a hot gf, so at the time I’m fending my guy friends off her, I’m also fending off women who were previously only slightly interested. One of them kept waiting to catch a ride home with me and flat out told me she missed f**king me. I was like “wo”… So realize it’s a battle out there for guys with a good-looking gf as well. Every girls wants to be with him and every guys what’s to be him – literally be stealing his girlfriend.

  13. Lo Says:

    Women get on my nerves… I’m tired of their insecurities, and back biting. I’m sick of getting evil glares from every girl I walk past. I’m tired of groups of ugly girls getting together and trying to make me feel like sh*t because I’m not as insecure as they are. And I mean girls that are ugly on the inside. I’m tired of every girl I try to be friends with turning into a major b*tch because she can’t stand when men look at me. It’s not my fault they stand there with their shoulders hunched, playing with the hem of their shirt, looking like a deer in head lights. I’m just getting to the point where I hate other women and I want nothing to do with them. I guess to them some women (me) are just too threatening to be friends with. Which is fine, I don’t need them any way. I use to long for female companionship…. but not any more.

  14. Ruth Says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Sick of Silliness, Stephanie and Lo, we are certainly on the same page.

    Over the years I have become to positively hate women. I have been hounded out of many a job through jealous, insecure, nasty women, these are just not young women either, older ones are just as bad too! I’ve had to tolerate catty comments, silent treatment, stitched up for mistakes that I’ve never made. I used to be confident with a witty personality, but the years of people chipping away at it have made me a shadow of my former self.

    I can no longer can go out for a night out with my boyfriend as the women in his group of friends are viciously b*****y towards me. I’ve come home from a night out in floods of tears as I have had to endure snide comments, yawning in my face, and all because I’m confident in my own skin and like stylish clothing. These girls have got issues with their weight, and therefore take it out on me and hate it if any of the attention is taken away from them.

    I consider myself a down to earth, laid back person who likes to get on with everyone but women just don’t like me.

    If you are the type of woman who is constantly self deprecating and constantly putting yourself down and dressing like a piece of s**t then other women will take to you.

  15. Tresa Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you any more than I already do Ruth. You’ve made some very good points there.

    I’ve struggled to get on with other women; younger and older than myself my entire life…

    “The truly beautiful are often abused for apparent ugliness just as those with great vision often bump into things.” — Simon Minney

  16. Evelyn Says:

    I am a pretty woman who works in an all female office of fuglies-inside & out- when I got lasik 2 years ago, it really went downhill w/ their behaviors. They are all married, I am diVorced & dating…other divorced women exclude me as they view me as competition. I also look very young for my age…The only women who are really decent w/ me are other pretty women & older ladies who are not competative anymore. I’m not stuck up or a bitch, really- it just seems like there is a “pretty prejudice”!!!! I have been @ the receiving end of some real horrific behavior, even @ Church when I took my kids!!! WTF???

  17. Carolyn Says:

    I gave up long ago trying to have female friends….it’s impossible. They just won’t put up with you having ANYTHING they don’t have.
    My only female friend is my sister and that’s fine with me. My best friend of 13 yrs is a guy and he’s been a better friend to me over the yrs than any woman ever has!

    I have my boyfriend, my sister and my best male friend and that’s enough for me.

    Women friends are not worth the constant hassle you’ll have to go through with their insecurities and resentment. Too bad… it makes for a lack of female companionship in our lives but i don’t see things changing anytime soon.

  18. monik Says:

    Well i think hores jux go b hores……n ima real boss bytch…n ima du me so u hores can jux keep hatin….

  19. Stoopid Mammals Says:

    Blame evolution and those who are not evolved enough to overcome their primitive instincts.
    Men and women have always competed for partners with the best genetic material in order to ensure their offspring stand the best chance at survival and passing on it’s own genetic material. Men have always used muscle for physical competition, women used social methods for competition – and they both still do to this day. At least 30 thousand years of this behavior paying off (natural selection) has only reinforced that tendency in humanity. We are genetically inclined towards this behavior even though it has become obsolete and even severely harmful in modern times.

