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We laugh about how girls are so mean to each other like it's just a given. Why?

Can we ever get to a point where that's not considered the norm?

Lauren Parsekian set out on a nationwide tour to find out why girls can be so mean to each other and how she might be able to help stop it. Ambitious, right?

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All of this leaves me thinking:


Via BuzzFeed.

Now, look. We know that bullying is not a gendered thing — it happens to girls and boys.

But the boy bullying dynamic is a bit different because of how boys and girls are socialized to express pack acceptance and rejection — boys are more often involved in more physical violence, while girls are more likely to engage in or be subject to verbal degradation. And girls are often playing these sick social games with each other because of internalized misogyny.

But think about it. "Mean Girls" was such a popular movie because the dynamics are SO universally relatable.

So many of us have been on the giving or receiving end of the mean girl epidemic, and it felt good to see a movie skewer it. But a lot of times people laugh off the girl-cruelty thing, like it's just a rite of passage for growing up.

Why? Someone should change this!

Like us. We should be those someones.

What if we taught our girls instead about sisterhood?

About the beautiful strength and grace we can find in lifting each other up and helping each other succeed?

There are ways we can build healthy sisterhood into the curriculum for our daughters:

  • Ask them before school if they have any girl in mind they want to give some encouragement to.
  • Ask them after school if they followed through with that, or if there was a particular moment in the day when they chose to be kind to another girl who needed it.
  • Talk to them about their lives. If drama is happening, they need your help in figuring out how to navigate it gracefully. They need to learn how to fortify themselves against abuse if a friend turns on them, and, conversely, how to end friendships they no longer want without turning on the other girl or letting other girls turn on her.

We all share this sense of common woe from surviving complicated adolescent social problems with our friends. But instead of taking it as a given, let's see it as an opportunity to do better and raise more empathetic, gracious daughters.

After all, a lot of us women know we wouldn't have gotten very far without our best female friends.

Let's all be pushers and push for an end to the played-out mean girl thing.

Via Gurl.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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