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Cassie - women hurting women

People love stories about romantic rivals - at least when it’s two guys fighting over a girl. When it’s two girls going after the same guy, the vibe is a lot darker.

A man “beats” rivals to “win” a woman’s heart. But women are said to “steal” men from other women. We saw this go down on Euphoria when everyone (on the show and in real life) was dragging Cassie for hooking up with Maddy’s ex Nate. But if you look closer, you might be surprised by what the story is actually trying to tell us.

This love triangle comments on the way we tend to think about women fighting over men. Even though Cassie is supposed to be the “temptress” in this scenario, she isn’t forward and independent like the women who “steal” men are often portrayed to be. This sweetly naive girl is obsessed with the idea of true love, and believes that to achieve that kind of love you need to sacrifice everything. It’s actually very sad to watch her lose all sense of self and wreck her life because she’s so desperate to be loved.

Meanwhile, the male “prize” being fought over here, Nate, is a clear villain. So the audience knows that really, neither girl is going to benefit from being with him.

And that’s what makes this version of the “other woman” love triangle so tragic. Maddy may be fierce and kind of scary when wronged, but she is an excellent friend to Cassie. So more than the “woman scorned” who’s concerned with keeping her man, she’s a woman who is upset because she loves her friend. And that’s just sad for both women.