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Joined: 22 Mar 2014
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,099
Location: Meandering

20 Mar 2017, 6:45 pm

Cattiness in young women is the same as horseplay in young men?

It occurred to me a while ago that I might have misunderstood the social context for some of the negative comments from other women, particularly in adolescence.

The social jostling aspect of verbal cattiness went straight over my head and instead of likening them to crude horseplay in men (which I understood as rough social jostling) I took the comments at face value, perhaps because I was already sensitive to others observations about my oddness.

Only in my 30s have I come to understand that adolescent cattiness is a process that's being refined as preparation for adult life. Any thoughts are welcome :)


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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 32,811
Location: Queens, NYC

20 Mar 2017, 7:38 pm

Horseplay could be "testing," similar to cattiness.

But horseplay, sometimes, is actually an expression of friendship.

Cattiness, to me, is never an expression of friendship. It's just bitchiness.

By the way, women and girls also horseplay, for the same reasons. Sometimes, as a test. Sometimes, to express friendship.


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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Posts: 573
Location: UK

22 Mar 2017, 12:01 pm

That seems like a reasonable comparison to me. Unlike men, with women it all revolves around verbal subtleties and exclusion tactics to inflate one's flagging self-esteem, rather than blunt jokes and physical pranks. Looking in from the outside, the reasons behind the actions are as plain as day - jealousy, distrust and misplaced anger leap right into deliberate attempts to upset the individual on the receiving end, and increase their social status. A game. It's funny how being taciturn, friendless and lacking in anyone to converse with in real life, one is inevitably drawn towards people watching and learning to look beyond the external actions of others; you come to the conclusion we're just animals... but I hate it! I hate the drama and the mindless insulting actions of others, meant to hurt.
I suppose this is my knee-jerk reaction to a human phenomenon I've been on the receiving end of one time too many. I've been physically attacked, spat upon and excluded to the point of suicide thanks to other women. Men are wonderfully less complicated.

closet mad scribbler

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Sea Gull

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Joined: 22 Sep 2013
Age: 57
Gender: Female
Posts: 218

22 Mar 2017, 12:44 pm

Cattiness is alive and well long after adolescence. As well as clicks, exclusionary tactics, and thinly veiled insults for purposes that defy my understanding.
I cannot understand their language.
Just had a woman at work come up and insult me rather bluntly. Someone else had complimented me to her, she passed that on to me and proceeded to tell me how wrong they were, and she said she wanted whatever they must be smoking. And yet you have to work with these people.
It's as if there cannot be a friend/team unless you also have someone else who you are excluding/demeaning.
This is why I am agnostic.
Men are not at all above cattiness. Seen it firsthand.