    Seriously people, your ability to use intellect and reason to overcome primitive urges is what separates us from animals.

    As for myself, I have never really felt a need to compete with other women in that way, but I am quite flattered when they feel the need to compete with me – especially when they are younger & cuter than I am ;^)

  20. Tina Says:

    I finally learned: This is not happening to you because there is something horribly wrong with you.

    The comment made by Stoopid Mammals makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, it would take a miracle for the majority of women to stop acting like “stoopid mammals” because their being “stoopid mammals” causes them to be incapable of being anything but what they are. It’s a shame. They are too “stoopid” (emotionally shallow) to see they are robbing themselves as they go about robbing others – why what goes around comes around.

  21. lindsey Says:

    I dont think it is just about competition for men. Women today do appear to be more nasty and bitter towards each other then ever as now its out in the open. Before anyone bashes feminism, it did encourage some sisterhood between women. Im 31 and i can remember a time when women stuck together more then now, it wasnt that long ago. Women dont need to compete for men as much as they think they do as men are less fussy then women. I know this to be the case as im a lesbian(yes!) who wears really short hair, unisex style clothes no make up etc and ive still met men who i know were interested in me. That means the average feminine woman is not going to have much difficulty getting a man. Infact all the bitching to other women puts men off them as they all have female friends sisters and mothers.

    Women compete for resources, in the past the only way to get resources was through a man, most people married for life. So there was only a short time in her life when she needed to compete with other women. Today women are getting a taste of what the wider world is like and how cut throat it is. I think this is a good thing as im glad the old restrictive gender roles have gone. When feminism was at it hight most women were at the same level, low payed etc, men were the competitors. But today other women are competitors too, so sistership went and women went back to the default.

    Men compete with each other too, but i have to say they are less nasty about it, they give each other more respect and are more likley to be happy at anothers progress. At least thats what i have observed.

    Even when it comes to mating, men dont turn green with envy if his friend gets lucky. Women can hate there best friend if she gets a glance from someone she likes.

    If your born a woman you do not get let off the hook no matter who you are. In a time of greater equality then ever, where women have more options in life then ever, women are now held back by each other.

    Im starting to think that the more that women climb the ladder the worse it will be for women as they kick each other down.

    Even i hate women more then i did 10 years ago. About 10 years ago i was a radical feminist and would have said men were the main problem. But 10 years of life experience (and remember in a lesbian so have no reason to think like this as women are no threat to me) has shown me that feminism has not addressed the whole issue. Its almost like women use there greater freedom to attack each other. This is bad as women are better then men at social aggression. I often ask myself why feminism did not happen sooner, and wonder if its been held back before because women did not want other women having power.

    I think there is a solution to the problem, but its one that society will still not allow room for. I think women need to be socialised out of covert indirect aggression and allowed to fight it out with each other like the boys are. I dont know if women are wired by biology towards indirect aggression or if the indirect aggression is due to women still being held down.

    I know from personal experience that many times ive wanted to hit someone, and have instead let the anger fester in me. But i tend to just feel angry rather then use social aggression. There have been women who i know have been angry with me, and i would have liked to of gone outside and had a big row and then forget about it. Something does stop me from hitting them though, i dont know if its biology or how ive been taught. I just dont like the idea of doing long term damage to someone.

    I blame men for this problem in a way, sorry guys. But heres why, i think its mens fault women are passive aggressive. Because men cannot stand to see women fighting, then would jump in using there greater strength and stop it. And they would always feel sorry for the one that lost rather then thumbs up to the winner. When men fight women carnt stop them, even thought they might not like it. And when men win a fight he gets a pat on the back, for some reason people are less bothered about the man who is down. If a man is there with his nose bust people look on, as he is a man and can take it. If you hurt another woman in a fight you become the loser even if you win.

    This problem starts from an early age, and to get around it girls learn to make there aggression undetectable. Men often cannot pick up on the subtile passive aggression between women.

