Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

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Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby Jenner » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:51 am UTC

My fellow XKCDians, I come before you today with an inquiry of import. Being a cynical, reclusive geek girl myself, I have codified a standard of rules that I adhere to for the sake of humanity. Among those rules is my dedicated avoidance of large groups of my fellow gender. (And by large, I mean more than 2, seriously.) Why? Because I have come to realize that, unless those women are also geeky gamer girls, the amount of drama, self-inflation, and vapidness surrounding a group of women increases in density with the addition of each additional woman over one. I have found that my threshold for what I am calling the Woman Cluster is about four (I have a very low threshold...) While I recognize that XKCD may not be the most diverse area of the internet, I still feel it is, at the very least, a more scientific/observational/logical extremity of it.

So my question is, is this drama-seeking behavior normative for all groups of women among all ethnicities? Or is this specific to white women? Is there a segment of the women populace (other than other geeky gamer girls, who sometimes STILL have drama...) where I could thrive in large numbers without the squelching the urge to kill them all?

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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby Zohar » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:01 am UTC

I think you judge waaaay too harshly. Also, you seem to think geek = deep, meaningful etc. You could find interesting women to hang out with that are not superficial in a baking class, computer store, dance club or gym. I'm guessing it has more to do with your choice of friends. True, group dynamics evolve in different ways, so maybe you need to find your own group, but I don't think you should dismiss all flocks of women (or men or a combination of) just because you didn't find a suitable place for yourself. I'd also urge you not to succumb to extreme criticism - I know I can easily start thinking how stupid/annoying/worthless/whatever some people are around me simply because I've grown a bit negative towards them.

Regardless of everything I wrote, maybe you just don't enjoy groups of people and prefer to be alone with a friend, and that's perfectly OK, it's not wrong.
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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby Jenner » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:10 am UTC

Zohar wrote:I think you judge waaaay too harshly. Also, you seem to think geek = deep, meaningful etc. You could find interesting women to hang out with that are not superficial in a baking class, computer store, dance club or gym. I'm guessing it has more to do with your choice of friends. True, group dynamics evolve in different ways, so maybe you need to find your own group, but I don't think you should dismiss all flocks of women (or men or a combination of) just because you didn't find a suitable place for yourself. I'd also urge you not to succumb to extreme criticism - I know I can easily start thinking how stupid/annoying/worthless/whatever some people are around me simply because I've grown a bit negative towards them.

Regardless of everything I wrote, maybe you just don't enjoy groups of people and prefer to be alone with a friend, and that's perfectly OK, it's not wrong.



There's probably some merit in that Zoh. I don't really run into many girls I share similarities with, I have an easier time hanging out with groups of guys and watching Syfy or Discovery it just seems like every group of girls I run into is like this. It is not that they're dumb and it's not like anything I talk about is any cooler/more meaningful then what they talk about. It isn't... (I mean come on, video games, geeky movies, D&D and LARP stories. TBH at least their "mundane" things have a more general appeal and arguably more substance.) We just don't seem to relate to anything, or share any interests. I do not see myself as better than them, but I cannot help but feel irritated when all women gatherings devolve into gossiping and dirt-talking... It seems to only happen with girls and I am confounded...

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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby Zohar » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:43 am UTC

How old are you, BTW? In general I think you should find (if you want to) places where you could meet women with shared interests. This would be easier if you were in school/college, I would think, but even without it there are bound to be various clubs you could join.
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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:47 am UTC

Jenner wrote:So my question is, is this drama-seeking behavior normative for all groups of women among all ethnicities? Or is this specific to white women? Is there a segment of the women populace (other than other geeky gamer girls, who sometimes STILL have drama...) where I could thrive in large numbers without the squelching the urge to kill them all?

I know women who are excellent company when they're in a group. Perhaps it's a maturity thing? I am very selective about who I associate with, so if I knew women who acted in the manner you described, I wouldn't spend much time with them. But I find it doesn't come up very often.
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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby Jenner » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:51 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:How old are you, BTW? In general I think you should find (if you want to) places where you could meet women with shared interests. This would be easier if you were in school/college, I would think, but even without it there are bound to be various clubs you could join.


I'm 27, I just started college again after taking too long of a hiatus. Maybe I'm just overwhelmed by the difference in maturity? Maybe it's just... the college? It's undergrad so it's all 18-20-somethings... I have video games older than some of these kids. It's all those justified valley girl voices and inane babble... I just can't seem to get into it. You think it'd be easy, but it's not...

Even when I had older female friends it always seemed to be a competition, all posturing and showing off, trying to show how much more successful important you were than anyone else... I never really fit in.

Social interaction is too damn complicated.

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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby rigwarl » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:48 pm UTC

Jenner wrote:
So my question is, is this drama-seeking behavior normative for all groups of women among all ethnicities?


Well, everyone has opinions on hundreds of different topics, and adding more people exponentially increases the odds of disagreement, which may cause drama depending on the individuals. And not just women either :P

Also, what you said about showing off is very true; people naturally crave attention, and obviously they have to go beyond what they would normally do to get the attention of a larger group, which can be something you dislike.

I don't think there's anything wrong with just hanging out with geeky girl gamers like yourself either, if you're comfortable with that.

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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:14 pm UTC

Jenner wrote:So my question is, is this attention-seeking behavior normative for all groups of people among all ethnicities? Is there a segment of the populace (other than other geeky gamers, who sometimes STILL have drama...) where I could thrive in large numbers without the squelching the urge to kill them all?
Yes. No. It's a cultural thing. The more people you shove together, the more a person has to do to stand out. Culturally, we're taught that being recognized and standing out from the crowd is the BEST THING EVAR, so people do what they can to get noticed and be the center of attention, even if it's being the epicenter of a shitstorm.

