By: Celine | May 16, 2014 | (25) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a discussion post of all things bookish.

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Do excuse the extremely unoriginal title of this discussion, but I really didn’t know what to name this. Also, if you were expecting Rome pics and stuff, SURPRISE! I really don’t have enough time to upload everything right now, but at some point I will do so. That is, if anyone’s interested in pictures of churches, Rome, churches, gelato, churches, churches, did I mention churches? Rome has A LOT of them.

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about the Best Friend. Or female friendships. Whatever you want to call it. And coincidentally (or maybe not. For all you know, we’re REALLY organized at YMR. Spoiler: no, we’re not.), this also fits with last week’s subject (slut shaming, in case you’d forgotten). In YA, the main character usually has at least one (best) friend. Right now, there seem to be two types of best friends out there: the one that’s completely awesome and is definitely a good fit for the main character (yay!) and the polar opposite who’s actually kind of bitchy and toxic and pushy (nay!). Not that I have a problem with bitchy characters, but this is usually the kind of ‘best friend’ that turns out to be a professional backstabber. Which brings me to my real issue: the way girls/women seem to look at each other in books.

Of course, there are books that are extremely awesome and don’t have any of the following, books that are YAY female empowerment and YAY great female friendships, and I want to snuggle all of those books tight and never let go. But there are also books like this:

The last girl I see, I want to strangle. […] She has cream-colored skin and a body that belongs in a magazine – the kind for guys, not girls.I hate her with everything I have as she laughs her perfect laugh and tosses her hair and crosses her to-die-for legs. […] We could be friends, I realize, if I wasn’t so overwhelmed with the urge to end her.
Fire & Flood, by Victoria Scott

and:

Fishnet leans against Blake’s SUV in a too-short skirt and too-low top. A second girl with round, fake boobs whispers in her ear as they watch Blake approach.
Silver, by Talia Vance

Quotes like these make me want to cry. Is this really the message we wish to send to young girls out there? That good-looking girls are your enemies (but good-looking guys your Dream Boy)? That you should judge people based on what they wear? That it’s okay to call someone a slut because they wear a short skirt? No. No no no no no no. What I want to see in books is a strong female friendship. What I want to see in books is reconsidering your opinion of someone because they didn’t turn out the way you thought. What I want to see in books is girls supporting each other, not tearing each other down.

A book can be such an important influence on people. Books provide examples, books allow you to learn. And I don’t want that example or lesson to be that other girls are evil, or that wearing a short skirt is bad. I learned so much through reading books. The way I see the world was and is influenced by books. And I want books to be a positive influence. I don’t want to look at another girl and be “overcome with the urge to end her”. I don’t want to look at another girl and see a rival, an enemy. I want to look at another girl and see her exactly for what she is: a person in her own right, a personality. I want to see the shy girls and the daydreamers and the girl with a loud laugh and the sunny girl and a person.

And I want others to see that, too.

Of course, girl-on-girl hate exists. There are people who simply don’t get along. There are people who just tend to irk you no matter what. There are people you’re jealous of. I’m not opposed to seeing that in books. It is reality, and that is -partly- what I’m looking for in books. But I also want books to show that first impressions aren’t always correct, that that girl you secretly hate is actually really nice, or that the person currently dating your crush can be a good friend. I want to see the positive side.

What do you think of girl-on-girl hate?

 

By the way, I’m in no way trying to imply that the books mentioned above are bad books. In fact, I haven’t even read Fire & Flood. They just happened to have quotes that fit the subject well.

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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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25 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (33): Girl On Girl Hate

  1. First of all: ROME. GELATO. ROME.

    Okay, that’s out of the way…so yes! Girl-on-girl-hate. Bleh. I’m tired of it. Another thing I’m tired of is friend-on-friend-hate. Why do books usually centre around an awesome duo or trio or whatnot of friends ending up being torn apart? It’s SAD. But the girl-on-girl hate is just plain out bitchiness and it’s not so interesting anymore. The whole judging a person based on what they LOOK like?! It’s so shallow! I can’t believe it’s still a Thing in books. It’s okay to make it a Thing…but it needs to get sorted, you know? And usually it doesn’t. Usually it’s accetable almost, like ‘This is how it is”. Nooooo.
    AWESOME discussion topic anyway, Celine!
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Beautiful People Writers Meme is BACKMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      GELATOOOOOOO.

