Mean Girls

Blogger’s Note: I recognize that men can participate in this type of behavior too. But this ain’t about them today.

As many of you know I am in a sorority. And I love being a part of an organization of women that are invested in community service and social change. And since I have no sisters, many of my sorority sisters are INDEED the sisters I never had. My wedding party consisted of women who were all my sorors. There are a LOT of things to love about my sorors. There are also some things I really dislike. And it seems to be inherent in when you get women together and that is the mean girl syndrome.

Like many people who have similar interests, there is an internal closed group that I participate in with my sorors and we discuss things relevant to the sorority as well as general interest topics. There was a particular topic that related to what a soror had posted on her FB page and whether it was appropriate or not. For the record, I didn’t really find it appropriate, in light of the topic we were discussing but what I thought isn’t germane to my point. The thread very quickly descended into somewhat petty commentary and opinion. Some people who knew the soror in question in real life came to her defense and a few people had the good sense to contact the young lady directly but no one gave the her the chance to defend herself. When she finally did come back online, it turns out that she was on VACATION and was unable to get to a computer to address what was being said about her. She wasn’t really bothered by the comments fortunately, but a lot of other folks were. Sometimes we aren’t always so sisterly. :-/

I’m not mentioning this particular scenario to put my sorors on blast. I’m mentioning it because it this happens in the workplace, it happens in church groups, it happens in other professional organizations too. Women sometimes gang up on each other for no apparent reason other than they can. It’s like an adult version of antics most people would think had been left back in high school.

I fully admit I’ve been guilty of a catty remark or a mean comment typed in haste. But more and more I find myself taking a pause for the cause before I press the enter button and sometimes when I am tempted to get in the last word, sometimes I just erase whatever I was going to type and keep it moving on to something else.

I hope that means I’m growing up. A least a little bit.


15 thoughts on “Mean Girls

  1. It does mean you’re growing up but I doubt if you were ever that bad to begin with even if some folks may have thought you were. You’ve always had a direct personality based on what I’ve known of you and I like the “what you see is what you get” personality you have.

    See…the crazy thing about ish like this is that you can’t really control how other people think and feel about intention. Folks come to their own conclusion as to what a person means when they say something and if the person doesn’t even KNOW what conclusion has been reached…then how in the hell are they supposed to even combat it? ESPECIALLY when it’s with people that don’t even know the person in real life or maybe just met them once. Too often folks decide a person MEANT such-and-such instead of being woman enough (or man enough) to simply ask them. Then…they start feeling all insecure because they put someone on a pedestal that the person in question didn’t even know they were on. When folks start taking things someone says generally to heart as if they were the specific target…that has nothing to do with anything other than their own insecurities. If you find out about it and genuinely care about the person’s feelings…you’ll reach out but it would be the most difficult thing in the world to appease everybody and offend nobody knowing everybody got issues and history you don’t know ish about.

    I try to be a kinder, gentler soul too…but hell…I ain’t Jesus and I know other folks’ ish ain’t mine. I got my own crap to deal with and I ain’t no damn hero.

    In summation…sometimes that mean girl ish is just a bunch of folks projecting their own insecurities onto someone THEY think is so “big” or “mean” they should be able to handle it. I reject that nonsense and call it what it is. Yo ish. Not mine. I own ALL my ish and I ain’t about to own yours too. It’s unfair and unhealthy.

    Oh…and I just LURVE when folks claim they had no culpability in ish going South when they know they were as foul as 21-day-no-brush-fonky-breath.

    Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. — Albert Camus

  2. Group think can be problematic. People think they are strong but most people need to belong and a common enemy is a quick and easy way to bond. Once the object of focus is gone, the group turns inward. Darn sheeple. The internet makes it worse.

