Shameless Woman

Pursuing an integrated life of sensuality, health, healing and rejuvenation

The Broken Link: Women Trusting Women

If women can't trust other women; if we can't form relationships with other women, support other women and see the beauty in their bodies and sexual expression—we are disconnecting from ourselves in an unconscious and destructive way. Read More

Easier said than done.

I have tried to be kind to my own sex. I am fair and open minded. Unfortunately, my own sex does not like me. My mom, who admitted she had a hard time being friends with other women, also had the same problem. My grandmother had more male mourners at her funeral than females. I have a sister who I do not have a relationship with. I wish I could have a close female friend who I could trust.

Most of my friends are married men. I seem to be able to converse freely with them. My husband and I can scream at each other one moment, and the next minute show great affection. Men do not hold grudges or are as judgemental as women are. They seem to accept naturally aggressive women than women themselves! It is mind boggling!

I hope the women of my daughter's generation are more caring to themselves supportive for who their sisters are, not for who they wish them to be.

I feel like you're expressing

I feel like you're expressing what I feel. I have more male friends, and one has commented that I'm the sort who grew up with brothers. I consider myself boyish and I'm the sort who prefers open aggression to passive-aggressiveness. I have tried to be nice to other women and there have been more times that my effort wasn't so well received, but rather reciprocated with mistrust and perhaps resentment; they probably were thinking I was being nice with an ulterior motive or something like that. Like, give me a break! That said, I've met sisters who are great, just that, in my experience, that is not the majority, and I'm quite done with wondering if this "my own sex does not like me" is too generalised.

That being said, see my reply

That being said, see my reply below to Chaya.

Don't hold your breath

Women aren't quite ready to befriend sexually active women. Heck, women can't even post a picture on Facebook these days without another woman accusing them of being a low-self-esteemed narcissist who is begging for for attention.

I think I'll just stick to my male friends, far less catty.

Men are most likely to be

Men are most likely to be sexually assaulted, raped or murdered by their fellow men. Do you make gross generalizations about all men based on this fact? Do you say "I'll stick to my female friends, far less violent"? Why not? Criticizing someone on Facebook is far less serious than cracking someone's skull open or killing them.

You're buying into sexist cliches about women and perhaps trying to score brownie points with the boys. Sadly, you denigrate yourself in the process and are probably missing out on some great friendships and relationships with women.


Women are assholes. If they are cheated on, they most likely deserved such treatment. Don't have to play up to the guys, it has been my experience that if you treat a guy well he will treat you well. You respect and honour a woman, she will stab you in the back. You can love a woman, show her love, and she will find a way to cut you down.

And yes, I am a woman.

So you're a back-stabbing

So you're a back-stabbing asshole then?

I treated my boyfriend very

I treated my boyfriend very well. How did he treat me? By trading pictures behind my back with women from high school. I did nothing to deserve it. Your views are very....messed up!


Bravo, Pamela, you are SOOOOO spot-on. Thank you for this wonderful blog post.

I spent my teen years being friends with more males than females. I, too, found the females to be catty, snide, backstabbing, and untrusting. My male friends with couldn’t care less about arguing, your hairstyle, your weight, or what you were wearing. I definitely trusted them more.

As time went on and I entered the workforce, I began to acquire more female friends, and more headaches and tears. Jealousy and talking behind your back were the common themes in the female relationships I had acquired. I couldn’t trust them.

When I got married, I didn’t ask any of those so called “female friends” to stand up for our wedding, and they certainly were not invited. I just couldn’t bring myself to pretend they were sincerely a part of my life. An ironic thing happened at our wedding, though. Two of my husband’s former female friends were at our wedding. They ended up approaching me while I was alone and not only mocked me but made sarcastic remarks as well. Wow, it is still so clear in my mind. Jealousy, hatefulness, whatever you want to call it, was what they were dishing out--at my own wedding, nonetheless. Again, why would I trust the female species?

After a few years of marriage, I ended up seeking psychotherapy. I not only had issues with myself, but I knew I had trust issues with other women. My mom had them, too, and, apparently, taught me well. Wanting to start a family, I felt I needed to break the “cycle” of these toxic trust issues. If I’m being honest with myself, they didn’t serve me well growing up. Why would I want my children to inherit them from me?

I did a tremendous amount of work on myself over many years, and continue to do so to this day. This work has allowed me to see females in a whole new light. What I have learned over many years is that I can be selective with the women I let into my life. I am now careful who I give my energy to. I also have varying degrees of closeness with many different women. I’m not ‘best friends’ with every female friend I acquire.

I believe you can spend a lifetime looking for just one woman friend whom you can say anything to and their jaw won’t drop to the ground. On the other hand, I also know you can acquire female friends in the many different areas of your life. Believing that I have to divulge my most vulnerable self to all of these different women friends is ridiculous. Like I said, there’s varying degrees of closeness.

I truly believe that to be able to love, admire, and respect other women for who they are and what they stand for is to love, admire, and respect yourself. I dole out many, many compliments to my women friends. Not only because they’re true, but because they deserve them as women. When I give a female friend a sincere compliment and see her face light up, there’s nothing like it. Their joy fills me up. Whatever we project out is what we receive back ten fold.

It would have been much easier to remain bitter and distant from females, as I was inadvertently taught; however, that would have just added to the loneliness that male friends can’t fill; and I wasn’t willing to settle. In my humble opinion, I believe women are deep creatures by nature, they’re more maternal, intuitive, compassionate, and empathetic. As a woman, I definitely prefer to have those connections with women as opposed to men.

Wishing all the women out there, nothing but love!

