I got an A-

Mean Girls

You’re a hoe. Yeah that’s right I said it. You’re a hoe. I know I’m being mean. So what if I’m mean, I’ve got to be! Being mean is the only way to survive the life of a teenage girl. I can’t help that I use that as my defense mechanism and neither can most other girls. We’re in a never-ending competition with the girls around us. So what is it that makes girls so mean to one another?

But what does mean actually mean? Well, first of all, there is a “boy mean” and a “girl mean”. But for my purpose, I’m going to define girl mean.  “Girl mean” is being a manipulating, a gossiping, and a judging bitch. Girl’s fit into this necessary criteria because each girl has a voice in her head telling her to judge that girl over there wearing the weird shoes or to tell her friend a rumor she heard about this other girl.  We fit into this definition no matter how “nice” we are.  We’re always judging, gossiping, and influencing in one way or another.

So why are girl’s so “girl mean” to each other?  That’s an easy question and the answer is that we want attention. We want to be the one known as the girl with the cute outfits, the one with cool friends, and the ones that all the boys like.  As said before, we’re in a competition that will go on and on forever. It will be handed down from girl to girl to girl for the rest of eternity. The bulk of it hits in middle school.  Girls hit puberty and then it’s all downhill from there.  If you want to get organized, it’s like a flow chart.  The grades are split between 6th and 7th and 8th grade obviously, or around those. Then those grades are split into groups, or cliques. Human nature decides who the cool girls are, who the freaky or weird girls are, who are the trashy whores are, and who are the quiet innocent girls.  Then comes the applying of “girl mean” in every certain group.  According to Nicki Crick and Jennifer Grotpeter, two women that did a 1995 study of gender bullying, they say that girls have a unique type of aggression in them called relational aggression.  Relational aggression is any behavior that is intended to harm someone by damaging or manipulating relationships with others (Crick & Grotpeter, 1995).  This is unique to girls because boys are more likely to use physical aggression when they get angry. Relational aggression includes gossiping about someone, spreading rumors, teasing and taunting, intimidating, alliance bullying, cyber bullying, and exclusion. If I really wanted to, I could sit here and type out every single instance I’ve seen or experienced of each one of those things.  I’ve seen the exclusion of friends because maybe they did something that just wasn’t “cool”. I’ve heard the nasty rumors, and I admit it, I gossiped to the next girl and helped the rumor get spread. I’ve seen the teasing and group bullying.  Each and every girl does it, whether we like it or not. So to sum up so far, girls are “girl mean” because of this certain trait in all of us called relational aggression.

So should we work to stop it? Well if we are able to stop bullying in general, than maybe we can start cracking down to stop the mean girl syndrome.  But honestly, I don’t see the Stop Bullying! trend working quite well.  Most people know the movie “Mean Girls.” It stars Tina Fey and Lindsay Lohan and it’s about a group of girls in high school. There’s the Plastics who rule the school, the art freaks, their enemy, and then Cady, the girl who moved from Africa. Cady’s caught in between the two and what is right and what’s wrong. Obviously we expect them to be mean, hence the title, but these girls aren’t just mean, they’re vicious.  They’re vicious to their peers, teachers, and each other. The movie makes you question whom to trust in the world of high school.  It was based on a book by Rosalind Wiseman called Queen Bees and Wannabes. The book is a guide for parents to help their daughters get through high school cliques and other things.  Now maybe it’s just me, but you know schools must be getting bad when somebody has to write a book to help girls survive those long years of “girl mean” girls.

I know I seem like I’m being over dramatic but I know what it’s like to talk about girls and be the one that girls talk about. It sucks. Straight up.  It feels like nobody can trust anybody when you enter middle school. Someone could argue that they know somebody who does not fit into my definition of “girl mean”. They probably say that because the girl they know doesn’t bring out their girl mean towards them.  We all have people we like and who we don’t and in some way or another we unleash a characteristic of “girl mean” into everyone we meet. I mean remember first impressions? That is a huge area where “girl mean” comes out. There might be some girls out there that have so much self-confidence that they don’t have to worry about being in competition. Maybe they don’t worry about the competition to be the best on the outside, but they’ve got to be in some competition to be smart, or the family favorite, or something.  In my opinion there is no way that a girl is just completely and totally satisfied with everything about her.  If there were a girl like that, she would be like a robot or a weird test tube baby.

People might disagree with the whole theory about relational aggression and think that something else causes the meanness. They might blame the parents for this mental and emotion pain that girls put other girls through.  They might believe that the parents don’t do their job in teaching their daughter the right way to treat people. But being a girl myself, I know my parents are always hammering into my head the “golden rule: to treat others the way you want to be treated”.  My parents are great and they have taught me a lot of good things and brought me up very well, but there is one thing that stayed with me and is probably still there since I entered middle school—and that is to survive.  I’m on my own regarding surviving the teenage years and I’ve got to build up my defense or in other words, my “girl mean” persona.  It’s girl nature.  It’s my role as a teenage woman and whether I like it or not, I’m going to fulfill that role.

A girl is bullied every seven minutes (Clarke, 2007). That’s not so surprising seeing as though I witness it every day of my life.  And what’s also not surprising is that 85% of the time, there is no one getting involved to stop it every seven minutes (Clarke, 2007). People just don’t know about it.  Girls are just going to fill their roles as “mean girls” and that’s that. Next time you’re around or experiencing a girl-girl interaction, take a closer look and you’ll see what “girl mean” really is.

Works Cited

Clarke, Mandy-Jane. “Bullying Amongst Girls: Bullying Amongst Girls.” Stop Bullies – Bully Resource Site Dedicated to Child Bullying, Bullycide, Teen Harassment Through to Bullies in the Workplace. 2007. Web. Feb. 2010. <http://stop-bullies.com/bullying-children/Bullying-Amongst-Girls-Reveals-Some-Startling-Girl-Bullying-Statistics.html>.

Crick, Nicki, and Jennifer Grotpeter. “Child Development: Relational Aggression, Gender, & Social-Psychological Adjustment.” JSTOR. June 1995. Web. Feb. 2010. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131945>.

Posted on February 27, 2010 at 11:33 am by norahclaire · Permalink
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