      Yes, I completely agree with you! I really dislike the friend-on-friend hate 🙁 I have a couple of good friends and I’m so sad that kind of friendship doesn’t seem represented anymore! Not all friendships are the toxic, bitchy, frenenemy kind. And yep, it IS shallow. If only books showed us that

      Thank you, Cait <33

  2. Brea Johnson says:

    Agreed! Again. That slut shaming discussion was a good one.
    I can see why this is shown a lot in books. Stereotypically, females are super competitive and viscous creatures amongst each other. Girl’s will (forever) compare themselves with others, making it inevitable for jealousy. Especially when there is a guy involved (as there normally is in YA). But you’re right. We want something real. We don’t want that “hate” and “jealousy” side of things to be exaggerated in books. Because in real life, it’s normally not that intense that we want to “end” someone because of their hair. More like cut it off. Then befriend her for hair tips.
    Brea Johnson recently posted…If I Were a Fictional Character #3 – I would be Hazel Grace’s Dad!My Profile

    • Celine says:

      I personally find that it usually isn’t that bad IRL, but that’s completely dependent on the person, of course. I find that I’m usually not really jealous of others – though I am envious sometimes – but I also know there are people who are. And yeah, I’ve never met someone who’d “end” someone because of their hair 😛

  3. Renu says:

    So much for for this post, Mel! I hate seeing quotes like that, because they make me want to rage so much, ugh. I hate the whole ok this is the mean popular girl so obviously she needs to be slut-shamed for what she wears, etc. >_<
    Renu recently posted…Forbidden by Kimberely Griffiths LittleMy Profile

  4. Welcome back Celine! You are so right, I wish there was more girl empowerment, it is ok to be confident and feel good about yourself if you wear a short skirt, and I wish there was more of that messaging in YA Books.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Book Blogger Test & The Chocolate Book TagMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Thank you 🙂 And totally agree – you should be allowed to wear whatever you want without being immediately labeled a “slut”.

  5. Emily says:

    Welcome back from Rome, Celine! 😀 It’s so awesome you got to go there! 😀 Did you have plenty of fun? 🙂 And yes! I totally agree that Girl On Girl hate does happen, but I think it’s sometimes wrongly represented in YA novels. Like you, I want to see more of authors showing that sometimes first impressions are misleading, and that if the protagonist gets to understand that girl she’s jealous/dislikes, they’ll truly see the complex nature of which we all are. People just aren’t made up of one singular characteristic, and first impressions are like stereotypes; so like you strongly pointed out, what matters most is that people get to know each other and understand one another! 🙂 Fantastic post, Celine! 😀
    Emily recently posted…I’m Back! 😀My Profile

    • Celine says:

      Thank you! And yesssss it was so awesome 😀

      And basically just YES to everything you just said. If only more books dared to dig deeper into personalities instead of just labeling people “popular girl”, “slut”, etc.

      And thank you again, Emily <33

  6. Jasprit says:

    It’s a shame that this girl on girl hate is becoming so popular in YA books these days as I really don’t like it either. I’ve read a few books that have had really decent friendship between two characters and that is really what I would like to see more of. Also welcome back! Of course I still want to see your photos from Rome!
    Jasprit recently posted…Cover Fever #9: If I Stay by Gayle FormanMy Profile

  7. It’s so good to have you back girl! 😀
    Right, to the topic, which is very good and very important at the moment. I think a level of hate between girls is sometimes required in books and not help develop or like/dislike a character, but more to show that jealousy is a genuinely feeling that it can affect others confidence and how they feel about themselves. If it’s used to develop someone in this way, I can swing with it, but doing it because it’s deemed as ‘normal’ is not right at all. I hate that it’s used for that feature a lot of time. What happened to just ignoring that person, or getting on with life like they’re not there? It’s so much damn easier ladies. Anyway, that turned ranty, this is a fantastic topic, and I’m featuring this in my favourite posts of the week! Such an important question to ask!
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Five Friday Favourites #15 – Not-So-Favourite Contemporary BooksMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Thank you!
      Yes, I wish it would be used that way in books too. Girl on girl hate does exist, and I wish more books would show that there is so much more to a person than just their appearance or the way they behave. And yes, if you dislike someone that much, just stay away from them instead of calling them names and hating them. It’s not worth the energy!

