Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mean Girls and Mean Women

What is it about certain members of the female sex that make them act in extremely catty, cliquey and condescending ways? As a 27-year-old adult woman I've encountered my fair share of spiteful females. You know the type I'm talking about - the kinds of girls the film, "Mean Girls" captured so perfectly. Tina Fey was spot on when she portrayed this upper echelon of female popularity embodied by designer purses, chemically altered appearances, and copious amounts of pink. What astounds me though, is that, even today, years out of high school, I still come across the same types of women.

I'll preface this rant by stating that I have never been the popular girl. I was never in a "clique." I was the nerdy girl in high school that sat at the front of the class and got straight As. I joined geeky after school clubs like yearbook and the banner crew (yes, we made banners for school events... why not shoot my shriveling social status in the head now?) I rather talk about boyish things like Pokemon and Ninja Turtles than the proper way to pluck my eyebrows or paint my nails. I was active in sports (playing softball in the summer and skiing in the winter.) So. Yeah. I didn't really belong anywhere. I'll admit that I spent many lunch periods in grade 9 eating my beloved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the bathroom stall by myself. 

It was the same in University. Sure, I had plenty of friends, but eventually I'd notice these "friends" would all start going out without me. Sometimes they would even make the rudest comments, straight to my face. Now, I've never been a confrontational person; I'm still not. But that doesn't mean I didn't notice when girls were being disrespectful to me. It hurt just the same, but I always tried to put a on brave face and "laugh it off." Of course I noticed when they were gossiping about me in the corner and laughing my way. Of course I noticed when they wanted to change seats with someone so they weren't sitting next to me. Of course I noticed when they blatantly talked about a bridal shower or a birthday party that I wasn't invited to in front of me. I'm not stupid, and I don't know why they acted like I was.

Fast forward to this year. It stings that I'm still being confronted with "mean girls" in my life. Women I thought were my friends suddenly stop inviting me out altogether, for no apparent reason. Women I try to get along with delete me off their Facebook with no explanation. Heck, women I've been roommates with for years suddenly seem to forget about all the time we spent together. I guess if one female in the group dislikes me, all of a sudden they all must despise me. It sucks, and it hurts.

So why do girls do this? Why do women, with their more immature school days behind them, still form hurtful cliques? It saddens me that as a gender we aren't more accepting and supportive of each other. What good does it do to ostracize another female? What good does it do to make a girl feel unwanted or not "good enough?" Even as adults, many women still revel in their execution of the perfect lunchroom snub or the art of vicious gossiping. I'm sorry to say, but based on my experiences, bullying doesn't seem to stop out of high school - particularly with females. In a society where women have to struggle enough to compete with men, why do so many females insist on needlessly competing with each other? It makes no sense to me.
How many of you have felt this way, even as adults?

With that being said, I have to admit that I have some incredible female friends in my life that always try to include me in social events and never make me feel like I am any less of a person than they are. I love these women for that, and it makes me have a little bit more faith in my gender. These "awesome girls" are the antithesis of the "mean girls." They are strong, confident, mature women, who realize that there is no point wasting energy being catty, cliquey, or condescending towards others. I love these women and I strive to be more like them. If I ever have a daughter, it will be my main goal to raise her to be a strong, confident, "awesome" girl.

I wrote this post for two reasons. Firstly, I'll admit that I just wanted to be selfish and rant about a topic that has been nagging at me for the last little while. Secondly, I want any of the "mean girls" out there to realize that their actions are hurtful, and that it's much more rewarding being nice to a fellow female than being mean. We have a lot more in common than you think.

- Jennie

1 comment:

  1. Wow...

    Let's hear it for the "awesome girls" once more...

    Sometimes what we need the most is to let loose... hopefully you felt a little better after posting this... and maybe someone will read it and change their behavious for the good...