I recently watched a trailer for a documentary entitled Finding Kind. It was created by two young women who are filmmakers, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Stroud. The documentary is about how vicious girls can be to each other. I have not seen this documentary but as I watched the trailer for it, I felt that tinge of pain and had flash backs of many of my experiences. When it comes to girls and their relationships, I have been at a loss. I have tried to study their patterns of behavior over the course of my life but they seem so erratic and irrational. But I can pretty much guarantee that my behavior has looked that way to others as well. However, to me my patterns make logical sense while theirs seem based on emotion or fleeting thoughts. I could be wrong; it could be how I interpret things.
I find it confusing.
I admit I have found many kindred spirits with women in the internet world; it has been a very positive experience. I think this documentary has the potential of bringing some real change in many young girls’ lives. Hopefully producing many positive experiences and lasting changes. When I think back to my experiences I remember not understanding them at all. Why would one of my friends turn on me in an instant? What was the purpose of liking me one day and then the next discover that no one was “allowed” to talk to me?
In elementary school, this happened to me.
Come to find out it was because I wore a generic Izod shirt. When one of the girls ended up telling me that, I came home and told my mom. She then spent much-needed funds that were supposed to be used on essentials, on new clothes for me that night. I got a real Izod shirt. My mom had encountered so much ridicule and bullying during her school years that made her sensitive to certain issues with me.
Later I learned that my mother had a similar experience as mine growing up.
Although, the Izod shirt did not change a thing and though for a while I would be accepted in an instant it would dramatically change. That was just one example, but there are many others that I could share. I would feel hurt, but the main thing I felt was confused. I think a lot of girls feel this when the group turns on them. I have watched girls sacrifice everything just to get back into the group. I have watched girls turn into bullies toward the group after being rejected. I have seen girls turn depressed, angry, hurt and then seek validation through guys just to feel like they belong. I never really did that; I would be confused and hurt and then spend hours trying to figure out what I had done wrong. The other thought that would flood my mind was “Why are people so mean?” I wasn’t only thinking of my own situations.
For me, I would just shut down and internalize, when it came to girls.
For others, I couldn’t just sit back and watch them be hurt. I would speak up and take the side of the person being badgered. It didn’t matter if the person had disliked me or not, if someone was attacking them I jumped in. Only to have it backfire with them being angry at me and then shortly being accepted back into the group. I didn’t care, I did the right thing. I have noticed this attacking and then best friend kind of pattern that makes no sense whatsoever. My sisters do this with each other. All of them, anytime I have stepped in to try to help, they turned on me. I have learned to stay out of it.
My message was always to think about the other person.
Where are they coming from? Why are they lashing out like that? What is going on in their life to cause them to be so vile? I have to admit my thoughts did not come from feeling empathy; they came from wanting to understand this odd system that girls tend to fall into. Over the course of my life I have noticed something about both sides, they are seeking something. They seem to be wanting their voice to be heard somehow, through might or conformity. They want to be seen. They want someone to recognize that they are there. They are willing to do whatever it takes to have that empowerment that they feel has been stripped from them at some point.
It could be at home, at school, in their other activities.
They need to be acknowledged. I see that is pretty much what we all want, to know we exist. We want others to know that we have something to offer this world. When the existence feels threatened it causes the feelings to fight for it or to find the group that will agree with it. It seems that way to me, I could be all wrong. These are only my random thoughts triggered from the 3:00 minute documentary trailer. It made me think of all the clubs and bars I went to when I was younger, my friends would get upset at me because I would wander all over the place and they would end up finding me sitting in some corner or table, observing. Well that is if I wasn’t off dancing or telling a guy he could buy me a drink while adding, “But even if you buy me a drink, you aren’t getting anything!”
That was fun.
I watched the girls giving dirty looks to the girls perceived as pretty. They whispered to each other, at times pointed or even heckled. I watched the perceived pretty girls walk around and give looks to the ones they thought were not. I watched the girls downing drinks, seeking a guys eye, putting everything they had out there for that moment of validation, from those guys? I observed in the line waiting to use the restroom, them using all of the gross used make-up, perfume, and lotion, whatever that was open to all. How many germs? Eek! Maybe that’s just me. They would get all catty in the mirrors with each other, it was strange. There seemed to be a competition of some sort going on in the place that I was oblivious too.
Frankly, I didn’t care I really just wanted to know what they were doing.
I have noticed a strange phenomenon as well that raises a question for me. Why does society have this strange fixation with thinking “cat fights” are cool? I am not about girl power, I am about people power, but I do see where girls tend to attack each other and it seems so wrong. I am an outsider looking in; I really have no desire to be around most girls in the physical because I never know if/when they are going to attack.
Despite my feelings, I think that it is important for girls and women to have positive relationships.
I still try to have relationships with women but I am very cautious. I look at all people as equals, children included. I see the value of input from sources others deem foolish. I think the lack of equality of voice seems to have an impact on the girls of this time. It seems the “girl power” has gotten shifted to “diva power” and has stripped away the value of being a girl. Even though we see daily, that girls should be proud of who they are. The unspoken rule is “Be proud as long as (fill in the blank).”
There are many women role models that we can look to.
I find many female role models from the past very interesting, the ones people do not talk about. They were writers, inventors, mathematicians, scientists, mothers, spiritual leaders, poets, artists, civil rights ambassadors, on and on. They made significant changes in our world; the women of other countries rarely get mentioned here. They are some of the most amazing pioneers for women. Not to take the place of man but using her gifts as equal value as to any man. I do not see a huge focus on the women of today, who also represent great role models like that.
It doesn’t have to be barefoot and pregnant or woman president.
The gender differences are of equal value. Women and girls should not have to feel like they have to go in extreme directions to achieve value in their giftings. Maybe if we spent more time occupying the minds of girls, teaching them how to embrace their own uniqueness and how to use it in a valuing way, possibly the girl fights would be a bit less. Women have the power to teach their daughters how to be strong in who they are. I am thinking if we spent more time on the individual on the inside, the outward focus wouldn’t be the main source for validation. It is true some women will never get along with a certain type of woman and it’s ok. (I may fall into that category.) Even so, there is no reason to attack them because you don’t understand them.
Well there you go my rant for the day.