Why Women Lie // Aurelia Gooden
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Many years ago, I was starting a research project on the incidence of synesthesia, specifically, tone-color synesthesia. My research was halted when one of my female friends started to get involved in the study. My initial interest started when, after years of wondering if something was wrong with me, I found out that I have tone-color synesthesia or chromastesia (as well as many other types). When, with excitement, I told my friend about my discovery and that I was going to start doing more research to find others having the same ‘disorder’ for my thesis, I was pleasantly surprised and shocked when my friend announced “well, I have it too; how is ‘synesthesia’ spelled?”
Of course, I began to ask questions as to when she discovered that she had it, etc. She said “I just realized it when you described it.” I asked “do you see a consistent tone for each note?” She replied “yes, and I want to be a part of your study”. A few days later, I played the note ‘C’ and asked her “what color is this?” She said “it’s red”. A few weeks later, I played the same note and asked her the color and she replied “blue”. I tried one more time, with the same note, and she replied “I don’t really know what color I see, but I know that I have synesthesia”. Over the next few days, she began to print materials on synesthesia, write paragraphs about it, and passed information out at her job telling people that she had “synesthesia, a special and rare disorder that most people do not have”. In private, I asked her “if you know that this is my research project, why are you distributing so much information about it; that could affect my study.” She replied “I’m doing a study because I have it as well.” This was strange, because she wasn’t even close to the point in which she would do a thesis. I finally figured out her strange behavior. Her odd answers to the tone test indicated that she did not have synesthesia, or at least, the tone-color category. She was lying, but why? Nevertheless, my research came to a halt because I was going to use local people on campus and she’d already given the details of my study to too many mutual friends and associates on campus.
Many people lie, but specifically, why do women often lie to each other? We’ve all seen the scenario in which a woman has extremely long hair and while everyone is admiring it, there is always one woman saying “well, I used to have long hair as a child but I cut it off”. If a woman has something that society may perceive as special, there is always another woman willing to lie and say that she has it as well in an attempt to take away the novelty. For those whom are religious, we’ve seen the blogs about waiting for marriage and there is always a comment from a woman saying “I waited and was married at 18” as if waiting until the age of eighteen to be intimate is so difficult. Sometimes, a commenter types something similar to “if you think men will wait for you, think again”. Such comments serve to make women whom are waiting seem “not special”. Nonetheless, many of those women are lying or speculating. I’ve seen women lie to set other women up on blind dates with men who were deadbeat fathers; of course, these women conveniently forgot to mention the flaws of these men during their persuasion.
However, the big question is, even though women lie to make other women seem less special, why? Studies show that lying to hog the limelight or at least, share the limelight is an evolutionary trait. In claiming to be as unique as another woman, women subconsciously hope to become the center of attention for men. It really is a “survival of the fittest” phenomenon. Even so, the modern woman has even morphed into lying about racial makeup. While only European features used to be considered to be beautiful, there has been a recent migration toward the racially ambiguous woman being the center of attention. Due to this, I have noticed that women of primarily one race or ethnicity tend to tell mixed race women that they are not mixed race and/or force them to choose one race only. Others take a more passive-aggressive approach and tell those that are mixed race that “everyone is mixed race”, which is not completely a lie but is still suggestively untruthful. Some women actually lie about being mixed race when they are primarily of one race or ethnicity. It’s all about attention and, subconsciously, gaining the attention of men. This is the reason that women lie to other women.
As for me, I will be returning to my synesthesia project in a different area of the country because when I stopped doing research, my friend stopped as well.