A while back I met a woman who had contacted me after finding out about our project. She had asked me if we had anything for women who are being bullied. She went on to share with me a horrific story of losing her job, a result of one “mean woman” who just didn’t like her. She felt wrongly fired and was spending a lot of money trying to fight it in court. I took a poll last year asking women if they had ever been bullied by “mean women” with socially at work and the results were shocking.
This month as we share awareness on girl bullying, I wanted to make sure we included something about women bullies or “women behaving badly.”
I would like to introduce to you author Alana Munro. She recently wrote the book, Women Behaving Badly and she tackles this issue of adult female bullying. Here’s what Alana has to say:
‘Mean girls’ are all around us. We can’t always dodge their sneers, taunts or contemptuous hissing and often we can’t halt their quest to crush anyone who stands in their way. However, we can acknowledge that this aggressive (and often hidden) behavior does exist between females.
Opening our eyes to the toxic behavior that can go on between girls is a positive leap forward. Awareness of the pain caused by ‘mean girl’ behavior can help us navigate and protect ourselves and our friends from their negativity. We don’t need to suffer in silence anymore. We don’t need to accept their cruelty. We can band together and say no to their heartless mind-set.
I decided to push forward and share my experiences of female bullying, toxic behaviors, and ‘mean girls’. I wrote a book and titled it ‘Women Behaving Badly – Exposing the Truth about Female Friendship’. The response has been astonishing. Many young women, older women and girls have come forward and thanked me for my honesty. They feel liberated. They are no longer alone in their painful and often invisible struggles between the females in their life.
In my book, I have shared many deeply personal stories from my own life about how girls and women can sometimes behave, how we can protect ourselves and how we can secure healthier friendships in the future.
I am an ordinary woman who has experienced a ridiculous amount of bullying and manipulation from females. I wish to raise awareness about the hideous behaviors and wish to shield girls from the horrors I have endured.
We girls have fought long and hard to be equal. We have demanded respect from men. And now I believe we should demand respect from each other. We must respect each other and support each other. Trying to bring down another female and cut her down to size doesn’t help anyone.
We must be inherently willful and determined to live a happy life. Don’t let the ‘mean girls’ persistent cruelty defeat you. We must continue to raise awareness about female aggression and refuse to accept it. A responsive and mindful approach will go a long way. Ignorance only serves the ‘mean girls’ and gives them freedom to run wild with their perceived power.
Author, Alana Munro’s book seeks to raise awareness about the toxic behaviors that can go on between females.
*Information on this important project:
The Mean Girl Extinction Project is in the process of being completed. Look for it to provide resources to help parents identify a “mean girl,” how to counsel their own daughters if they are the victim of girl bullying, and ways they can work together with their daughter’s principal and teachers.
Educators will find lesson plans that teach anti-bullying awareness and resources to train them how to detect relational aggression used by girl bullies and ways to effectively approach “mean girls” before they attack.
Victims of “mean girls” will have a safe place to report bullying and find resources and support to positively handle the bullying.
The Mean Girl Extinction Project blog is a resource to keep you up to date by providing helpful information on girl bullying. Practical tips, advice from experts–including insight from Jordan, who is in the combat zone herself–Easy application, and real life stories of victims, parents and teachers will inspire us to work together as a community to raise up healthy, respectful and kind young girls. Our goal: To combat “mean girls” one girl bully at a time.
Author, Blogger, Speaker.
*Why did Shaylene and her daughter start this project? Here’s what she has to say:
Recently, my 13-year-old daughter came to me upset about a friend who was being bullied on the popular social media site, Facebook. She shared with me the video of two “mean girls” (girl bullies) spouting offensive and ugly things about her friend on another teen’s homepage. I was shocked to realize the friend who was being bullied by a couple of “mean girls” had no way of removing the slanderous video because it was on someone else’s Facebook page.
My daughter wanted to jump in and support her friend, but I was fearful she would become the next victim of their vile attacks. I too wanted her to stand up against the ‘mean girls’ and stand for her friend. I was just unsure how to do that and still keep her safe.
As a teacher and a mentor for junior high and high school girls, I know firsthand the difference education makes and the devastation ignorance can play in any situation. This incident led me to want to protect my daughter and any other girl from being bullied in the future.
After some research about bullying, I was horrified to discover girl bullying is on its way to becoming an epidemic. It is not easily recognized, so it is hard to stop the bully before they inflict damage. Girl bullying is all too often covert. It can easily be overlooked as the unfortunate part of forming cliques and social groups. As young girls reach puberty, the behaviors girl bullies use to embarrass and humiliate a victim are viewed as the victim just being over emotional. “Did she really mean that or are you just over exaggerating?”
Reality check: Where boys often use physical intimidation to have power over their peers, girls tend to use social power to intimidate. Relationships are used as weapons to inflict emotional pain through ostracizing, social isolation, or ruining someone’s social standing in the popularity hierarchy by way of rumors. This is nothing new, but with social media playing such an important part in everyday life, rumors spread can hit Facebook, Tumbler, Instagram and Twitter in a matter of seconds. Not just reaching a victim’s own peer group, but every peer group known to mankind. The damage can often feel permanent.
Conversations with Jordan (my daughter) about girl bullying made us both realize not only was it prevalent in her school, but there really wasn’t any anti-bully resources and support specific to girl bullying. It was then Jordan and I decided to start The Mean Girl Extinction Project. This project is a campaign designed to provide awareness, support, and resources for victims, parents, educators, and the community. It is our hope that this campaign to fight the “mean girl” or girl bully in a positive way can rid our schools, social circles, and community of “mean girls” altogether.
To discover more about this important project, please go to The Mean Girl Extinction Project.