      Aw, thank you Amanda! <33

  8. You are so right, books and movies promote the girl on girl hate. It is natural for us to feel competitive toward one another but do we need to escalate it into something more? Mean girls and all that don’t help. A great topic, one I have never thought about much.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Friday Forecast May 18th-24thMy Profile

  9. I do agree with you. Girls are notorious for not always getting along with other girls, which is fine to show because it DOES happen. But I think it’s important to show that girls can make good friends and that they don’t always have to be jealous or petty when it comes to other women.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Books I Didn’t Realize Were MoviesMy Profile

  10. This is a wonderful discussion topic, and I completely agree. There’s enough out there about how girls have to be beautiful – that doesn’t mean other girls have to resent those who are. I’d also like to see strong female friendships in books 🙂
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…I’ve discovered Pinterest!My Profile

  11. Here in our country, I think it’s pretty normal to wear super short shorts and sleeveless clothes, so I don’t think these people would be labeled as “sluts” here. Anyway, I totally get the feeling of disliking another girl, but we can’t put these girls into stereotypes. Maybe a certain girl just thinks low-cut tops are stylish. Maybe a certain girl is just really comfortable hanging around with guys. Every girl is different, so even if we may dislike them, we still have to respect them. 🙂
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth EulbergMy Profile

  12. There are plenty of reasons not to like other people, and it’s true that when you’re new or young or insecure or whatever, you might leap to the wrong/negative conclusion about someone else really fast. BUT. I’m pretty tired of seeing unjustified or excessive girl on girl hate, too. It’s something I hate seeing in YA books, it’s so unhealthy and gratuitous. Sometimes it feels like the author is working out whatever issues she might’ve had in high school, you know? Especially if everything’s black and white and everyone is either totally good or totally bad.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Endsinger: cover reveal + giveaway questionMy Profile

  13. Kelly says:

    Loving theses midnight discussions. To be honest, I have noticed much hate between female characters, jealousy, bitchy throwaway comments, but no real hatred as such. Females are generally really critical, of themselves and other females. You’ll hardly ever hear us saying we look great in something or accepting compliments even. I think we’re the more skeptical sex. Hating another character because of her dress sense or popularity, attractiveness even, I wonder if that’s how authors felt during their teen years at all, like Wendy said, the characters might very well ‘ve an extension of their own insecurities and feelings.
    Kelly recently posted…#ThatRatBook GiveawayMy Profile

  14. Welcome back!! Was it incredible?! 🙂

    Yes, I agree. Not a fan of girl on girl hate. I get most upset when it’s unjustified. Great post! 🙂
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…We’ve Been Tagged!! The Book Blogger Test!My Profile

  15. Alise says:

    Fire & Flood was the first book that came to mind for me too, when I read that quote in the book I kind of cringed. I understand wanting to be humorous but yeah, I dislike stuff like that because I’ve been through so much of it in real life so I have no tolerance for it in books because like you said-it’s just teaching more people to behave that way.
    Alise recently posted…Aristocrat’s Ransom: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila SalesMy Profile

  16. Amir says:

    What a great discussion, thank you for this! I agree. A big turnoff for me in a books is this exactly. I especially can’t stand when girls hate on each other over a guy. I mean, I know it happens and I admit I have gone through that with a girl who my ex cheated on me with BUT I hate it when the “other woman” does everything to destroy the girl for the sake of a guy. A guy! So not worth it. Jealousy and envy happens, we are only human but that is not an excuse to hurt a person just because of one’s looks or he she dresses. Again, thank you for this! Awesome post!
    Amir recently posted…Audiobook Review: Archetype by M.D. WatersMy Profile

  17. I love this post! As of late, I notice even more and more unjustified girl-on-girl hate in books. Like okay, you see someone wearing a particular revealing clothing, can it be that she just likes it and feels comfortable in it and not out to lure guys into the dark? Why is it that we have to immediately assume they’re sluts? Why promote this kind of thinking in such a widely-read market? Shouldn’t we take the first step to help fix that kind of mentality by making girls NOT judgmental for once? I’m really hoping I see less of this because it’s depressing to read and consume.
    Faye D’Social Potato (@kawaiileena) recently posted…ARC Review: Searching for Sky by Jillian CantorMy Profile

  18. Pingback: Girl-on-Girl Hate in YA | Jane's Book Thoughts

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