    Radical feminists in the past have said that all women have lesbian thoughts, i thought this too when i was young. But i can say now that it is just not true. All women can see if another womans attractive, nature gave them this so they can see who is a threat. I believe that for most straight women, the mere sight of an attractive woman causes her adrenal glands to kick up her flight or fight response. Lesbians on the other hand make endorphines instead. I cannot prove this, as i say its just my idea.

    Some people say straight men are angry at other men due to suppressed gay urges, i think this too is wrong(again my idea). I think like straight women, men can find there own sex attractive. But the attraction wires into there flight and fight response to produce anger at the male competitor. Many men may live life really angry due to this as they think there gay. Real gay men know there gay and have no anger towards men and often complain about the aggression of straight men. And they can do this. If your a lesbian your expected to be a feminist and your expected to never talk bad about women.

    Women may be the same as men after all, but not in the way feminist of the past hoped.

    So the solution to the problem is, except it. Just because your a woman and she is a woman it does not mean she is on your side. There can not ever be a sisterhood of woman that would work. Just like there has never been world wide unity between men. Its a sad shame. The only way it could work is to make everyone bisexual. And even out all wealth.

    If your a lesbian then you have a big problem on your hands. Thats because your wired to see the people as attractivewho are by nature programmed to hate. I know that the more i keep in shape, the more i achieve in life, the better i dress etc the more i become a threat to the ones i would want to impress. If your a straight woman then play it to your advantage as you do not need the approval of other women.

    Men often show off to impress women and to get one up on other men. Well when i was a young woman i did the same thing, i showed off to impress women. I started going to the gym as i wanted to keep fit, i still do keep fit. I thought that when i got a fitter more toned body that women gay or straight would be a little bit attracted to me. I did get more attention from women, and at first i got a big ego boost thinking it was working. I was young and stupid, and when i matured i realised all the looks were of envy and that women were bitching and putting me down in other ways. My own wishfull thinking stopped me seeing what was really there. I think thats why most lesbians end up with a range of emotional issues.

    When you take measures to make other women less threatened by you, they then think there better then you and act all smug around you. Its a no win situation.

    I often wonder what straight women must feel like, i wonder if they would want to be the last woman on earth, or be the only woman on earth with any power.

    I would like a world where women were straight up and to the point, not passive aggressive. One where women gave each other emotional space, respected the different choices women made. I dont care if another woman wants to live in dresses, stay at home, have six kids or if she becomes a doctor. Just as long as she leaves me to live my way. I also would like a world where men left women to be as much like them or as less like them as they are.

    A world where i can live as a person who is female rather then as a woman.

  22. lindsey Says:

    I dont think it is just about competition for men. Women today do appear to be more nasty and bitter towards each other then ever as now its out in the open. Before anyone bashes feminism, it did encourage some sisterhood between women. Im 31 and i can remember a time when women stuck together more then now, it wasnt that long ago. Women dont need to compete for men as much as they think they do as men are less fussy then women. I know this to be the case as im a lesbian(yes!) who wears really short hair, unisex style clothes no make up etc and ive still met men who i know were interested in me. That means the average feminine woman is not going to have much difficulty getting a man. Infact all the bitching to other women puts men off them as they all have female friends sisters and mothers.

    Women compete for resources, in the past the only way to get resources was through a man, most people married for life. So there was only a short time in her life when she needed to compete with other women. Today women are getting a taste of what the wider world is like and how cut throat it is. I think this is a good thing as im glad the old restrictive gender roles have gone. When feminism was at it hight most women were at the same level, low payed etc, men were the competitors. But today other women are competitors too, so sistership went and women went back to the default.

  23. dani cali Says:

    I’m 45 and I’ve been badly treated by women from the time I was a little girl. Started with my older sisters, who resented the fact I was cuter than they were, and continued on throughout school, girls were horrid to me, then at some jobs the same s**t off women, and now, the school run with the other mums who don’t speak to me but give me looks

    I am a nice person, and I have had it up to here with other women. I’ve given up trying to be friends with them, they are dysfunctional, vile b*tches, two faced, begrudging, neurotically insecure, and the rest. Men are FAR easier to get on with.

