“Are you a female dog? …Because you’re acting like a real bitch.” – The Clique Series by Lisi Harrison
Books, politics, school, reality TV, and manga: what is the common thread that can tie these topics all together? Well, there could be a number of threads, but the one I’m fishing for is women fighting women. You know, manecured nails extended, ready to take a stab at the other party wherever and whenever possible? School girls post videos of their triumphs online and you don’t have to look hard to find some woman putting down another woman on TV. However, instead of condoning this behavior, like bees to honey, some people seem to get a real kick out of hissing and scratching (figuratively or literally) that can go on between women and promote it. Get the popcorn popping!
It all begins at an early age. To prime little girls still dreaming about becoming princesses when they get older, show them a classic of cat fights, Cinderella. An innocent girl thrown to the ugly wolves, her vile step-mother and step-sisters, sweet Cinderella is at the mercy of these jealous ladies. At the prospect of catching the attention of the very eligible bachelor prince, the mean step-sisters can’t take a chance with Cinderella. In a scene that could have been taken right from modern times, the step-sisters shred with vigor Cinderella’s would-be dress to the ball in an attempt to sabotage a possible threat.
As girls reach puberty and are looking for something a little more updated and adult than Cinderella, young adult books are swimming with choices for girl vs. girl wars. Books like The Clique, A-List, and It Girl series center around girls going at each other over boys, popularity status, contests–anything that can be made into a competition and sometimes just to sabotage. Girls size each other up, “steal” each other’s boyfriends, call each other sluts, and spreading vicious rumors. While these characters are usually presented as mean girl-types, in The Clique series the story runs more along the lines of the normal girl Claire morphs slowly into a mean girl herself rather than vanquishing her evil foes. As Naomi Wolf puts it in her review, Wild Things, Claire “abandons her world of innocence and integrity — in which children respect parents, are honest and like candy — to embrace her eventual success as one of the school’s elite, lying to and manipulating parents, having contempt for teachers and humiliating social rivals.”
(These books are popular though so, if you want to check them out from the library, you may have to use your new-found all-girls-for-themselves tactics and beat off the competition!)
Of course, you won’t have to scavenge the teen book/movie section for this. Just flip on the TV. Shows such as ABC’s The Bachelor are perfect transitions from your favorite teen book. There’s one hot guy and 25 gorgeous women all fighting for his heart like starving wild cats over a piece of tender meat. Of course, now there is The Bachelorette, a reverse harem with 25 men after one woman however, this was created after the original Bachelor.
Physical fights, nails ready, brutal verbal messes, hissing aplenty, fights over boys, and fights over nothing but someone’s need to get that vindictive high. So, girls, take your pick; just don’t take your eyes off the girl next to you. If the media is right, I think she’s totally trying to sabotage you.