When I was in high school, I had two very close female friends. At the time, I was very sheltered. I lived in a small town and I was something of a pariah. I didn't fit in anywhere, so when I found a niche, I clung.
One of my friends was very sweet. She wouldn't harm a fly, but she had a bad habit of attention-seeking. It sounds benign, but every boy was fair game, and any tactics were fair game. As she grew into herself, she found that many guys paid special attention to her when she acted in a seductive or teasing manner. She developed a system in which she had two camps of guys: in one, she concentrated all of her booty calls and boyfriends. They fit the archetype of young, attractive, immature asshole and fulfilled all of her sexual desires. In the other camp, she concentrated all of her puppy dogs; the friendzoners. The genuinely good but naive guys whom she would go to when she needed help, support, and a shoulder to cry on, but whom she would never ever consider dating.
Our friendship ended when I started dating one of her puppy dogs and she tried to win back his attention with seductive and teasing behavior.
My other friend was like a jolly rancher: sweet and sour. She would come running if I needed her, but if I upset her, or strained her, even in the slightest way, she would go into pacifistic hate mode and tell everyone but me how upset she was and what a horrible person I was. She did this with all of her intimates. She was also very dishonest. If something happened, she would go to great lengths to ensure that everyone still liked her, often destroying the reputation of the other person in the process.
Our friendship ended when she told me something I wasn't supposed to hear, and I mistakenly took that something to another person. She made sure that everyone we both knew hated me.
I had two dishonest, emotionally unstable, supremely flaky friends who shaped my entire teenage existence and, consequently, my view of women in general. After I stopped talking to them, I avoided getting close to any women. I was afraid of them; afriad of their spite, their sensitivity, their gossip games, yet I still craved their companionship. I became bitter towards my own gender, torn between hate and longing, falling right into that cycle of girl hate that I disapproved of so passionately. I developed an outer shell of anger and disdain to hide both my scars and my desire to be close to women.
Time heals all wounds, though, and after about a year and a half of avoiding any female intimacy, my desire to have female friends became more persistent than my desire to protect myself and I began to creep out of my shell. It was a slow, tentative process until my longtime boyfriend and I broke up. I was heartbroken, and you know what? All of the women who I was afraid of being close to came rushing to my side, nurturing me, offering endless wells of love and support. They broke down my walls and reached to the very core of me, not once showing spite, selfishness, or jealousy; only compassion.
You see, this is what I believe to be the core of womanhood: love, compassion, and nurturing support. I had never experienced the joy of a woman's uninhibited friendship until I broke away from my bad friends and met real women.
I still run into cattiness, and I'm afriad to say that it seems to be the more prevalent behavior among females, but now I know how to filter out the catty ones and find the gems that are truly worth caring about. Ladies, seek out the lovers. Find women who show support and are willing to stand in solidarity with you, and avoid the ones who try to engage you in their catty games. Don't assume that every girl is a bitch just because some are. There are women out there who will do their best to tear you down, but there are plenty that make you feel like a new person with no thought for themselves.