21 July 2009

Girls Against Boys

Posted by Jody under: Uncategorized .

Different groups bond through various activities—some through worship, others through survival, and others through rituals. One group in particular depends on a tired ritual—male bashing. Often referred to as single females (sometimes further classified as bitter, single females), this group can be found in restaurants and coffee shops throughout the world dishing their latest gripes about the opposite sex’s behavior, or even as much as its existence.

Allow me to explain this type of male bashing to you, in case by some miracle you have found a way to avoid it. One bitter, single female (BSF)—typically, the woman of the group who was most recently dumped—begins by explaining in excruciating detail the atrocious habits of her now-ex. (Never mind that last weekend when she was out for drinks with the girls, she couldn’t stop gushing about how adorable these very same habits were. BSF cardinal rule number one: Ex-boyfriend equals devil, no questions asked.) Soon after initiating this oh-so-familiar conversation, several other BSFs chime in with enough complaints and revelations about their traumatic experiences with men to make Gloria Steinem’s heart sing with pride. A verbal blitzkrieg of men of all ages and backgrounds ensues. Rules of war are engaged, and political correctness flies out the window. They toss about their artillery of stereotypes and insults like condoms at a TLC concert. Who needs decorum when discussing a majority group?

So maybe this scenario doesn’t sound so bad at this point. But let’s dig a little deeper, shall we? Amidst the rage of estrogen sits a woman who is not filled with hatred for those who possess the Y chromosome. In fact, she seems a little irritated by all the anti-male confabulating going on. When one of her menacing friends decides to figure out why she is not participating, a near-riot ensues.

The non-bitter girl bravely explains that she disagrees that all men are detached, commitment-phobes. In fact, her boyfriend treats her well. And maybe some of the things guys do wrong are caused by all the mixed messages the women of the 21st century send them. Should men be sweet and sensitive and risk being called a wuss, or masculine and stoic and be nagged for not opening up? Guys these days don’t know what to do, thanks to the fairer sex, she opines.

While defending men and attempting to quiet the crowd, the woman looks around the room and awaits the retaliation. Faster than a pack of sorority girls to an Ann Taylor sale, the resentful BSFs ambush her and accuse her of being smug or naive. Crucified as a subordinate to the male patriarchy, the woman is forced to retreat from the battle, defeated.

All of this makes me wonder if most females are truly happy for their friends with boyfriends. They say yes, but I think no. The BSFs condemn non-single women for not hating men, and even have a way of excluding them from sacred “girl talk.” The male bashing ritual deliberately excludes women who are spoken for, and makes them feel guilty for having fulfilling romantic relationships. So is this what it has come to? Do women have to choose between having a gratifying relationship with a man and being able to enjoy their ever-cherished “girl time?” When we graduated from The Babysitters’ Club to Bridget Jones did we trade in our spectacular friendships for a cynical ritual all to make ourselves feel more secure?

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