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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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i feel mean girls was totes a documentary
children of dune - leto 1
Pretty Women Can Be Hard to be Friends With by Jessica Wakeman. Wait! Don't click yet! Do me a favor; take a second and guess the location and time period of the first anecdote that was the beginning of this woman's journey observing the savage pretty girl in her natural habitat before realizing the creature would never be civilized, and with a heavy heart, has returned to us to share her hard-earned wisdom.

If you said High School, congratulations! We have achieved Mean Girls IRL in an article linked from CNN. This would be offensive, but honestly, I spent most of the article casting the characters for the upcoming remake of Mean Girls.

So I think we can safely state that this article is probably one of the most beautifully orchestrated to pander to pretty much every negative stereotype there is and reinforces "Nice Guy"ism with a matching "Nice Girl"ism. As a bonus! It highly encourages equally degrading positive sterotyping. And also, people are fat once you get to comments. Because God knows, you can't leave out weight. There's always a danger someone might not remember it.

I do not say men are all over the idea of pretty privilege and how those bitches are totes acting like they are better than everyone (him) (except the ones that fuck him; they are awesome), but that's because that would be like saying water is wet.

The water is very, very wet.

Comment Samples:

This Expresses My Manpain in Blank Verse, Woe, Woe, Woe - I'll bet that the women in the article treats the regular guy on the street the exact same as the way her hot friend treats her.

This is what regular guys deal with all day long at work, social events, in line at a restaurant. Women in general think they have certain privilege over men because they have a patch of hair between their thighs. What goes around comes around, enjoy your depression!

You Are Fat, Unlike My Beautiful Wife, Did I Mention Her Beauty, Fatty? - My wife is a very good looking women and ugly fat women like the lady who wrote this story treat her like **** thay always accuse her of starving her self and other such bull ****. When she goes to pick our kids up from school the other mothers wont even talk to her she has tried to talk to them and they just stare at her. Her mother is also very good looking and has told her she better get use to it because she has delt with it her entire life. The women my wife and mother in law work with treat them like **** as well. If you are fat and unhappy then do something about stop blaming everyone else.

Beautiful and Intelligent Women Are Defined By Whether They Let Me Fuck Them and There Aren't Many! So This Article Is Totally True! - I'm kind of surprised at how many women are posting about how they're insulted by this article since they are both pretty and intelligent... Apparently you pretty and intelligent women hang out at home or work and just surf the internet, because you are not out in the world in very high numbers... MAYBE... SOME of you are either not as pretty as you think you are or not as intelligent/nice/understanding as you think you are...

I Wonder If Anyone Will Notice My Clever Method of Insulting All Women? Tee Hee - You have it all mixed up. They are not hard to be friends with, your just putting them on a pedestal BECAUSE they are beautiful. Your automatically assuming they are something that they simply are not.

The term "dumb blondes" here applies.

If you simply understood they were dumb, like most people, you could be friends again. But your so in awe of their beauty your making assumptions that simply are not true.

The Real Mean Girls Are the Ones Who Think They Are Hot and Also, Let Me Throw In Weight! - This makes me think again of my high school best friend, who was stunning-looking and rail-thin at fifteen and still is at fifty-one - with appreciation! It's all natural too; she's never dieted a day in her life, and she doesn't do anything to her face and hair but wash them. She is one of the least vain people I've ever known. I have never known her to use her looks as leverage in any interaction, or to tell anyone that their struggle with their weight was their fault. Not all beautiful women are monsters of narcissism.

Actually, in high school and afterwards, I've also known plenty who weren't that hot but thought they were, and were monsters of narcissism without looks as their excuse, and God help the man who said "I do" to these she-beasts...

