Sometimes women can be referred to as "catty," which I have come to know as being snobby or rude or other cat-like qualities (sorry cat-lovers). I've recently developed some theories on the subject.
Zane and I had an interesting conversation about a mutual friend from high school days. I remarked that when I first met her, I didn't like her. He asked why, because he had always thought she was nice, even though many of his other female friends didn't like her either. I responded that it was because she was 1) beautiful, 2) friendly, and 3) confident. Triple threat.
You may be thinking, "If she was so friendly, why didn't you like her?" Because! I was a freshman in college when I met her and somewhere in my upbringing, especially in the high school years, I was taught that you dislike women by whom you are intimidated.
It's been many years since that incident, and I react differently to the triple threat now. I find that when I'm introduced to a beautiful, friendly, confident woman, I feel the need to become her friend, to win her over. I guess that's how I deal with intimidation.
Why the difference in gut reaction? Two theories: 1) maturity and 2) marriage.
I think some young women are catty because they think of each other as a threat to snagging their man of choice. After you're married, you still have the woman sense (much like spidey senses) to feel intimidated by a triple threat, but there's no need to dislike her, because she's no threat to your man and you're no threat to hers. Of course, that's not the sole reason behind cattiness, just a theory.
And I'd still like to think that I am more mature now.