Posted by: apritch1221 | October 7, 2012

Why women compete with women?

“Healthy competition and confidence are encouraged in boys but often seen as undesirable traits in girls. Team spirit and friendship provide the glue that strengthens and bonds men when competition prevails. Not surprisingly, men are typically comfortable with competition and see winning as an essential part of the game, rarely feeling bad for others after a victory, and maintaining camaraderie with their buddies.

Because women learn that they are not supposed to be competitive and win at others’ expense, their natural competitive spirit cannot be shared openly, happily, or even jokingly with other women. In such situations, when aggression cannot be channeled into a healthy, positive edge, it becomes inhibited and goes underground. What could have been healthy competition becomes a secret feeling of envy and desire for the other to fail – laced with guilt and shame.”


I found this on a website called PsychNet when I was writing my interview paper.  It made me think a little more understandingly about the women vs. women subject.  When we talk about it in class, I usually just think to myself, “its because women are bitches.”  Which is completely hurting our cause and not a constructive idea about how to change the stigma.  Anyway…do any of yall agree that it might be because of something as early as your upbringing that causes us to be this way?  I really like that they say we internalize our competative thoughts because we’re taught early on that it’s not good for girls to healthily express our competetive sides.


  1. I do believe that upbringing is definitely a reason for this. I know from my experiences with competitive cheerleading (which girls can start as early as 3 years old) that the website is completely right. However, I think the issue is that mean and women react to competition differently. For example, young girls in cheerleading will meet a girl, find out she cheers for a rival team, and automatically hates her, especially if that team is better. On the other hand, I have known plenty of guys be friends with rival players outside of the sport, act like enemies during a game, and go back to being friends right after. I’m not saying that I am against competitive sports for young girls, but it definitely does cause girls to be threatened.

  2. I do agree with both of you that the upbringing is very important in a person’s development in relation to stereotypes and the outside world. I truly believe that it is the parent’s responsibility to make the changes we want to see in our society. Personally I had the opposite experience playing sports at a young age. I have been playing soccer since I was 6 years old, and I’ve almost always been on rival teams with my close friends. I remember I would always be more excited for the games in which I was playing someone I knew than the ones in which I didn’t know anyone on the team. There’s just a thrill that comes with the competition when you actually know your opponent. Off the field, I still remained close with the girls, it was simply on the field we acted like we hated each other. The same can be said as you age in the soccer world. When you’re on the soccer field and you do something wrong, it’s more than expected for your teammates to call you out on it and yell at you so you know you need to work on something, or at the very least for motivation. One of my best friends and I played on the same team for years, and we would always be so mean to each other on the field. But as soon as that final whistle blew, her and I would be laughing and having a good time together since we knew the yelling was just a way to motivate each other. Maybe soccer is just different from cheer, or maybe I’m just the strange one, but from my experience, relationships on and off the field are only helped by friendly competition.

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