Monday, 7 January 2008

Cannibalism is alive and well

Well...not literally. I don't think, anyway. Then again what do I know about people's disgusting predilections?

No, I'm not talking about literally eating one another...I'm talking emotional cannibalism.

It's been quite a day in my little online world. There's nothing to be gained by delving into the actual subject matter that was discussed, but suffice it to say there were two camps...mine and the other one.

:) If only life were that simple.

But it's true - one camp firmly believed x while the other, the viewpoint I also maintain, feels totally differently. And since the issue at hand was emotionally charged, hot sweet hell did it get nasty fast.

Removing my personal thoughts from the situation, it was fascinating to stand back and watch what was happening as the proverbial fur flew. I think it's something that only women can truly do to one another - we don't punch with fists, but we can deliver a verbal bitch slap that'll drop you to your knees without too much provocation. And that's when said cannibalism sets in...we just start devouring one another.

Okay, I realize that I'm making this all sound so very melodramatic, but whether you know the particulars I'm referring to or not, I'm sure you can think back to some interaction you've had with girls/gals/women at some point in your life that has followed a similar trajectory. All is rosy, everyone sees eye to eye, then things start to slip and before you know it you're walking down the street snapping your fingers alongside your fellow Jet or Shark.

Happened to me a lot in grade school. And high school. Woooo eeeee! I remember one time Kim heard I said something about Lara (who I shared a locker with) even though I didn't, so she and Tammy and Lara ripped up all the cool stuff I had up in my (our) locker and decided that they didn't want to be friends anymore. We went from bff's to mortal enemies within milliseconds, and I was left standing there, mouth gaping, surveying the damage - both literally and figuratively.

Why is it we as women do this to one another? Is it simply an extension of our emotions, letting our passion about one topic/person/issue get the best of us? 'Cause correct me if I'm wrong, but guys don't really do this kinda thing. Their punch is of the fist-y's why there are wars and armies and all that stuff. If women ran the world, there'd likely be a lot less combat - but a lot more seriously worded emails.

It's amazing how these kinds of rifts can both damage and build relationships. There's power in sharing viewpoints - knowing that someone else gets you, shares your thoughts and feelings, has your back. And there's the potential for great destruction when things go off the rails. All of the sudden, people you THOUGHT you knew, women you never expected in a million years to turn on you with such vitriol, do just that. Sad. Sad indeed. I know I'm not alone in experiencing this kinda stuff....I'd be sincerely interested in any insight you might wish to share on the topic.

The final fascinating aspect of these girl squabbles (in my most humble of opinions, that is) is the gal pal equivalent of make up sex. It's watching what happens when someone says enough - the dust settles, and everyone starts to feel a bit sheepish about things they may have said or done in anger or out of frustration.

If we're lucky, apologies follow. Someone grows a set of fem-balls and steps up. Takes responsibility for letting emotions get the best of them. Sorry for chewing your cheek off.

And if we're luckier still, the people apologizing are the ones that actually did or said something worth apologizing for.

For the record, if you're reading this and you were involved in today's skirmish, please don't take offense to this entry, regardless of what side you may have been on. I find the entire process fascinating and if it wasn't today's back and forth that provoked this entry, it would have come another day when inspired by another issue, of that I can be sure.

Because I don't think this dynamic is on its way out anytime soon. Maybe it's ingrained in our DNA. Maybe it's part of our social programming. But you and I both know that as long as we women feel passionate about an issue that has more than one viewpoint, there's gonna be a figurative body count.

Hmmm..... so that's my biting (hahahaha - get it? cannibalism? biting?) social commentary for the day.

I'll do my best to get back to something light and fluffy tomorrow, once I've had some sleep and a nice warm bath.

Ah, the simple girlie pleasures...

And that's your daily dash. How's your diva doin'?

2 comments on "Cannibalism is alive and well"

celtic_kitten on 8 January 2008 at 07:59 said...

YOu know... there's a news story out of Texas at the moment on the subject of cannibalism... ;)

Ok, so reading your post had a number of things flashing through my brain, and since I'm in control of the keyboard, I'm gonna share (don't you feel lucky? *laugh*)

1/ images of a hyena pack descending on a downed wildebeest. Voice over about the feeding frenzy of the starved (literally in the case of hyenas, figuratively in the case of some of these online squabbles I've witnessed over the years).

2/ There's a reason most of my friends are guys. In my experience nearly every female friendship ring I've been part of has disintegrated over something like this... or at least, has turned on me like a pack of rabid dogs *shrug*

3/ Why can't we all just get along?! ;)

4/ While *cough* "discussions" of the sort you describe are a predominantly female activity in real life, you'd be amazed how bitchy some guys can get in online communities and "board wars" ;)

5/ I'm sorry if I helped piss you off

Anonymous said...

Maybe everyone was PMS'ing that day! Kidding, re your latest post!

I just find in each forum everyone gets in arguments from time to time. I just don't like it when they get personal which is what happened in the SM thread those days.




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