My question is rhetorical and doubt in my lifetime it’ll change but I just don’t get why women are so mean to each other. I grew up a tomboy. The only girls I had to play with in my neighborhood were my sisters who were a bit younger. Neighborhood kids my age were boys, all four of them plus my brother, and it seemed I always related to boys. I understood them up until our teen years then they morphed into creatures I still don’t understand.
Is the Drama Really Necessary?
Sure, I had girls for friends in school but the mean side of girls really didn’t click until I came down with chickenpox while in the sixth grade. My neighbors had a party over the Christmas break and invited the sixth grade class. I was under quarantined and disappointed I couldn’t attend but later heard what went down.
Being the daughter of a high school football coach I was born with the game in my blood. As told to me afterward, during the party the boys decided to play football (in the Buffalo snow) and so did their female cousins who came over from the next town. My female classmates decided that was beneath them and made fun of the cousins playing a “boys” game. They called them names and became the stereotypical mean girls.
When I heard this I was thankful I was sick so I didn’t have to make the decision of not playing and escaping being ridiculed or just standing up, playing and dealing with their name calling. I think the reason why I have few female friends is because I can’t stand the unnecessary drama women stir up. I loved skating roller derby but the drama drained me.
It’d be nice to believe we grow out of being so judgmental and drop the name calling but we don’t. The mean girl syndrome seems to stay with us from childhood throughout adulthood. When I was younger I wish someone would have told me life would always be like sixth grade rather than waiting around expecting things to be different.
By no means am I innocent of the mean girl syndrome but lately it seems to be out of control. Or maybe I’m just more aware.
Maybe social media is part to blame. School girls are fighting each other then uploading the fights on YouTube. Not only are girls cyber-bullying others through social media channels but women are also showing their ugly side while protected by the shield of Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other electronic mediums. Perhaps social media is empowering by giving those usually shy people a voice and platform but in some, not the majority, of cases the power is not being used for the good.
Mean Girl (Woman) Syndrome
Was Katie Couric’s treatment during her interview of Gov. Sarah Palin in September 2008 fair? Set politics aside, Couric interviewed Joe Biden earlier in the month tossing him softball questions yet when it came to interviewing Palin, she lectured and challenged the Republican vice presidential candidate.
I’ll be heading off to a women’s blogging conference at the end of the month and was mortified reading comments on a couple of blog posts related to the event. What started off as a humorous post turned into a vicious string of hateful comments and another blog post (which the author didn’t understand the original post was supposed to be humorous) with woman after woman attacking one another. I stopped reading after the second page of comments and questioned my decision to intentionally attend this conference and spend two days with these women. It’s okay to criticize someone if you don’t agree with them but there should be some sort of civility.
Can We Lift Each Other Up?
Perhaps fear and insecurities trigger mean girl syndrome which doesn’t accomplish anything except maybe a short-lived superficial high hiding our own shortcomings. Girls and women need to lift and praise each other rather than finding ways to tear each other down. Don’t waste time envying someone else’s accomplishments when you should focus on the greatness within you. Life is too short to spend time making someone else’s life miserable when there are ways to enhance your own life.
If you’re a gal, the next time that mean girl syndrome creeps in embrace your inner girl power and use it for good. You can do it. I know you can.
- Bitch? Please! Handbook for Nice Girls Movement
- Geena Davis and Media Gender Bias
- Give a Girl a Passport and Open Up Her World
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