    I really think, and I’m female saying this, I really think women are evil, not all, but too many. they cannot resist a cutting remark any chance they get, but always too cowardly to say anything outright or in your face. this cowardice just makes me hate them more

    I’ve been repeatedly ostracised by other women just for being perceived as, well, more of a tomboy – cos I refuse to be like them, they hate me for it. ostracising someone for no good reason is cruel. and women do this all the time and its always some petty, stupid reason, or no reason at all

    I’ve learned to accept the fact that I wont have any female friends, though I think it’s a shame – if these women bothered to get to know me, they’d actually find that I wasn’t all that different, that i was a nice person – but they arent bothered. they just want to hate.

    and they wonder why they are hated so much by society?

    leave them to it, saddos

  24. stop the gender myths Says:

    I read and appreciated lindsey’s comment above, and I think she makes a lot of valid points.

    I too have been judged, held back, and hated on by other women all my life – beginning with my mother who was competitive with my sister and I to the point that she drove my sister to almost kill herself with an eating disorder. She simply didn’t see us as family, but as competition b/c she thought we made her look old and irrelevant because we were younger (literally 12 and 16 years old) and therefore more attractive to men.

    I think this is a dirty little secret in our society – many mothers treat their daughters like crap and will sabotage their success just because they are jealous of being seen as a “mom” instead of being the one being sought after. Instead we have “mom = ever-loving martyr” myths that keep mothers in society from taking responsibility for their competitive behavior with their daughters.

    My mom used social aggression hard with both of us and was quick to drag others into conversations about what bad daughters we were. Alternately, she would smile around company and say how wonderful we were and then physically abuse us (slapping, digging fingernails into our arms, verbal abuse) when no one was around. For instance she called us both sluts and forced us to take birth control pills even though we were just middle school kids who had no idea what sex even was (talk about competitive projection – whew!).

    It’s time society stops perpetuating myths about “mothers can do no wrong and are always loving and have others best interest at heart” and starts making them responsible for their divisive and covert abusive behavior instead of sweeping it under the rug by pretending that mothers are always “doing their best”.

    It is this obsessive need to hold up the myth of “motherhood=sainthood” that often drives the idea that women should NEVER be direct or confrontational. Mothers discourage daughters from speaking up because motherhood is the only power they have and they enjoy keeping their children down because what would they be without their children? Nothing – they can’t really compete in the sexual marketplace anymore so they pretend to be saints and spend their time denigrating their female children (or living vicariously through them) and hating on younger or more attractive women.

    As a society we need to stop turning a blind eye to women’s bad covert aggressive behavior and instead teach women how to confront people directly and with respect rather than encouraging them to act two faced and use social aggression so they could maintain the outward appearance of the “nice girl” or “martyr mom”.

  25. Lexi Says:

    I know very very few exceedingly attractive women that aren’t sluts. Actually one or my closest friends was and still is the most sought after girl in my school. She craves male attention. In middle school everyone loved her. Once she noticed how much guys liked her, she changed. She flirts with everyone and does anything for a guy to look at her. Hell, I can’t blame her Id probably do it too. Every girl at school hates her. I feel like half your stories are bullshit. All I hear is I’m attractive so feel bad for me. My life is so hard. Grow up. You’re not getting pushed away for your looks it’s probably your self absorbed attitude. Last week I asked that girl was shows she watched to get her into the conversation. She works with me now and I was trying to be nice. Her reply “I don’t watch tv. It’s a waste of time when you could be working out.” What can I say? Us average girls can’t relate to you. We have insecurities and our lives don’t revolve around our looks. THATS why we don’t talk to you. We can’t relate to you and you’re almost ninety percent of the time you dress like sluts and wear tons of makeup. I don’t tan and I don’t wear make up. I’m not a size zero and i’m not 5′0. But I’m intelligent witty and funny. I don’t feel bad for you. Cover up and stop spending so much time on your looks. I’ll spend my time making something of myself. Open your eyes. Half of you are middle aged and still bitching about your lives. Poor me. Boo fucking hoo. I’m seventeen and more mature than you.

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