The New York Times article “Why Women Compete With Each Other” attempts to delve into the psychological reasons as to why women are infamously noted for rivaling and undercutting each other. The article discusses potential biological and social factors that make it seemingly imperative for women to compete with each other. The evolutionary psychological perspective here is that women compete in order to win the best mate, and therefore the best overall life.
The idea is that if you have the best mate, you’ll have happy healthy children, a nice home, enough money to keep you secure etc. – it’s touted to be natural or even expected for women to compete with each other in order to reach those achievements.
A part of the “competition” between women is due to the fact that we’ve bought into the idea that there is some sort of “limited commodity” that we’re all trying to attain. Whether that’s the ideal father for our children, some perfect beauty standard, the perfect mother award, or a checklist of accomplishments, we’ve been convinced that for one of us to have it, someone else needs to not have it. It ends up making women a threat to other women, and society continually perpetuates that idea by pitting us against each other. We see it on a larger scale in celebrity culture all the time – “Who wore it best?”, “Who got the man?” “Who is the more organic mom?” etc.