My husband watched The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet two weeks back and was surprised to find these lightweights targeting the heavy problem of mean girls. The author of Tripping the Prom Queen was in the line-up as well as a psychologist and two self-proclaimed mean girls.
That got me searching for more books on this subject. Guess what? the story has already blown. Catty, conniving girls are out there. Amazon lists scores of books that target the phenomenon, and of course there's Lindsey Lohan's movie Mean Girls.
But is there a mean streak in all of us, one we're often too embarrassed to talk about? Maybe we wouldn't call it mean, just competitive or even better insecure. How do you react when you're insecure?
I'm going to begin plowing through this literature on the mean women out there to see if the solution has already been found. I want to see if Christian writers show us how to fight the urge to compare, claw and captivate in order to get ahead. Are we any more reformed than our secular friends? Do you think so?
How do other women react when they meet a woman who is totally "other" from them? The otherness could be in body, in interests, in relationship, in sexual orientation, in country, in family. It's perhaps easy to develop interest in a Florence Nightengale way, "Oh that poor pathetic thing, she needs HELP! " And then we reach out of pity which, for me anyways, too easily transmogrifies into patronizing, unhealthy mothering and setting ourselves above the poor darlings. Our pity becomes another way we prove we are better than they.
How do you get to know those who are different without resorting to patronage? Better, how do we learn from women who strike us as very different?