Are Women More Judgmental?

Recently, I’ve been involved in a few controversial conversations between women. I have noticed a common occurrence: women defend their opinions to the death. They will repeat their opinions over and over until they seemingly beat down the other side (yes, this is a generalization, and not all women do this).

Some common examples of these types of “conversations” are:
– stay-at-home versus working moms
– breast-feeding versus formula feeding moms
– putting more focus on family versus putting more focus on career
– choosing to move with your significant other or choosing to live long distance
– taking husbands name versus keeping your maiden name (good Lord, this one has been beaten to a pulp in the science blogger community)

I get that we all have opinions, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. What I don’t get is why we care so much about what others decide. It’s not like it influences our own lives if our friend decides to stay-at-home, or if they choose to use formula. As long as someone is making an informed decision, why can’t we just leave it be?

So, why all the craziness surrounding these topics? Are women really more judgmental of each other, or do we just take the opinions of others more personally (i.e., see them as an attack) and so feel the need to justify our opinions over and over?

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Comments on: "Are Women More Judgmental?" (13)

  1. I think a lot of this is insecurity. And that leads to seeing the opinion of others as an attack on your own – like you're trying to not only convince them, but also yourself that you're doing the right thing. Perhaps this occurs more often in women as men are more self-assured and generally don't need others for support so much?

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  2. I think sometimes people also feel very strongly that the other choice is so bad that any informed person would not make that choice. Which is, of course, ridiculous.

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  3. Are Women More Judgmental?

    Absolutely. Women are also extremely competitive among themselves, and it's always personal.

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  4. Women are definitely more judgmental. NO question.

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  5. I think it is partly due to the thing that women don't own their own destiny as much as men [ok, maybe a bit over generalising but I do think this has something to do with it].

    also, we (women) get fed from an early age to compare to others, behave “otherwise people won't like you”. And getting liked and fitting in is the key to a “society” and the interactions between us. And that means that we need to keep us in check, within boundaries. (think Victorian society where women were the powerful ones in decideing who was in and who wasn't… even if men liked you, well – didn't really matter in the long run)

    Maybe the most because, if some of us go of the rails and do “what we feel like”; that implies that everyone could do that and in fact all who chose to stay in the square and feel a bit miffed about it have to blame themselves about it. Then it's better if no one goes off, or cast off the ones who does.

    Men seem to be raised not to care about others as much, but look out for what they want and feel.

    (you could add “having children or not” and “getting married or common in law” in the bullet points too)

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  6. I guess I could have made it short and said “I agree with Arwhyn” 😉

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  7. its because we get judged as bad moms by society. PPD doesn't exist, those mothers are just evil. OMG you're going back to work, why did you have kids then. Everything we do is treated as an indicative of our worthiness…

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  8. Definitely self-esteem – I think women, more than men, measure their own value by other people's approval (what a good little girl syndrome). And someone else doing something different is read as saying 'YOUR choice is wrong' – the repetition and ranting and clinging is all about the repeater/ranter/clinger, about the fact that they are trying to reassure themselves that no, THEY ARE OK.

    Mind you, quite a few of my male colleagues use the 'bludgeon over the head with my opinion until they shut up' approach to arguing, and blame 'emotional' responses and 'irrationality' when I disagree with them… not JUST women, but the men usually do this about work stuff, and the women about personal/family/social stuff.

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  9. PPD?? What is that?

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  10. I think these are all very good points, especially the one about self-esteem being connected to the approval of others. I definitely fall into that often.

    Chall – PPD = postpartum depression

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  11. Alyssa: ah…thanks!

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  12. All good points. Self-esteem has come up before in many different contexts in online discussion. I should get one of self-esteem posters and put it above my desk or something as a constant reminder to myself.

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  13. Anonymous said:

    i feel women are reali judgmental or that they think stuff about u thats not even tru in their heads . usually if i go anywhere such as bank, shops etc.. ,i always prefer to be served by guys n dont want women to even look at me i just feel theyr gana judge me .. i rely have an issue with this.. and their staring eyes uhfff…

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