Examining the dynamics of female friendships and why it seems to constantly be women versus women

State Hornet Staff

Every female has those friends that in front of their face we wish them well, congratulate them on their accomplishments and give them all the advice or help we can, but secretly we know they are our competition in life. 

This frenemy relationship is not necessarily based on hate or animosity, but stems from the examples of female relationships that are set up in the media. The positive relationships between females, while difficult to construct, are vital to maintain because they mold who females are as people. 

Peer Health Educator, Jessica Heskin said that women are conditioned by society to compete with one another for a variety of reasons. Heskin also said that women need to have relationships that build them up. 

“I think it’s important, especially in college, for women to seek out supportive relationships with each other.  Female friendships are an amazing source of support and strength during a female’s life.  If a woman is not being supported by her female friend, then she should seek another friend,” Heskin said.

But seeking other females friends, when you have been scorned previously by females can seem like a daunting task. It means someone has to put themselves out there again and be subject to possible criticism in order to find those friendships that will propel them higher in life. Females are more likely to shut down and focus on their own self preservation after being let down, even just once. 

Government major junior Jessica Sydney said that the female relationships she has seen are ones of competition not alliance.

“We tend to look at other women as the enemy instead of going to them for help and advice,” Sydney said. 

But these frenemy relationships do not just stem from females themselves but the types of role model relationships women see on television. If females do not have in person examples of how to act around or communicate with other females, then they will turn to the next best thing, television, or the media in general. 

“In teen movies or chick flicks for the most part girls are competing against each other for the hot guy or the best job. Even when you see women working together it is usually to bring someone else (usually another girl) down,” Sydney said. 

And honestly, minus the movies John Tucker Must Die and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, very few other movies put positive female relationships front and center. It could be that the demographic for these movies is too small to make a substantial profit.

But whatever the excuse, this needs to change. 

Women need to work side by side with one another, stop putting one another down, and try bringing other females up for a change. Especially college age women, we are examples for younger female cousins, siblings and friends. If we do not want them picked on as their older sibling we need to stop picking on each other. End of story.