Hey Chaya, see my reply above

Hey Chaya, see my reply above to Anonymous. I support that you have chosen not to be victimised but rather to recognise that you have the power to basically choose who you want to trust and simply ignore those who do not bring positive influence. Trying to be nice to some people might just backfire on you sometimes, and you did not ask for any of that BS at all. I believe you know sincerity when you see it. Yeah, it's been mostly women who've been as hurtful as you've described. And then there's the yes men who act to please the queen bees... oh boy. That could be an expansion to this topic, interestingly involving women. Anyways, I agree it all begins with yourself, first, you have to, as in your own words, love, admire, and respect yourself.

I would love to put my trust in other women....

....but past experiences have proven that they are just as terrible as men when it comes to disrespecting relationships - their own as well as those of others. It is so surprising to me how much women crave validation as much as men and push their morals aside to get it. With the rise of social media, it is so easy to send that dirty text message to your now-married high school crush or send that naked picture to the former classmate with a girlfriend. I thought we women were doing a good job at being cheerleaders for each other. I have learned to be a cheerleader for other women and put my trust in them, but they are women I can respect and trust until they prove me wrong, if ever.

Comments and Blogs

The comments and blogs that are coming forth are incredible. Worthy of a documentary on women. Check out this blog that has sprung forth from this blog as well called "Horizontal Violience: Crabs in a Bucket" by Nekole Shapiro. Read it here.

What's the experience of lesbian women in this area?

I'm curious how lesbians perceive this issue of women unable/unwise to trust other women. As a lesbian myself, that's not my experience. I find it equally easy to trust both men and women; gender doesn't seem to enter into it for me. Not sure what that might mean, though, since in theory, all other lesbians could be seen as competition, and therefore, not trustworthy. Anyone else have thoughts along these lines?

I'm also a lesbian and I find

I'm also a lesbian and I find it hard to relate to what this article is talking about. I feel a lot of affection and love for women and feel bad for women who don't have that experience, or won't allow themselves to have it because they've made simplistic judgements and assumptions about women. It's very self defeating for a woman to say 'women are catty, women are untrustworthy, I prefer men'. If you say this, please remember you are also a woman and you're making gross generalizations about both women and men, ultimately to your own detriment.

As far as sexual competition,

As far as sexual competition, mistrust of a sexual rival is not unique to women, gay or straight. Anyone can be catty, spiteful, jealous or vengeful when it comes to love. In fact men are usually more aggressive and sometimes even violent in that regard. Is it therefore fair to say 'all men are untrustworthy, all men are vengeful, all men are violent, I much prefer the company of women'?

I'm a straight women who

I'm a straight women who agrees with Marty. I don't feel that women are less trustworthy than men, that women are "catty," and the rest of the misogynist claptrap in the post and in the comments. Urban legend is right--just like the one about the microwaved poodle, or the hitchhiking ghost.

I have had some really unpleasant experiences with backstabbing colleagues who happened to be female. I've also encountered the kind of woman who thinks that since she had it tough as a student, that female students today ought to have it tough, too--and that female students ought to be more "macho" than their male counterparts. This is a kind of sexism.

As for the statement about young women disliking peers who are sexually active--it's at least as common for sexually active young women (or even the inexperienced ones who want to appear sexually active) to bully their modest, quiet classmates. In fact, it often seems to be the promiscuous ones who buy into the "all women are naturally each other's enemies" nonsense, taunting classmates in school and spreading rumors about colleagues at work. Maybe there's a good reason why they are disliked!

But to generalize about all women in this way is just wrong--it's a logical error, and it's also immoral (because we're talking bigotry here, and bigotry is immoral). Some men can't relate to women as human beings--some are violent, and some are just rude and inconsiderate. But it's wrong to label men "brutes," isn't it?

"Some men can't relate to

"Some men can't relate to women as human beings--some are violent, and some are just rude and inconsiderate. But it's wrong to label men "brutes," isn't it?"

Exactly. Make generalizations about men in this way and you're instantly labelled a rabid, man-hating feminazi. But somehow it's OK to disrespect and degrade all women based on nothing but personal experiences, assumptions and stereotypes about women.

Personally, I think women who say 'I prefer men to women' have internalized misogynist messages about the female sex and have a bad case of 'if you can't beat 'em join 'em'. It's sad to see because ultimately they themselves lose out, both in terms of their own self respect and in their relationships with both women AND men. If you think all women are untrustworthy and all men are the opposite then you're setting yourself up form some shallow, superficial relationships at the least and at the worst you could be blinded by your bad judgement and become *too* trusting. We need to let go of this sexist gender nonsense and simply take people as they come.

Apart from being degrading

Apart from being degrading and undignified to seek out scraps of praise from men at other women's expense, I think women who say 'I prefer men, women are just catty, bitchy and judgmental' have a major case of projection going on.

This is tough because I think

This is tough because I think the issue is a lot more complex than "all women are catty" or "all women who think women are catty have problems." Hetero-women tend to compete more with other women, just as hetero-men tend to compete more with other men. It's just that men have been socialized so that they have socially acceptable ways to compete---sports, business, politics. Because women are just now finding opportunities in those arenas, we sometimes resort to really vicious forms of "competition."

I don't have an issue with

I don't have an issue with other women, despite the fact that they have a HUGE issue with me apparently. I'm one of these women who don't hide their sexuality, who enjoys naked men pics and sexy jokes and who's been sexually active since I was 15. The problem I have with my body doesn't come from other women, it comes from getting pregnant, being treated badly cause of it, cause of getting fat and flacid and ugly cause of it, with lots of fat here and there and droopy boobs. If you've got something that can help with that, I'd appreciate it. Thing is: you don't get younger, and there's always gonna be a young fox somewhere who's looking better and sexier than you. Learn to deal with it. Chances have it your man will veer too, as did mine. It's just a fact of life for me.

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Pamela Madsen is a fertility/sex educator, blogger, author of Shameless and founder of The American Fertility Association.


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