College is a time when most people finally get out from under Mommy and Daddy's control, so they're already going nuts with that.. compounding the issue is that a great many of them grew up with the same people for most or all of their lives and are just now realizing they're surrounded by strangers in a strange town and the likelyhood of anyone they know finding out what they're doing is low, so they're allowed to recreate themselves as they see fit, and be little social monsters because no one who knows them will call them on it. The best advice I can give you is also fairly unhelpful - find a group you can socialize with and stick with them.
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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby tyciol » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:13 am UTC

I think you might be overly specific. This isn't a phenomenon specific to caucasians or even to women. Generally the more people you have in a group, the more complex their interactions become. People all have a degree of drama, but certain groups really bring it out.

You have to keep in mind: people often adapt to the greatest deal of dramaticism. By increasing the number of people, the likelihood of a more dramatic person being in the group, and of having people who will react to them and mirror their dramatics, increases.

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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:26 am UTC

[Anacdotal Evidence]
The only major differences I've ever noticed are:
That young men seem less likely to take sides in their friends disagreements & more likely to reach a quick, definitive & often agressive (if not actually violent) resolution to conflicts, after which the conflict is then spent and ignored... Whereas young women tend to form cabals and hold grudges for long periods of time without directly confronting each other over their issues. I've also noticed that past a certain age, both genders show a similar style of dealing with conflict which is a halfway house between the two...

Secondly Male cliques tend to be more private and withdrawing, often the major contributing factor to their exclusivity is simply that it's hard to identify the clique, but if you do then acceptance is likely. Wheras female cliqueiness seems more openly "in your face" and exclusive on the basis of identifying with the clique and its values.
[/Anacdotal Evidence]
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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:51 am UTC

Jenner wrote:So my question is, is this drama-seeking behavior normative for all groups of women among all ethnicities? Or is this specific to white women? Is there a segment of the women populace (other than other geeky gamer girls, who sometimes STILL have drama...) where I could thrive in large numbers without the squelching the urge to kill them all?

Yeah - any group of people larger than 2 is likely to degenerate. On the other hand, there are some people (e.g. most of my friends) who can maintain larger groups. Back on the first hand, though, I haven't seen any strong correlation between people who can do that and any other group - being geeky doesn't save you, being a gamer doesn't save you, being of a racial minority doesn't save you, and certainly neither mainstream gender will save you.

I usually avoid groups of more than 2 people unless I already know the participants, and even then for most people I know.
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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby BabyfootAssassin » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:38 am UTC

I find that many of the women I sometimes hang out with are really, really bad for this. It's all drama and vapidness, ALL the time. Everyone in the clique seems to always be 'fighting', people take sides, grudges are held, back-stabbing, you name it. I try to keep out of it, but sometimes I even get infuriated by the behaviour that they seem to think is normal, question others on it to understand what is going on, and have on the odd time, stated my annoyance with it; perhaps unfairly.

I'm sure not all women are like this, just many I have personally grown up with. I understand your annoyance. Maybe you're just around a lot of immature people.
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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby Jenner » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:16 pm UTC

My word, seeing all this and the normalness of it... really makes me lose hope in humanity.

it really is that frustrating.

I just recently tried to join a student organization, y'know, make some friends, network a bit, good times... the Liberation in Progress group for Gender Equality was completely women and it started out really good with great discussion! Eventually, more girls joined and all of a sudden it just turned the corner and they were all catty and backbiting. What was once a reasonable discourse about gender roles divulged into gossiping and trash talking. I have never been so disappointed and disenfranchised in my life.

I don't notice it so much with the guys I hang out, they're very laid back. We'll watch house and some guys got some shit drama it's very "Whatever, man."

Sigh, just... sigh.

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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby podbaydoor » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:22 am UTC

In my experience, men gossip just as much. And nerds gossip right along with the rest of everybody, further compounded by the tendency among nerds to be cripplingly afraid of (serious) confrontation, which leads to bitching and bitching and bitching about absent group members behind their backs, without anybody moving a finger to improve the situation. Geeky gamers have shittons of drama, especially when it's a group of gamer nerds who are together just because of games and not because they're particularly compatible individuals (this happens a lot with nerd clubs). Especially groups that are largely male with comparatively fewer females = dramalamalama as they all vie to sleep with each other, dragging their truckloads of baggage, issues, and poor interpersonal skills along behind them. Good on you if you find nerds/geeks who don't do this...but if you really pay attention to your normal dialogue with your group, I think you'd find more unpleasant undercurrents than you think. It's just a group phenomenon.

I can understand if you don't have any interest in a group of people who don't share your interests - I mean, that's pretty much the story of everyone's life.
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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:27 pm UTC

Don't forget the geek social fallacy thing and a addendum too.
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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby sophyturtle » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:32 pm UTC

Yeah. People are people. The more people you get in one space the more drama you get. The social norms of the group dictate the type of drama.

See the woman thread. Large group of women over an extended time period all treating each other with respect. Even when they disagree.
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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby Jessica » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:34 pm UTC

Ooo never seen the addendum!
now to find a way to get past internet blocks...
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Re: Large Groups of Women, are they all bullshit?

Postby crickets » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:31 pm UTC

In your particular case, i think it has a lot to do with the whole age difference thing. I'm currently in a college program that includes about 40 students, only five of which are male. In total, there are about five women over 35, and five between 21 and 35, me being in the second group. This results in me being alone in a group of about 25 eighteen-twenty year old women rather often. I find that even though we're mostly nerdyshy library types, there's still a sort of overwhelming need to be /special/ somehow.

I mean, i did it when i was eighteen. I think it's just easier to notice when everyone around you is doing it and you, for some reason or another, aren't.
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