Yes, Virginia, Women Really Are Catty with Each Other
Well here’s a whopping non-surprise: a new study reveals women aren’t always very nice to one other, primarily when other women are attractive.
Women recruited for a phony study by University of Ottowa professor Tracy Vaillancourt were interrupted by another woman walking into the room during the session — and that’s when the real research began.
When the intruder was conservatively dressed, the ladies didn’t have much reaction to her. But when the same woman appeared in a tight top and a miniskirt, the claws came out. In the latter situation, the women were more likely to roll their eyes at her, stare her up and down, and show anger while she was there. And after she left, the other women “laughed at her, ridiculed her appearance, and/or suggested that she was sexually available.”
Those same ladies “did not want the woman in the tight shirt and short skirt to be introduced to their boyfriend, did not want him to spend time alone with her, and did not want him to be friends with her.”
The lone exception? If the so-called trampy woman was overweight, the other women didn’t feel threatened by her regardless of how she was dressed.
Vaillancourt conducted the study to disprove the “positive stereotyping” of women that says they’re more nurturing, more communicative, more likely to rule by consensus.
“I was convinced, having lived life as a woman, that we’re not as pleasant as some people make us out to be,” she said, adding the behavior seen between women on reality shows like ‘The Bachelor’ is not simply the result of creative editing but “a reality in our schools and workplaces.”
Maybe the lyrics to that old Helen Reddy song should’ve been, “I am woman, hear me hiss.”