I Am Pretty And Your Kind Oppress Me and Sabotage My Life Even When I Help You! And Women Suck! There! - i resent this article. I am one of the prettier of my friends, and i am extremely nice to them, and yet i still will get ditched and treated poorly. Most people just assume that you are ***** even if they never met you. Their jealousy is obvious and leaves you abandoned. I always include and invite everyone no matter what they look like. I never want anyone to feel alone, but the jealousy factor is still there. Even after numerous talks, their insecurities still get the best of them. They are afraid I will steal the good looking guys when I go out with them or when I do actually meet someone, they try to sabotage the situation. When I will go out of my way to help them. Being friends with girls is hard.

Beauty Is Internal! Also, the Bitches Will Get Old and Ugly and I Will Laugh! These Positions Are Not Contradictory At All - What is this "beautiful" and "ugly" yardstick everyone is arguing about? I assume it is superficially based. I personally would not call a person beautiful if their personality sucks. Having people actually like for your compassion, humor or honesty is more important regardless of your appearance. I feel sorry for those so called "beautiful" people b/c a day will come when they are no longer the hottest doughnut at the Krispy Kreme. We all get OLD and no amount of plastic surgery will cure that! These girls will have a rude awakening (to go with their attitude) when they HAVE to depend on their brains and not their bodies to survive. Beautiful is as beautiful does!

Stereotype Are True! Including the Fat Ones! Because God Knows It's Been Like Five Comments and No One Mentioned Fatties! - It's hard to stereotype an entire class of people like this, without a negative reaction by some. However, I tend to agree with the article. The better looking you are the more you are used to getting your way. The uglier the more accomodating you need to be to get by. Over time this definitely shapes a persons personality.
There are of course, exceptions to every rule, but that doesn't mean the rule still isn't mostly true. There is even a "fat girl syndrome" that most people are aware of, where the fat girl is super nice to everyone.

Who Is Going to Protect the Vulnerable Unprotected Class of Pretty Girls? Me! - This is one of the most ignorant articles I've ever read. Did she get paid for this? This just sounded like minority bashing to me.

Let Me Tell You Of My Victimization By Girls Less Hot Than Me - I am a pretty woman. Not goregous, but pretty. Some women do not treat me the same as their not as pretty friends because they expect me to be a certain way. I have been labeled stuck-up, a slut when younger for even kissing a boy even though I was the least experienced of the group, and I think that this woman is simply jealous. The aruguments and things that happened to her in her friendships came from her own insecurities.

There are like, five thousand of these Or something. Firefox stopped wanting to load circa 225.

Now, I'm pretty sure I am being petty and hypocritical, because it's not like I haven't trotted out some of that when I was younger, and maybe after, and maybe every goddamn time the female geek stereotype shows up, and random other occasions that I want a hit of self-esteem and skinning another woman to get it seems pretty darn justifiable. And if I don't say it, I think it.

While I was sitting here, working myself down from a case of self-righteousness, I realized I was humming Avril Lavigne's "I Want to be Your Girlfriend". Taylor Swift's "You Belong to Me". And you know, I'm going to mock, but it's not like I don't know that I don't own a single song that celebrates the friendship between women, and I can't even name one.

So. I want a drink.

ETA: Comments have recommendations of songs that celebrate relationships between women, and the truly awesome kiezh has several linked in this comment.

ETA 2: rhea314 here has a list of songs, and a mediafire link here.

boggit links here for another.

Below cut, accumulated song list from comments. That is many songs.

Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves - cat_77 comment link
Sisters of the Canyon by Joni Mitchell - pennyplainknits comment link
Goodbye Earl by Dixie Chicks - brown_betty comment link, strina comment link, and proleptic_fancy comment link
Dar Williams by You're Aging Well - kiezh comment link
Hot Soup by Luray Women - kiezh comment link
Who We Are by Beth Nielsen Chapman - kiezh comment link
Small Mended Corners by Talis Kimberley - kiezh comment link
Comfort by Deb Talan - kiezh comment link
Wait Until Morning by Deidre McCalla - kiezh comment link
L.O.V.E. by Ashlee Simpson - kiezh comment link
Sistersong by Rachael Sage - kiezh comment link
Breathe (2 am) by Anna Nalick - kiezh comment link
32 flavors (by Ani DiFranco) by Alana Davis - kiezh comment link
Whatever it takes by Sinead Lohan - kiezh comment link
Neighborhood Girls by Suzanne Vega - vito_excalibur comment link
Porch Songs by Chris Pureka - vito_excalibur comment link
I Believe in You by Amanda Marshall - carnadosa comment link
I Will Be Your Friend by Amy Grant - carnadosa comment link
Nuevas Senoritas by Indigo Girls - rhea314 comment link
She's Saving Me by Indigo Girls - rhea314 comment link
You and Me of the 10,000 Wars by Indigo Girls - rhea314 comment link
Virginia Woolf by Indigo Girls - rhea314
Shame On You/Get out the Map? by Indigo Girls - rhea314 comment link
As Cool As I Am by Dar Williams - rhea314
The Christians and the Pagans by Dar Williams - rhea314 comment link
Fishing in the Morning by Dar Williams - rhea314 comment link
Your Fire Your Soul by Dar Williams - rhea314 comment link
Genevieve by Girlyman - rhea314 comment link
Girl by Destiny's Child - rhea314 comment link
Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler - Anonymous comment link
Chiquita by Abba - Anonymous comment link
Sophia by Nerina Pallot - out_there comment link
If My Sister's in Trouble by Lady Soul - ascetic_hedony comment link
Four Women by Nina Simone's - ascetic_hedony comment link
Sister Kate by Ditty Bops - inteligrrl comment link

In general, reading the comments section of any on-line news article is enough to make one despair of the human race. The sites have no real user community, so in a sense all that you ever get is drive-by trolls.

You know, the comments were less a surprise than the article even existing on CNN. I mean, i know the standards of anything called Life or Lifestyles and the reinforcement of stereotypes by way of creating artificial power for one group of women by way of denigrating another one. This should not surprise me. And yet, the article was the plotline of like half of Hollywood movies. I think it was the utter predictability that floored me. I mean, if we're going to play with stereotypes, at least shake it up so it feels revolutionary, not like my fourteen-year-old self's diary.

I'm not even gonna look. I'm having a bad enough day (I'm still at work and it's pushing six) as it is. Give me my Happy Happy Joy Joy Intarweebs!! I love you, you love me, let's all blow up bad mooo-vees...

but it's not like I don't know that I don't own a single song that celebrates the friendship between women, and I can't even name one.

Surely Pink's got one?

I'm Coming Up is generic, but the music vid is a terrific buddy-girl story, from what I remember.

Song offering? "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves" Any version will do, but you can use the version from the musical ep of Xena if you are feeling particularly festive. *g*

It's been a day. This makes it a day plus a *headdesk*.

You know, I can't even tell if I'm offended or freaked out because teh fact the article is offensive is so goddamn banal. It's like evil turned twelve and weaponized the sparkly pen. IDEK.

(Deleted comment)

Re: drive by song rec

You rock. I'll find it.

[hands you a drink] Homemade limoncello, fresh from the mason jar!

Luckily, while you may not be able to sing about it, the beautiful truth is that you're a part of a community that prizes, values, and rewards friendship between women, in every post and comment that we make. Which is something, I think. We aren't perfect, god knows, but I know for a fact that we're better than that (and your fortitude in ploughing through those comments is admirable; I hit the second page and gave up).

[toasts you]

Salut, friend. [hugs]

You know, in strange moments, I theorize--I theorize for God's sake--that slash could qualify as an indirect way for a heterosexual woman to follow her orientation and still marry her best friend. Which I will state, makes me sound like I am joining the crazybins of crazy generalizations of crazy. Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly grumpy, I start trying to frame it in feminist theory. And I use words that I am not convinced exist outside of academia.

It's like a really strange academic exercise in gazing at theoretical navels or something.

