Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth About Women and Rivalry” as Want to Read:
Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth About Women and Rivalry
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth About Women and Rivalry

3.03  ·  Rating Details ·  209 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Tripping the Prom Queen is a groundbreaking investigation into the dark secret of female friendship: rivalry.

Susan Shapiro Barash has exploded the myth that women help one another, are supportive of one another, and want each other to succeed. Based on interviews with women across a broad social spectrum, she has discovered that the competition between women is more viciou
...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published September 5th 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tripping the Prom Queen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tripping the Prom Queen

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kelly
Nov 22, 2008 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who need to know they're not alone, but would caution them they won't find solutions here
Recommended to Kelly by: One of my blog readers
This was one of those books I bought because I felt like I NEEDED it. I had gone through nothing but awful things with friendships with women I genuinely cared about only to have them stab me in the back. I turned to this book for comfort. I just wanted to be told that I wasn't the crazy one...that women do have some internal, biological NEED to be catty and half out of their minds for no particular reason at all.

I already knew this...because I've felt myself get jealous - insanely jealous over
...more
Jacy Brie
May 29, 2008 Jacy Brie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I felt sorry for the trees that had to die for the printing of this book.

I seriously tried to keep an open mind, but when she started yapping about long-lasting issues stemming from babies not getting breastfed fast enough, I was so done.
Rachael
Jul 08, 2011 Rachael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
unlike a lot of other people who read this book i wasn't expecting a self-help book telling me how to repair my relationships with women. my friend myn recommended this book to me based on many of the experiences she and i have both had with women throughout our lives, a sort of "look, it's not just us" sort of thing.

i didn't really like the book however. for one, barash focuses entirely too much on those that feel the envy and the jealousy and glosses over the maybe 5? subjects in the book tha
...more
Terri
Feb 10, 2014 Terri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
n her book, Tripping the Prom Queen, Susan Shapiro Barash "found hints of a dark secret, a problem that everyone seemed to sense but no one was willing to talk about; women's rivalry."

Few women are eager to share that they struggle with envy, jealousy and competition in general let alone with their close friends but Barash had five hundred heterosexual women willing to participate in her research. There were many who initially wanted to pretend that they were just fine, that no, they did not in
...more
Melissa
Overall, an easy read with some interesting insights, but this author relied on so much anecdotal evidence and analysis of TV shows and movies that I think a better, more accurate title would have been something like "Tripping the Prom Queen: What Personal Stories and Media Representations Tell Us About Women and Rivalry." There was very little research related to women and rivalry ... so while I enjoyed the anecdotes and media analysis, I thought that the title and self-proclaimed summary of th ...more
Bucket
The author uses quotations from the hundreds of interviews she conducted with a diverse group of women along with references to popular movies and television to describe the rivalry that seems to be inherent between women in all aspects of their lives. She first describes all the types of rivalry (over men, family, career, appearance) and frequently says that the difficult part is that women feel they have to compete in every arena at once and against all other women, even their mothers, sisters ...more
Anu
Sep 04, 2007 Anu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Book clubs, Sociology/Current Events, Non-Fiction lovers
Shelves: finished
This book really blew. BUT, I will hedge that statement by saying that I read it for an online book club populated by a group of very well-educated, feisty women (some of whom have radically different political viewpoints) who understand statistics. And we had a ton of fun ripping her methodology to shreds. So in that sense it was quite a satisfactory read. Almost everyone seemed to be in agreement, and yet, there was quite a bit of discussion going on. It seemed that all of us agreed that the p ...more
Karen
Jan 27, 2016 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, sociology
Shapiro Barash has some interesting theses and makes some interesting points about competition, envy (wanting what someone else has), and jealousy (wishing ill on someone who has what you want) in women. She interviews a large, nonrandom but diverse (and hopefully semi-representative) sample of women.

