Character(s): Liv & Emma
Film 'BRIDE WARS' (2009)
09 January 2009
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July 25, 2015

Mean, Girls?

A girl scans the room. She fears she has seen the worst, and a second glance confirms this. The unthinkable has happened. That bitch is wearing her dress. If someone doesn’t immediately reassure her that she is wearing it better than that harlot, she is out of there quicker than Usain Bolt. Why would we prefer to believe that this situation ended in pulled pigtails instead of a Facebook photo of the two captioned ‘Twinsies!’? Because the world loves a catfight.

The emphasis of rivalries between seemingly warring women has long been fodder for the rumour mill. Take Britney versus Christina, for example. Every attempt was made to drive a rift between the two singers when neither of them seemed to know exactly what was going on. Then again, it was the 90s and we probably needed the distraction from inflatable handbags and body glitter. While these items waned in popularity, the idea of female hostility did not. There still exists an aura of forced competition whereby women are pitted against one another in a metaphorical ring for our entertainment. Does the whole universe go mad for girl on girl action? (Easy, lads.)

Just look at how the Taylor Swift versus Nicki Minaj ‘feud’ on Twitter escalated – the cybersphere grew positively giddy at the prospect of two ladies actually proving the theory that all women secretly hate each other. Said argument turned out to be nothing more than a misunderstanding but that didn’t stop the endless prattling of ‘and then Nicki said this and then Taylor said this…’ besmirching our news feeds. How do we live in an age where even the leading media outlets are reporting celebrity spats like schoolyard gossip?

We are all guilty of ingrained stereotyping of girls and boys, whether we like it or not. If you’ve ever been involved in a sisterly brawl over an item of clothing, you’d be praying for a penis every time. Boys seem to have that beautiful kind of relationship where they get mad, punch each other, and all is forgotten. Women are constructed in reverse order whereby our sugary sweet falsetto tones to fellow women signal that danger is imminent.

That said however, one must be careful when we generalise in such a manner. Not all boys are soccer-playing hooligans and not all girls are rumour-spreading hags. This practice of gender rigidity leads to inaccurate preconceptions of women in the media. It seems that the majority of television and film scripts have a similar vein running through them, utilising dichotomous tropes such as buddy male camaraderie and female arch-rival showdowns. Men are awarded the humour element while women have to content themselves with barbed dialogue and an imbued hatred for womankind.

It’s about time that we ease up on the bitch fights. Some of us do actually get along quite well, you know. I’d go so far as to say that my lady friends are not just catty sidekicks whose boyfriends I plan on sleeping with as a plot twist.

To sum it up: we need to be a little more Bridesmaids and a little less Bride Wars.