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Friday, May 17, 2013

My Least Favorite Piece of Misogyny This Week: Girl Friendship Edition

Posted by Barbara Holm on Fri, May 17, 2013 at 1:59 PM


Recently I made a new friend (not out of playdoh!) and I was telling a straight male comedian about her and he said, "That's weird. I didn't think girls liked being friends with girls prettier than them."

So hilarious, right? I think the assumption that I'm a bad friend offended me so much that I didn't even hear the part where I was called unattractive. My least favorite piece of misogyny this week is the stereotype that women can't be friends with other women.

I've heard a lot of men make jokes about it. It's weird that this idea exists; it's so sexist to insinuate that simply because of our gender we're incapable of doing something. (Unless your gender is male and that something is childbirth, having a period, or riding a griffin—then suck it, dorks!) Additionally, it's so demeaning to suggest that we're incapable of something as intrinsically important to the human condition as friendship. It's like saying, "Hey, because of your chromosomes you're incapable of genuine sexless love!"

Women definitely can be friends with other women. I'm friends with some women; I'm not friends with all women, because I'm not friends with all HUMANS. That is just one difference between humans and puppies. I don't feel like I'm in competition with women for straight male attention. Can I be in competition for quiet Netflix and pizza attention? Then everyone's a winner! Except the pizza, RIP: rest in pizza.

Whenever I hear a girl say, "I just don't have any girlfriends. I get along better with guys," I'm like "stay the hell away from her because underneath her skin face is an evil demon that'll suck out your soul." Be friends with other girls. It's fun, like a trampoline for your heart.

The idea that women can't befriend other women is a notion concocted by straight men in a lab of dark sciences. It's an implement to keep us apart, to keep us from uniting and combining our powers to overthrow them (or in other words, to collaborate and make art that may puncture the glass ceiling). Molly Lambert wrote an amazing article titled In Which We Teach You How To Be A Woman In Any Boys' Club, where she asks, "Why do dudes think you're in competition with the other girls? Because if you're in competition with the men, you might be better than they are."

Recently I was out at a comedy club and I heard a male comic call women "catty." That adjective gets under my skin. Mrs. Merriam Webster defines it as "biting sharpness of feeling or expression," but it just seems like such a gendered insult. How come whenever men call each other horrible names or insult each other laughingly, no one says "oh, they're just being catty"? I think this stereotype is super insulting, to women and to cats. But if I can leave you guys with one message or thought, it's that I made a friend! High five!

That's been my least favorite piece of misogyny this week. Tune in next week to find out what normal household product could be committing muuuuurder!

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