Lilliputian Review: Girls Against Girls

From the Publisher: Most girls have been gossiped about, ignored, teased, taunted online, or even threatened by other girls. And lots of girls have been aggressors, too. But why do girls act this way? And what can they do about it?

This is not just another book about mean girls. Inside you’ll find:

• real scientific theories about why girls are cruel to each other
• steps to take when things get out of hand
• positive advice for girls on how to unite and become more empowered
• advice from female artists and athletes
• a resource section of girl-power organizations

B's Review: This is the product of Zest Books, a publisher of teen books intended to empower, not shame or belittle. Though it looks scrapbook-y and has cute fonts, this book is just as informative for women in general. It addresses why girls torment each other, citing 'passing down the legacy' as an example i.e. older women are cruel to girls, as was done to them: "When a group of women has been disempowered (like women), they may take out their frustrations on other, younger women as a way of exerting some power."

Girls Against Girls also cites ways in which society has made women competitive. Traditionally, getting married was the only way to escape the home and even sisters competed with each other to find mates. Today that competition still remains, albeit in lessened form but career is the new battleground, not to mention popularity etc.

Methods that girls use like gossip and the silent treatment are all compassionately dissected and explained - women are taught that communicating your negative feelings about someone to that person isn't nice therefore they resort to passive aggressive means to be heard. This book is a great resource for dealing with issues like hazing and online threats and there's even a section in the back dedicated to ending the woman on woman cruelty.

Too bad the section on feminism puts so much emphasis on the fact that being a feminist doesn't mean you can't have a boyfriend! As if it made you gay or something. And there's a lot of Ra Ra nonsense that life gets better after high school. BS. Life IS high school and just because women get better at hiding their cruelty, doesn't mean that it isn't still there.

I guess as Lynn Peril says in the book, "Being yourself is the best revenge."

Girls Against Girls/Bonnie Burton / Zest Books / OTPB, 2009

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