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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.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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