I have a seemingly odd question, and here goes. Do grown women scream at each other?
I have screamed at my ex and he has screamed back. That was at the very end of our marriage when divorce was in process. I can’t say I’m proud of that behavior either.
Personally, I don’t know any women who raise their voices beyond what you might expect of a spirited argument. I have never known women to scream at each other – not in high school, not in college, and not in the years of spending time with professional women, other mothers, and those whose communities are not as readily categorized.
Reality TV. Why Watch?
However, to watch reality television – yes, I know, my first mistake – adult women are prone to emote frequently, loudly, rudely, and with flailing arms, contorted expressions, googly eyes, and naturally, in designer dresses.
They seem especially fond of doing so at public events, to maximize the inappropriateness apparently.
I must confess. I did indeed watch the season opener of Real Housewives of New York last evening, which explains this momentary preoccupation. And later, while editing a document, I caught a past episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Like I said – GWSS. Grown Women Screaming Syndrome.
This is something other than factions of women engaged in counterproductive in-fighting, thus diminishing whatever cause or point they’re trying to support. That’s bad enough.
This is more than the occasional stress-induced fit that is triggered by some dreadful incident, sleepless nights, or possibly a lack of prescribed meds.
Certainly, these scenes are fueled by alcohol consumption (or so it seems), possibly combined with another contemporary pop culture phenomenon, CCRS, Crazy Cast Retention Syndrome, a set of circumstances exacerbated when cameras are rolling, and no doubt drama is required to keep your job.
Playing into “Women are Shrill”
But must these characters scream? Must they play into the stereotypes of shrill and silly women?
The fact is, they don’t all take a turn (or twirl) bellying up to the Banshee Bar. (Thank you, Carole Radziwill, for managing not to raise your voice.) However, even when they aren’t screaming, they’re talking over each other or interrupting. They’re certainly not listening, which means they aren’t actually communicating.
You know. Communicating. Also known as: Message sender + message + message recipient = communication. Naturally, whatever is conveyed is open to some interpretation, but there is speaking (or signing or writing) involved in the sending, and listening (or reading or viewing) in the receiving.
But apparently not in Reality TV Land, though occasionally we’re treated to scenes in which they’re having fun and talking like sane adults. If only there were a smidge more of this… I’d need less Advil before bed.
Women Watching Our Mouths
As a woman, if I need to stand up and shout, I’d like it to be with a bullhorn or better yet a microphone, and in the service of a cause I believe in – not over some tiff, or swimming in the buff on vacation (regardless of age), and who sleeps with whom… as it’s no one’s business but the individuals involved.
I’d like to reserve my judgments for issues of greater concern than manufactured misunderstandings over perceived entitlement to the spotlight – or anything else up for grabs.
And here I am not only stunned at the decibel level these women attain, but the gossip levels among the varying Divas. (My friends and I don’t engage in that either).
So why do I watch, you ask? It’s mindless… and strangely diverting, which actually helps me get to sleep at night. Well, when I turn down the volume.
For one thing, I adore seeing what the New Yorkers (especially) are wearing. I also love the interiors in their homes, and besides, I miss the streets of Manhattan. All that aside, they’re so crazy – as edited and presented on the small screen, that is – that I feel positively boring (and sane) in comparison! And what’s not to love about that?
Addressing the Age Issue, Again
As for some of the antics we see (and the “ladies” comment on), I will add that when women in their 40s and 50s socialize with younger men – anywhere from 5 to 20 years – it annoys me that other women feel compelled to make snarky comments. We all know that men enjoy the pleasures of younger women, and at this point, women pairing up with men who are younger is hardly shocking. So why are we, the women, perpetuating our own moralistic press?
Couldn’t we cease and desist on the putting down the 40-something female with the 20-something male, especially when everyone is having fun and not looking to establish a “permanent” relationship?
You May Also Enjoy