Have you ever thought about the fundamental difference of male and female friendships? As almost all of you who are reading this are men, I suppose you are well aware that, once the support network of high school and college is gone, it takes quite some effort to stay in touch with your friends. Most will simply gradually disappear from your life. Yet, a few will remain and even if you only reach out to them two times a year or so, it does not really change how you view them. You know that they are busy and have their own life to live, just like you.
In contrast, female friendships are a lot different. You can put a bunch of women into any situation and they will very quickly form cliques. This even affects their performance at work because they may not be overly willing to collaborate with perceived rivals. Women quickly find a best
Now, let us consider how men take advice from other men. The friends I have I can discuss anything with at great depth. We dispassionately discuss the topic and freely raise objections, not taking it personally when, for instance, someone gets told that the company he has a job offer from raises a few red flags, or that you think someone is a bad influence. On that note, guys can be friends with people who are not friends with each other, e.g. A can be friends with both B and C, even though B and C are not on good terms. This normally does not work with women. “How can you be friends with her?”, they will complain until the rival has been excluded. How do you give and receive advice among your male friends? Most likely, you leave it up to them to make their own decisions because you respect their autonomy. This may even be true if you see them being on the brink of making a colossally stupid decision. We tell our friends what we think of their stupid plans, but if they want to go ahead, we let them. After all, it may be that we are wrong. To mention one data point, I know guys who bought bitcoins in 2010, and some who bought them in 2017. In both
In contrast, female decision making is much different. They bully each other, striving for conformity. If a majority of women in a group of friends is single, then they tend to push their attached friends to break up with their boyfriend, or at the very least cheat on them. Often,
All of the above leads to a seeming paradox: female friendships are shallow and fickle, yet the opinion of other women may override any woman’s own decision-making ability. Men, on the other hand, have deep and resilient friendships, but they do not encroach on each others’ decisions. This is
Is this really a paradox, though? I used to not think much of evolutionary psychology, but as I read more, it does not strike me as quite as outlandish a discipline anymore, even though it can hardly be called a science. So, I invite you to join me in some wild speculations on why the nature of friendships differs between sexes in such a fundamental way. Male friendships can probably be explained by thinking how our male ancestors organized hunts. Trust developed over time and it did not need constant reinforcement. Life was probably a bit too brutal to even make this possible, i.e. any prehistoric effeminate soy-boy who wanted to sit around the campfire and spend hours talking to his bros about their feeling probably found an untimely end with a spear shoved down his throat. Many thousands of years before society degenerated into maintaining a lavish welfare state, we could not afford to have such deadweight around.
Women, on the other hand, did not risk their lives hunting dangerous animals. Instead, they had to collaborate with the other women of the tribe. What is more, if two tribes went to war, the victors either killed the women of the opposing tribe or forced them to join their tribe. It wasn’t much of a choice: they could join the victorious tribe or get killed. (That’s also a good evolutionary explanation for why women tend to be less loyal than men.) The new women had to join the existing women of the tribe. You can already see how evolutionary pressures work: those women either very quickly assimilated or got cast out.
The shifting loyalties of women can be observed in modernity as well, which further supports the aforementioned reasoning, and that is a very serious topic: women join a new tribe at the drop of a hat. For instance, you can find footage online of French women hugging and kissing Nazi soldiers after the fall of France in WWII, hopping eagerly into bed with their new overlords who basically walked over their men and took the country. Consequently, many French women happily became the war brides of enemy soldiers. The Vietnam war likewise made many Vietnamese women happily spread their legs for US soldiers. It’s the same story: the soldiers kill the men and take the women. Some get raped, some get made love to, others get wived up and pregnant. We have not evolved past that, as some of you may now object. More recently, in 2015, when Germany was flooded with well over one million third-world refugees, some young women were likewise all-too-happy to succumb to those men from foreign tribes. I recall seeing a video in which a teenage girl makes out with one scruffy-looking illegal immigrant after another right after they crossed the border. They then pass her around for a bit before moving on. (I bet that is also how some of the reported gang rapes happen, i.e. the women at first willingly engages in such activities.) That’s the nature of women: when the tide turns, or when they think it turns, their allegiances change in an instant. What you observe in female friendships is just a much weaker expression of this very behavior. Think about what this implies for society. It is a pretty dark vision.
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