What’s a foolproof way to turn women against each other?… Add men.
Women are alternately thought of as the gentler, more cooperative gender and as unnecessarily catty and ruthless; society can hardly decide which one represents women’s true nature. But one area where the competitive side of women can be clearly seen is in their dealings with the opposite sex — dating and relationships.
Why Do Women Compete Over Men?
Women who were once friendly and kind to each other can morph into the greatest of enemies the minute a man becomes involved. The change is so instant and drastic that upon hindsight they wonder what happened and are surprised by their own behavior.
What about the presence of a man causes this reaction in women? The answer is simple, yet complex: women base their self-worth in their value to men and their ability to attract and keep their interest. While some women have an inner sense of self-worth, other women have a fragile sense of self that is based not in themselves, but in what society, and particularly men, think of them.
- The Rarity Mindset
Some women seem to believe that good men are hard to find so when she finds a suitable man, she is determined to have him. Even if that means she must step on another woman’s toes or ruin a friendship.
With such women, the choice of fighting and possibly hurting another women or not having one good man is simple. The former, of course.
How Women Justify Their Behavior
The most common way in which women justify treating other women badly in the sake of men is by telling themselves that the better woman “won”. In this “survival of the fittest” rationalization, they are the prettier, smarter, and more interesting woman, and that’s why they have won or will win the prize — the man. They tell themselves that it may not be the most pleasant situation, but that’s life, and there’s nothing else to it.
Another common way that women justify their behavior is by not justifying it — they just don’t have an explanation or reason for their behavior and they don’t need one. In most cases, what the truly don’t want is to admit to themselves or other people that they are simply being self-centered and ruthless.
Why Competing Isn’t Worth It
Ultimately, competing over men serves no real purpose. Contrary to the rarity mindset, suitable men can be found everywhere and anywhere — there is no shortage of “good” men. But by competing over men, women tear each other down while simultaneously reassuring and bolstering a man’s ego. Confident that he can have either woman, a man will value neither of them in the long run. Instead, what is left is two women who will never be friends and yet another story to add to the “catty women” book.