Even though she provides some statistics for the percentage she interviews talking about such-and-such problem, I wish she provided statistics for the other side--what percent of interviewees feel
...more
kjgowers
Dec 12, 2015 kjgowers rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Women can be mean to each other. I agree with this books message.On the other hand, this book is having an identity crisis. The jacket for the audio book shows a humerous image of a prom queen whose face looks as if you have just stepped on her toe. This image combined with the title could make you think that the book was a parody. It's not. Apparently it is a serious work based on a study. Well no it's not that either. With phrases like "According to my research..." you might think that it was. ...more
Lana.
"Don't get envious, get your own life." One of the best pieces of advice from the book, still rings clear in my head.

Once you get past Susan Shapiro Barash's interesting definitions of envy and jealousy (counter to what I originally thought they were), it was easy to see the situations she described, and the voices in interview were echoing some of my own past experiences.

It felt almost shameful to admit it at first. But having seen the positive notes that can come from such feelings (such as
...more
Tara
Dec 29, 2008 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fascinating ride this was. Barash interviewed 500 women about their relationships with their friends, sisters, mothers, coworkers, bosses, and mothers-in-law. She shows that our relationships aren't just with mean girls or catty women; actually, there's an unrealized competitive urge that men and women have- they just express it in different ways.
From a feminist viewpoint, it brings us to the realization that women aren't the victims of the men or patriarchal institutions. Now, women are
...more
Emily
Jan 04, 2008 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some of the stories are really scary. I think that this sort of competition really does go on between women, but I don't feel it had affected me to the degree presented in the book. I think that this problem affects an older generation to a more significant degree. In general, I still feel that the men I work with are a lot more competitive that the women. Although I agree that women, in general, are more competitive about other aspects of life, especially women that are more "traditional". Howe ...more
Jennifer
Apr 25, 2007 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give the book 2.5 stars or 6/7 on a scale of 1-10 as opposed to 5. I still haven't finished the book, I found it to be slow in the beginning, then it picked up some pace and lost momentum a little less than 2/3 into the book.

While it has given me a little insight and ability to recognize some behaviors that some individuals might have I've been lucky not to experience anything like it in the book nor did it strike a cord with me personally on a significant level.

The topic is of in
...more
Alexis
Aug 01, 2012 Alexis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Two and a half stars.

Some interesting thoughts about female rivalry and envy. Some of the revelations of women interviewed were shocking, because they were down right petty. At times, it made me think about how envy/competition among women has become commonplace and normalized.

There were some things explored in the book that seemed very obvious, but this book still made me think about female competition, female friendship, and why rivalry happens.

Lots of food for thought.

There were a few thing
...more
Abigail (Abbe)
Poor editing. This book should have been 1/3 the length and for that I give it 2 stars because I skimmed the majority of the book looking for the information I needed for my self-help stuff.

The self-help information was eye-opening and EXTREMELY valuable and for that I give it a personal 5 star stars. I am the woman getting tripped in my working life. Now I know what my struggles are because I never understood female rivalry prior to reading this book so I cannot thank the author enough for writ
...more
Rebecca
Insightful. Similar in content to Queen Bees and Wannabes.

While the observations and diagnoses of the way women treat each other when they set up unfriendly competition was immediately recognizable, I didn't find sufficient solutions to the problem.

Still. Maybe knowing is half the battle.
Celticoracle
May 07, 2013 Celticoracle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this book was depressing. And so outside my experience that I spent the entire book wondering if I was simply deluding myself by thinking I had never dealt with any of the kinds of women discussed in the book (well, okay, a few, but they're in the minority).

I have experienced envy, but it's never manifested in such nasty ways; maybe I have my parents to thank for that - and my girlfriends for being awesome, even when I do envy them.

Cori McGraw
Sep 13, 2015 Cori McGraw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I appreciated that this book tackled a rarely discussed but commonly experienced phenomenon.

If you've ever had a friend drop you when something good happened in your life, or experienced hostility from other women in the workplace without knowing why, you will appreciate this book to help explore that dynamic.
Terry
Jun 07, 2013 Terry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a very good commentary on our self absorbed, got to have it all society. Clearly there is some truth here, but I find it hard to believe that it's as bad as the author implies.