That article (and a lot of the comments) sounds to me like a serious case of correlation not equaling causation. There are a lot of girls who aren't "hot" who are horrible people, and a lot of people who are lovely on the inside and the outside. (and, dude with hot wife? a lot of chicks who are just not nice, and that's why people don't want to be friends with them, regardless of looks.) Unfortunately, because we're all so hung up as a society on how people look, we try to sort that out using attractiveness as a bellweather, when it's just not true.

Also, I think it would be really hard sometimes to be a Hottie McHotterson. No, seriously - hear me out. I think it can be a lot like being the richest kid at your high school (since the article mentions high school and college). Are there advantages to being hot? Sure - just like there are advantages to being rich. But you never really know why someone wants to be with you, or follow your lead, or whatever - is it because you're pretty/filthy rich, or because you're an interesting, smart person? Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but all gifts come with flip sides. (note: it took me a LONG TIME to get to this point.)

And I don't know very many songs celebrating female friendship either, and it depresses the crap out of me. Sure, there are shitty girls out there, and a lot of them are hot, and some of them are shitty because they're hot and it makes them feel entitled. But we're all women, and if we aren't willing to dig down deep with each other and find the women under the looks - no matter where they fall on the "hot scale," for whatever that's worth - who will? So yeah, I want a drink too.

Edited at 2009-09-28 10:21 pm (UTC)

I don't disagree at all. It's just the sheer shortcutting of human interaction both ways; pretty girls are bitches and my plainness has taugth me to be a better person versus jealous fat girl who hates the pretty princess. It's like deploying nukes on the first strike; there are huge swathes of territory that people know are out there. I don't buy they believe this. But I think people want to, so much that they'll embrace the stereotypes because it's so goddamn important to hurt them before they can hurt you.

(Deleted comment)
Honestly, teh commentators were sickening, but I am pissed at the author, and for the life of me, it's not even because she's mad at pretty girls or that she wanted to vent. But she's doing it with the power of CNN and treating this like it's a goddamn revelation when she's not only talking about something that is so predictible it's a trope, she framed it so it's unanswerable except in the language of defensive stupidity.

Thinking of your point about songs which celebrate friendship between women, the only one I could think of at first was the Spice Girls one which features the immortal line “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.” But then I remembered “Goodbye Earl” by the Dixie Chicks, and felt slightly better.

There must be more. People should post links to them!

I would seriously love this. I wonder if a day for fandom to celebrate our female relationships would be workable. Hell, even a meme.

Goodbye Earl by the Dixie Chicks is the only song I can think of.

I was going to recommend that one, too. Love it!

And you know, I'm going to mock, but it's not like I don't know that I don't own a single song that celebrates the friendship between women, and I can't even name one.

This? Is what you get for not having tween girls. (Goes to examine Hannah Montana wiki page.) Okay, only one there; I thought there were more.

Meanwhile, I'm constantly deconstructing Mean Girls plots on kid shows. Total PITA.

*grins* You know, just once in a while, I'd like a plot where the best friend wasn't just a titularly equally important to the boyfriend, but shown to be a primary relationship that doesn't require conflict to show it. Every plot shouldn't be conflict over the boyfriend before achieving harmony; it should be a given that a relationship with the boyfriend wouldn't exist because they choose to date people that won't carry that kind of conflict.

I think we've normalized the idea that girls will always leave their friends for their boyfriends and then learn a life lesson to the point it's no longer even considered possible it could happen any other way.

*puts head between knees*

Not going over there to read because I don't need that rage, my blood pressure is doing fine where it is.

I want more goddamned friendships between women shown in media. Songs, television, films, whatever. Friendships that are about each other, and support and all that, and not about men and trying to snag one or outdo and outperform each other in traditional female roles.

Because you know what? It took me until my late teens and early twenties to learn how to deal with women and women's spaces, because I never experienced them much growing up. But I have, and yeah. Guess what? My experience of women and friendship is *nothing like that shit*.

And this is why I want to make television when I grow up. Because if no one else is going to do it, I'm going to damn well do it myself. And this community of women is part of what has taught me the self-confidence to know that I can.

