Saturday, 18 June 2011

I'm sorry if I've upset you...!

I’m not that scary…. Honest!

I recently received an e-mail from a female follower of my blog. 

It said:  “…I am just a bit scared of you now though cos women haven't been coming off too well in the last few installments, though really I couldn't agree more with what you say about women slagging off their partners as a bonding experience.”


It is certainly not my intention to scare or undermine other women.  It’s just that I get frustrated…

I went to an all girls bording school.  I can only really describe it as ‘Bitch City’.

There were two ‘gangs’ of girls who were permanently fighting with each other.  Sometime girls from one group would switch allegiance and this would kick off another spiteful and vicious civil war. 

So I kept my head down, I had my ‘best friend’ who I did everything with, and a few other friends who we variously hung around with.  We were not the cool crowd.  We had bad haircuts, unfashionable clothes, and wanted to talk about something other than ‘boys’.  I got through it, but it made me cautious and left me feeling that a female only environment is an unhealthy one.

I have no doubt that this has influenced my relationships with ‘women’ and to a certain degree, made me gravitate towards men.

Just recently, I sat in a restaurant waiting for a friend… a group of older women were at the next table and I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation.

For the 20 minutes I was waiting for my friend, I was fascinated by the dynamic of the group.  Having commented on each others’ outfits, hair etc, they moved on to the subject of the friend they were all waiting for.  Their friend was clearly one of those people (a bit like me) who’s always late! 

And so it began.  A total character annihilation.  And it went on, and on, until their ‘friend’ arrived. 

“There you are! Lovely to see you!  Mwa Mwa!” they all shrieked, kissing the air around her.

I wanted to be sick!  The poor woman.  How would she have felt if she had heard them?  I felt quite mortified for her.

I regard myself as being incredibly fortunate to have some fantastic female friends.  They are a very eclectic group, but despite their different backgrounds or lives, they always get on with each other when I introduce them.  I don’t put this down to their shared friendship with me.  I believe it is because at the core of them you will find the same human traits:  kindness; humanity; humility; and a fantastic sense of humour. 

Well, face it.  You’d need a good sense of humour to be friends with me!!!!

So – what’s with the bitchy women? 

I can only imagine (as I don’t hang out with women like this) that there must be some desperate insecurity that makes them all cling together.  Surely they must wonder, at some point, what is being said about them when they are absent from the group.

But I fear that it is a very vicious circle.  Like drowning and clutching at straws – maybe these women need to feel that the group they’re hanging out with fit with and reinforce their social profile.  They are too scared to mix with people from a different rung on the social ladder.  Fearful that this person might show them up, or turn up to a party in the ‘wrong’ type of outfit, provoking unkind comments from their cluck of women friends.

I can fully understand the need to feel socially included.  But maybe, having been an outsider at school, I rebel against it.  Intellectually, I stick two fingers up at the concept of it, but emotionally, I want to be accepted.

So here I go again – having a ‘dig’ at women. (I feel another e-mail coming on…!)

But I’m not having a go at you all.  I just wish women would be kinder to and more respectful of each other, that we could feel confident to be more open and honest with each other without fear of being belittled or socially embarrassed.  And I wish that we could have more self-confidence, to allow ourselves to gravitate to all the kind, honest and open women amongst us. 

I know quite a number of these women and I am very proud to call them my friends.

1 comment:

  1. You have just described a natural behaviour for most girls in their pre-teens & early teens - middle school here in the US! Not much fun & hard to avoid as they work out who is the leader of the pack.. The good news is that with careful parenting they get through it & should leave it behind. Obviously some don't! I was more like you Lara - but I swung between the 2 groups at school & had friends in both.....
    Keep writing - I am enjoying your blogs.


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