  3. I’m glad to hear someone else comment on it. I feel that I see/feel it more than others. I find that the older I get the more my close friends are men. I still have my girlfriends & of course we gossip and chat, but I tend to remove myself from the real drama when it rears its head. I constantly find myself thinking “this is why I’m not friends with girls!” Unfortunately I think it’s an across the board kind of thing.

    All one can do is hope to find a few like-minded ladies and remove yourselves from the insanity, head to the nearest bar & toast each other with a few well earned girly drinks. 🙂

  4. Interesting commentary from the blogger and Cbean. This topic is so relevant — especially amongst black women. I live abroad, and I’ve encountered the mean girl phenomena — even more prevalent due to the limitations of meeting other black women.

    I had to separate myself from some excessively negative individuals who are notoriously messy and petty, but sometimes, that is what you must do. I find that those type of personalities deplete me of my joy and vitality. I’d rather isolate myself from such foolishness rather than comply with ‘The Mean Girls Mentality.”

    I also agree with Cbean as I do not talk about negative experiences that I’ve had with an individual with people who haven’t met that person. I strongly believe that individuals should be given the opportunity to formulate their own opinions about a person, and not make their decision based upon my perception.

    • “I strongly believe that individuals should be given the opportunity to formulate their own opinions about a person, and not make their decision based upon my perception.”

      This right here, all day. I call it the “Queen Bee” mentality. When the Queen Bee is pissed at someone, then all her friends are pissed at that person too and they have no clue why.

      • You had better speak CBean!!! I’m dealing with that now, but I’m entirely TOO old for that nonsense! Moving right along . . .

  5. Excellent post. Personal attacks are always fun until you become the center of one. Then, you are forever changed.
    Walking away from the gang and never looking back is the best feeling in the world.
    …ain’t a damned thing wrong with pulling yourself out of the mean girl popularity contest and going against the grain.

  6. This comes right on time. I’m gonna send this to one of my LS’s. She’s having an issue at work. She’s dealing with it but she’s having a hard time understanding why people are just mean and nasty for no reason.

  7. I am not a member of your sorority but I am a member of the sorority that celebrated it’s founders’ day on Saturday. I was the person who was harassed by the mean girls on Saturday. I was being harassed by a guy at a party and he literally had me hemmed up on the wall like you see the stripper do at the bachelorette party. No one came to my assistance but they had no problem pointing and staring at me. I was the “ho” that night that wasn’t worthy of the sisterhood. I am trying my best not to hold it against them but that is so not me. I can hold a grudge. I usually try not to be the mean girl b/c it is not productive. It hurt to be on the other side and I hope to never bring that feeling upon someone. I hope I wasn’t rambling but I am still angry about what occurred. None of them asked me if I was ok except for the group in my inner circle. The more I think about it the angrier I get.

    Coco, I am so sorry that happened to you! And thank you for commenting.

    • Thank you for the blog b/c I needed to get that out and whatever I said on my blog if I got it out would have been destructive I am sure. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  8. Since you wanted me to say something, here I go. Years ago I got caught up in a church clique. Yes they do happen in churches. Anyway the rumor mill informed me, a brand new member, about the certain “antics” of a young lady that I hadn’t met yet because she was out recovering from surgery. When she made it back to church I had an opinion of her based on the dislike of the other women in the church who had been in my ear. It was probably a couple of years later when we were both together cleaning a room in our new church when I closed the door and said, we need to talk. I told her everything (except names) surrounding the fact that I didn’t like her. We both ended up crying and forgiving and became the best of friends. I actually dated one of her sons and gave her other son a place to stay when he was going through some personal issues. In essence we became family. Every since then I have been very leary of falling back into the follower’s mentality and group think scenarios, especially when all the players are working on limited information. Recently this type of scenario played out in my life and when I saw I had crossed that line and the mean girl mentality went on display, I just had to walk away literally. Some people understood and some didn’t, but it was my life and my choice and I chose not to be involved in that type of atmosphere. I hope too it means that I have grown.

  9. Very interesting…………

  10. Beautiful tribute!

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