It's so patterned it's like watching a textual variation of ballet. I mean, it's not that you can predict all the comments after reading teh article. You can look at the title and know the entire plot without variation.

I don't even know what that says that no one questioned the basic premise instead of debating the true/false of the article.

I don't own a single song that celebrates the friendship between women, and I can't even name one.


Want some? (rummages, uploads)

Here are some songs about relationships between women. :)

Celebration of how we can save and support each other:
Dar Williams - You're Aging Well
Hot Soup - Luray Women

Not exactly a happy song (family is crazy-making!), but it's about love, and both characters are female:
Beth Nielsen Chapman - Who We Are

About female identity, in its messy complicated glory:
Talis Kimberley - Small Mended Corners

Songs that I interpret as friendship-between-women songs, though the gender of "you" is not specified:
Deb Talan - Comfort
Deidre McCalla - Wait Until Morning

Hope you enjoy some or all of them...

I love you hugely. Downloading now. Can I link this in my entry?

(Deleted comment)
You know, I know this rule; there are a thousand reasons why my primary reading experience is livejournal. And yet.

I've always thought "I Believe in You" by Amanda Marshall was about friendship (not specifically f/f but)

I Will Be Your Friend by Amy Grant

That's all I got. :(

So I accepted this post as a challenge and went searching for girl friendship songs both on the wider web and in my own music collection. On google searching 'girl friendship songs' and Avril is one of the first hits. Female friendship songs get some fair vulgar rap music hits as well. In the top ten list of friendship songs I stumbled upon 90% are sung by guys. Most friendship songs sung by girls have romantic aspects, or if not they still talk to "you" rather than using female pronouns. But I accepted this post as a challenge and went looking through my stack of music. Interestingly groups that are not completely straight and have female members tend to compose the majority of my list.

The Indigo Girls as a whole tend to do female relationship positive songs, however a fair bit is up in the air as to interpretation there of (romantic or not).
-Nuevas Senoritas (a lullaby, not really clear but I see it as friendship, it's a comforting song)
-She's Saving Me (this could be romantic, this could be god, this could be female friendship, I see it as the later, but that's just me)
- You and Me of the 10,000 Wars (you not 'she' so you can't be clear but...)
-Virginia Woolf (this is clearly a friends song, but it's friends through time/history/writing, however I love it to pieces even if I'm not a big fan of Virginia Woolf, and I think it's a great female-friend-connection song)
- Shame On You/Get out the Map? (one of these is a girl road trip in my mind, can't remember which)

Dar Williams:
-As Cool As I Am (not a friendship song so much, but definitely related, I'd highly recommend it, the 'I will not be afraid of women' song)
-The Christians and the Pagans (female friends, family and bridging religion)
-Iowa (yes this could be romantic but there's also friendship in here)
-Fishing in the Morning (the you again)
-Your Fire Your Soul (again could be romantic, also 'you)

-Genevieve (could be romantic, probably is...but maybe they're sisters/best friends it's not blatantly romantic language so who knows?)

Of course there's the Graduation song (as we go on we remember...etc) which is ambiguously gendered and sung by females so you can interpret that as you wish, still not definite, sadly.

And then finally "Girl" by Destiny's Child. (and oddly I don't hate the music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECOAHoSSwyY) Which sort of shows the core of clearly-straight female friend songs, sucks that your boyfriends a dick but you've got friends who'll support you. Annoying that the guy has to be involved but I appreciate it since I totally know those conversations and it's definitely an important part of some of my close female friendships.

So I am not the only person whose instant response was to go song-hunting! Hee.

I thought the Indigo Girls would have to have something that suits. And Dar certainly has a variety of female relationships in her songs...

It's weirdly hard to find songs that specifically reference female friendships, though if I widen the net to songs about friendship sung by women, I have tons of them. (Especially hurt/comfort songs. Soooo many of those on my hard drive.) I find that I tend to automatically interpret the "you" in such songs as female, but does that count, if the song doesn't say? :/