Men are uncomfortable with a lot of things pertaining to the female sex and/or the woman gender. From close observation, either through in person interactions or interactions over social media, specifically twitter, I’ve noticed that men are uncomfortable with a certain aspect of women and that is the kinds of friendships women are able to have with one another. That male uncomfortability often translates into skeptical comments and hate. The closer women are to one another, the more the insecurities of men seem to manifest. For the purpose of this post, I’ve listed 8 reasons why men are uncomfortable with the idea of women being able to be friends, debunking the notion that women are all catty:
Just as much as society has conditioned women to view one another as competition, it has also conditioned men to turn women on one another. The divide and conquer tactics are endless, but one very subtle way which usually comes in the form of a compliment is; “You are not like most girls.” Well, as much as that may sound like a pleasant thing to say to a woman, you know, make her feel unique and sh*t; it is actually putting women into a competition that we never asked to be a part of. To a woman who believes her friends are dope and worthy of that recognition, this is not appeasing. Come correct.
- Fear of Solidarity:
Man’s biggest fear is to be treated they way they treat women. I am talking bigger picture here: sexual objectification in the media, unequal pay, less opportunity for social mobility, and just always being thought as second to men, etc. Women building strong(er) bonds with each other is threatening to that status quo. It threatens the system of patriarchy, it threatens the male ego which is incredibly sensitive, but most importantly it threatens the entitlement men have over, well, just about everything, including our bodies and personal choices.
Let’s face it, if men could do half the things women can without their masculinity being questioned, they would. There is a difference between the way women interact and the way men do. We are all controlled by systems bigger than us and we are constantly being policed by the expectations that come with our assigned genders. It is OK, and expected for women to be sympathetic, nurturing, and sensitive. That does not mean that we are all inherently those things or that these are the only attributes that we carry, but in our friendships, we do not have to be afraid to be those things. We can cry with our friends if it is needed, we can comment on how great our girlfriend’s ass looks in a new pair of jeans, and a group of girlfriends can cuddle up together on a couch to watch a movie and our sexuality will not be questioned once.
- Higher Standards:
I always say that it is extremely important for women to have girlfriends for a number of reasons. They tell you when your make-up is not flawless. They help you make major life decisions like what birth control is more effective and what selfie is cute enough to post on Instagram. They can relate to you, not in every way, but more often than not. They understand the pressure of what is it to be a woman and the unrealistic way we are expected to be superwomen and more, all at once. But, what would friends be if they couldn’t tell you legitimate reasons why there is no need for you to “date down” or to put up with f*ck boy behavior. They encourage you to have HIGH but realistic standards when it comes to your dating life and other aspects of your life because as women, they know even HIGER standards are expected of you. As stated so eloquently by Jamilah Lemieux, a well known writer and senior editor of Ebony.com in a recent tweet, “Standards are high and tolerance for bum behavior is low.” Right on, sis.
- The World Does Not Revolve Around You:
OK, men need attention and they seek attention from women. This is simple to understand, right? Like I stated before, there are many things women can do together and say to each other that men CAN but will not for the fact that their manhood will immediately be put on trial. So, it makes men a little uncomfortable that instead of women bashing one another, they are leaving heart eye emojis underneath each other’s pictures because the attention is being diverted from them. To the incredibly fragile male ego, this lack of attention says that the world does not revolve around you, and neither do women. Sorry to be the one to tell you.
Women rarely get any credit unless they are either considered one of the boys or are approved by male judgment. Either way, men feel as though women have not necessarily passed go and collected their money until they have undergone a thorough inspection sorting women into two categories: good or bad. A woman embracing whoever they please as their friends takes away the power men disillusion themselves with.
- Challenging the Status Quo:
Where would the world be if women were recognized more often and more publicly for their successes? Not just simply being recognized but specifically celebrated by other women. The power structures are shifting and, soon the prototype for what a successful doctor looks like will not be a picture of a white man but, hopefully, young girls can point to a picture of a woman and see themselves. And because I identify as a black woman and understand that there is little to no positive representation of black women in the media, this picture will be of a black woman doctor. Because representation matters and it always will.
- You Will Need to Offer More:
When women are surrounded by other women who celebrate one another, share their stories, and participate in the transference of power from one woman to the next, compliments from men will not suffice. Some men think that they can prey on what they perceive is a woman’s insecurities, so the butter women up with compliments meanwhile, they are not listening to a word that she is saying. Compliments are just not enough because, well, she already knows that she is f*cking great. A long time ago I stopped saying things like “Not to sound conceited/cocky but…” or “I’m sorry but I think I look good today…”, because I do not feel like I need to apologize for feeling myself. Also, too many compliments comes across as ungenuine and what you think is sweet can actually be a bit creepy. You are not doing women any favors.
With that being said, I support women, I love women, I love being a woman, and as a woman I am here to show other women and girls love because we do not get enough of it, from society and from ourselves. So, although my own views are not representative of all women, and both men and women may agree or disagree with me, I am here to say that women are beautiful and smart. I will comment on your pictures with heart eye emojis and tell you that I think your outfit is fly. I will tell you where and for how much I bought a pair of sandals for if you ask and tell you what products I use in my hair and I hope you will do the same for other girls. I will praise women for being more than just beautiful. Be sexy, be assertive, be opinionated, and intelligent. There is no need to ever curb your brilliance to accommodate a man’s insecurities.
Remind yourself everyday that you are the sh*t and always express to your girlfriends and the women in your family that you appreciate them for who they are.