GIRL ON GIRL HATE IN YA

girlongirlhateinya

Hello lovely people! After reading way too many books where girls had this unlimited hate for other girls I decided to make a discussion post about it and other YA/NA tropes as well.

The girl on girl hate is a popular trope in Young Adult books, whether it’s jealousy, whether it’s judgment, or for no reason at all simply because one girl is smarter/prettier or more daring than the heroine of it the book’s heroine is judging another girl who is approaching her love interest, we’ve read it a million time and it won’t stop any time soon. I wanted to include quotes in this post, but after finding a few I decided not to use them, there’s no need to highlight the issue with actual quotes, I’m sure you’ve all come across this at least once.

Starting from the little things, like thinking that girl is wearing too much make-up or that girl looks like she’s trying too hard or she’s hitting on this guy, to the bigger issues, girls bullying one another, girls cornering each other in school hallways threatening them if they don’t stay away from one another, there’s always a hint of girl on girl hate in books both YA and NA.

THE HERO

Usually in the center of it, it’s a guy. The hero that sleeps his way through high school or college, leaving girls with the dream that maybe one of them will change him until the heroine comes along and all these girls feel threatened. But the hero is too preoccupied to do anything about it or even notice it at times. All the while, his previous not-girlfriends take turns intimidating the heroine and/or going out of their way to fabricate a lie or even make moves on the hero. All’s fair in love and war. Why is it acceptable for heroines to fight each other over the guy that did all the sleeping around and for the most part is not a likable character?!

THE HEROINE

The innocent girl who is not so innocent when it comes to hating the not-girlfriends. They are always too pretty but not too smart, maybe too provocative but never innocent, always plotting something and always being in her business. So she not so loudly judges them in her head or she’s saying stuff like, she thinks you’re her boyfriend or she still wants you, just to get a swoony answer from the hero. But she never blames him for sleeping around with them, it’s always their fault. Kudos! *note my sarcasm*

SETTING & NAME CALLING

High-school, college, summer vacations; there’s always something that will make them dress up for an event, or drink – the not girlfriends will make a scene at some point only to have the hero or the heroine put her in her place because how dare she sleep with him when she’s clearly just a secondary pawn to get the plot moving and make the heroine look innocent.

And then there’s the name calling. So much slut shaming from one person to another that extends to the secondary characters as well. The usual trope of making the other girls in the books behave differently just to make the heroine look better actually backfires all the time. When you, the innocent one, keep criticizing the other girls for the way they dress, the way they talk, when you comment on their make-up, their always fake boobs, like every teenager out there has nothing better to do than get their boobs done just so they can attract that one guy – those action make you the villain. Those girls are only being portrait in that way to make the heroine stand out, why? Can’t the heroine stand out in a sea full of girls that are actually likable, no matter what they do or how they dress? Is it up to secondary girls and their “flaws” to make the heroine seem “good”?

OUTCOME

HEA. Of course. And we never hear from the not-girlfriends ever again. But the heroine is sleeping with the hero, she’s different though, she earned his love, she’s the one.

WHY?

Why so much hate? Both the heroine and the other girls are doing exactly the same thing, only one of them is getting shamed for it from the other girl. The third-party, the hero, is never to be blamed for leading girls around and for acting like an asshole pre-heroine; he’s the guy, he only gets credit for it and he gets to slut shame the girls he slept with before the heroine came along, because why not?

Question: Can you remember the last book that did not include this trope? Wasn’t that better than having girls hating on other girls? Please comment below with the book title, we need to give those books some

Kei

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2 thoughts on “GIRL ON GIRL HATE IN YA

  1. You’re right – a fair number of YA books do focus on girls quarrelling with each other. In fairness, it is a time when girls do seem to spend a great deal of time fighting amongst each other – I recall my daughter seemed to spend most of her teenage years engrossed in her stormy female relationships, which were certainly as important to her as her boyfriends. But it wasn’t always about boys – in fact it mostly wasn’t about boys. YA books that don’t focus on this aspect – THE MANY SELVES OF KATHERINE NORTH by Emma Geen doesn’t and neither does THE LONELINESS OF DISTANT BEINGS by Kate Ling. Maybe the fact they’re both sci fi reads makes this less of an issue. It’s an interesting point though, and I enjoyed reading your article.

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    • True, it’s not always about boys, most YAs feature love triangles so about 80% of the time there’s another girl apart from the heroine. Sci-fi does feature it the least, at least those books I’ve read are more friendly, it’s usually the high school/college setting. Thank you for the book recommendations!

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