We're always hearing that women are competitive with one another by nature. Whether it's a reality show that depicts women fighting over the same man or a study about the consequences of workplace competition among women, we're all well aware of the stereotype that women are somehow secretly rooting against each other.
Research shows that women are competitive — we are human after all — but isn't it interesting how many studies are focused on the “female competition phenomenon” when men are known to be competitive, and this is generally viewed as natural and no big deal? Isn't the stereotype that women constantly undermine one another really about overarching ideas that women shouldn't be competitive, should like and be nice to everyone, and constantly fail to live up to this standard by being, inherently, bitches?
Anyone who is a woman knows that women don't inherently hate other women — or even necessarily view them as competitors. In fact, we can probably all think of moments we've shared with other women that made us feel known and less alone in the world.
Here are 22 situations where women who've never even met tend to demonstrate the degree to which they're willing to help other women, often resulting in moments of unexpected camaraderie, even in the weirdest settings.
waiting in THE BATHROOM LINE
It’s amazing the humanity you’ll witness when you have a bunch of women, shifting from one leg to the next because they have to pee so bad, standing in line for the bathroom. Why did they not build more stalls? In those moments, we're all on the same team — the "we desperately have to pee" team.
ASKING FOR TOILET PAPER
Ever been in a stall without toilet paper, and been denied it from someone in the neighboring stall? It just doesn’t happen. Well, unless you're Elaine Benes, of course.
… or A TAMPON
Because we’ve all gotten our period when we were least expecting it. Ask any woman for a tampon and I guarantee you, even if she doesn't have it, you're getting a sympathetic smile.
getting a second opinion in the DRESSING ROOM
Whether it's the bonding that comes from standing in the dressing room line at H&M, or the compliments that are given when you finally get to try on that maxi dress, we just kill it in the dressing room. Kind words and helpful opinions abound.
WHEN WE SEE A PREGNANT WOMAN who needs a SEAT ON THE SUBWAY
Ever notice that we tend to notice and stand up long before men?
WHEN A BARTENDER IS being A DICK
If it happens, and another woman witnesses it, he can forget about getting a tip.
... OR really, WHEN Any guy IS BEING A DICK
If a guy has the audacity to degrade a woman in front of me, I will not hold my tongue. Ever.
WHENEVER WE SEE ANOTHER WOMAN CRYING IN PUBLIC
You just can’t help but comfort her in some way, even with a sympathetic smile. Especially in New York, where there is nowhere else to cry.
when we see sexist crap ON TWITTER
All it takes is one hateful comment from a men’s rights activist or someone else who doesn't understand that women are people, and other women will descend upon that person to show support for the victim and apprise the offending party of his need to get his head out of his ass. #YesAllWomen
WHEN WE’RE SCORNED BY THE SAME MAN
Contrary to what movies might tell you, most of us know it's not the other woman's fault. When I found out that a guy I was dating in college was cheating on me, and then found out with who, she and I formed an alliance. He lost us both, and she and I remained friends.
WHEN WE OVERHEAR A WOMAN TALKING TO A FRIEND ABOUT A RUDE GUY
It’s hard not to share your stories on that particular topic.
AT CONCERTS WHEN you BOTH CAN'T SEE
There’s always the exchange of, “If you move this way, and I move that way, we can see between these two tall people.”
... AND AT A GROCERY STORE WHEN THAT RICE YOU REALLY WANT IS ON THE TOP SHELF
OK, let’s get our MacGyver skills on!
WHEN ONE OF US STUMBLES ON THE SIDEWALK IN HEELS
Been there, done that, now let’s mentally high five over the fact that none of us can walk in heels properly.
SITTING NEXT TO EACH OTHER ON A PLANE
We might as well bond over this cheap wine. I mean, how else are we going to fill the next six hours?
IN THE OB-GYN WAITING ROOM
We all know why we’re there, and stirrups are nobody’s friends. Want some gum?
WHEN THERE’S A BAD SUPREME COURT RULING REGARDING OUR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
... AND WHEN A POLITICIANS SAYS SOMETHING COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS ABOUT RAPE or ABORTION
Who can forget Rep. Todd Akin's stance on "legitimate rape" or Sen. Chuck Winder who suggested women lie about rape just so they can get an abortion? When it happened, every woman you know was talking about the outrage.
AT A PARTY, WHEN YOU’RE BOTH STANDING AWKWARDLY ALONE
“So… how do you know the host?” Time to bond over how there's no one cute at the party.
WHEN YOU BOTH TAKE the optional CHILD'S POSE IN A YOGA CLASS
It’s kind of hard not to turn your head and exchange knowing looks that this new instructor is kicking your ass, that you are not intimidated by the person taking the optional headstand, and that neither of you has anything to prove.
GETTING A HAIRCUT NEXT TO EACH OTHER
That random woman's comment that she totally thinks you can pull off bangs or a pixie cut was just the encouragement you needed to take the plunge.
when you're BEING STOOD UP AT A RESTAURANT
The woman you bond with in this moment is likely to become a friend for life.