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The mystery as to why women hate other women has been in question for centuries. Women have always been fighting the same battle, and yet we continue to pull each other back while striving to reach the same goals. Why is this so? If women were to work together and lift each other up as opposed to hating one another, we would probably go much farther in the world at a much faster pace. The female gender could make strides like never before. So what gives?
Competition for Men
One of the first reasons that comes to many people’s minds when they think of why women hate other women is because women are always in competition with one another for men. Whether or not there is a particular man in the picture that they are fighting for, the competition can be deep set because a woman feels that another woman is a threat to her and will get in the way of her chance to find her mate. This is a natural instinct, but it has become stronger with our society’s standards. Men oftentimes solidify this need for us to compete with one another by being unfaithful and making us feel insecure.
Competition at Work
Competition in the workplace is another reason women hate other women. It has taken a long time for women to have a place in the corporate world at all, and even now there are very few female leadership positions in comparison to male positions. This means women are constantly competing with one another to get that top female spot in the company. They want to be the token woman on top. Unfortunately, men play a part in our competition here, too. If we didn’t feel that misogyny was present in the corporate world—if we felt that there was room for us all—we wouldn’t feel the need to hate one another and compete.
All women have a general sense of jealousy for one another; but unfortunately, humans are habits of comparison. We are never satisfied with what we have. Women in particular find themselves always wanting to look better, be thinner, etc. So we get jealous of the woman next to us who we see having better legs, better hair, a smaller waist, or whatever else. There is always something we can find to be jealous about in another woman.
Lack of Approval
Sometimes we want other woman to approve of us when they don’t. Whether it’s a boss or an apathetic coworker, we hate them because they don’t care about us. If only this woman were to notice us in some way, we wouldn’t feel the need to care so much. Their lack of approval ignites a sense of anger in us. Maybe it’s the queen bee in high school that you hate, but deep down, you just want her to like you. That’s a prime example.
Insecurity in Themselves
A huge reason why women hate other women is because they are insecure with themselves. Any woman who feels secure and confident with who they are should have no reason to hate anyone else. They should be uplifting and supporting other women because they know bringing people down does no good. Insecurity is what brings forth hatred and jealousy in all of us, and only by learning to love your body, your soul, and yourself can you relieve yourself of this hatred towards others.
Going further into insecurity, some women are so insecure with themselves that they actually hate themselves. This is a form of internalized misogyny, which makes them hate all other women around them. They deflect their internalized feelings onto others so that they don’t have to deal with those feelings personally. If you notice a woman who seems negative all the time and is always talking badly about others, the truth may be that she is deeply unhappy with herself on the inside.
A Lack of Strong Women Role Models
A common reason that women hate other women may have to do with the fact that there weren't powerful women that lead them to confidence. It is hard to know how to treat women, to support your friends, and to lift them up if you’ve never seen a good example of this. Maybe these females were raised around men who treated women badly or around moms who were mean to them. Whatever the case may be, understand that sometimes hateful women may be the way they are because of the way they were raised.
As mentioned in a previous point on competition, natural selection may very well play a role in why women hate other women. We have natural instincts to protect ourselves, our men, and our role as the one woman in our household/village/family. As time has evolved, though women have gained more rights, we still have these instincts of competition. We still feel the need to outlast one another no matter what.
The patriarchy lies behind many of the reasons listed above for why women hate other women. Our insecurities, our competitiveness, and our jealousy can be traced back to our relationship with the male species. With the election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, we see women’s rights becoming an even bigger social issue. “Smash the Patriarchy” has become a new slogan. Aside from that though, the real goal should be for women to stand together and support one another.
Why Women Need to Support One Another
Women need to support one another if we ever want to make strides towards the future and see change in this world. When women hate other women, energy is not being spent changing things that negatively affect them, like the fight for equal pay, laws surrounding sexual assault, and the Pink Tax. If we can take steps to unite on a larger scale, together, women can change the world. We have the power, but we must come together.