I didn't read to the end. I found the author's writing to be very repetitive and I got the point long before quitting it at 75%.
Lake
Feb 01, 2009 Lake rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love this book more than I did. The entire premise was great but it turned into a tell-all of women undercutting one another. We all know this happens, I wasn't expecting it to detail personal experiences of such events. In short, don't go looking to this book for solutions to resolve female-rivalry.
Kelli Oliver George
The book was a good selection for a book club because it provided an excellent discussion. However, the author's methodology was incredibly lame and she included WAY too many examples from the media and entertainment - such as plotlines from TV shows and movies to prov - to prove her point.
Addie Madsen
Jan 22, 2014 Addie Madsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful. Because I was checking this book out from the library it took a while to read it, but it was great! I'm glad I stuck through it completely! It's changed the way I look at other women and I've even realized where I've done some "tripping" myself.
Aliya
Jun 08, 2014 Aliya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish I had read this book 10 years ago, that way I would not have questioned so much my ability to get along with women. The stories tell you how female envy knows no bounds. Not a good fact, but that,s how the cookie crumbles.
Gina
Jan 04, 2013 Gina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sure, women are competitive, but just as much as men are in my mind. I was hoping this book would actually shed some light on this potentially interesting topic, and was disappointed when it didn't do anything but provide us more examples that, women are competing with one another.
Valarie
I've learned that, girls, we AREN'T crazy...there are a lot more women who believe in petty rivalries than in sisterhood. It's really a shame, and this book helps a bit by reminding you that it isn't all in your head. It's not any more helpful than that, though.
Sophie
Nov 03, 2008 Sophie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The nature and function of rivalry among women needs to be examined, especially in relationship to feminism. Unfortunately, this book doesn't live up to the task. It is poorly written, poorly reasoned, and hands down the most demoralizing read I've had this year.
Debbie Carter
Jul 02, 2013 Debbie Carter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Is she a friend or frenemy--or worse! How girls and women manipulate each other--and men. A riveting read.
Gina
Feb 01, 2008 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't get through this book, at all! I think perhaps it may be one that I skim through again at a later date...
Betsy
Sep 22, 2008 Betsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was quite interesting. I thought the author repeated a lot during the book but the things she brought up I've found to be somewhat true.
EAK
Jul 30, 2008 EAK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Explores why women often feel the need to drag each other down, rather than celebrate our successes. A frustrating reality.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World
  • Locker Room Diaries: The Naked Truth about Women, Body Image, and Re-imagining the "Perfect" Body
  • Face to Face: Meditations on Friendship and Hospitality
  • You On Top: Smart, Sexy Skills Every Woman Needs to Set the World on Fire
  • Screw The Fairytale: A Modern Girl's Guide to Sex and Love
  • Happy Kitty Bunny Pony: A Saccharine Mouthful of Super Cute
  • It's Never Too Late: 172 Simple Acts to Change Your Life
  • Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk about Sexuality
  • Crow After Roe: How "Separate But Equal" Has Become the New Standard in Women's Health and How We Can Change That
  • The Bunny Years: The Surprising Inside Story of the Playboy Clubs: The Women Who Worked as Bunnies and Where They Are Now
  • F 'em!: Goo Goo, Gaga, and Some Thoughts on Balls
  • The Girl with Three Legs: A Memoir
  • I Only Say This Because I Love You: How the Way We Talk Can Make or Break Family Relationships Throughout Our Lives
  • The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach
  • Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families
  • Red: The Next Generation of American Writers--Teenage Girls--On What Fires Up Their Lives Today
  • A Tribe Apart: A Journey Into the Heart of American Adolescence
  • A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as Grotesque Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations

Share This Book



“The message couldn't have been clearer: women may rise to the top, but they must seem as though they don't care whether they win or lose. Nice girls care only about being nice. They win only by accident or by someone else's efforts.” 2 likes
“Every time we cheer the downfall of a powerful woman, we're giving ourselves the message that power is bad and we shouldn't desire it. Every time we revel in a beautiful woman's aging or weight gain, we reinforce the idea that we, too, are less valuable if we are old or overweight. Every time we gloat over a woman's loss of a husband to a younger, prettier rival, we are reminding ourselves that our own relationship is unstable, that someday our man, too, will move on to greener pastures.” 2 likes
More quotes…