I was talking to my mother not long ago about her job as a preschool teacher. She said, "It was another great year, because there was almost no Little Girl Shit."
I nodded my head. I know Little Girl Shit. We all do. Forming teams. Whispering. Cliques.
As a former middle school teacher, girls paraded or slumped into my room. Smug or teary. Belonging or abandoned. Queen Bees and all that.
I used to think the meanness started around fourth or fifth grade, hitting its peak around eighth grade.
Hardly. Little Girl Shit starts around four. I see it every day.
I recently attended a birthday party for one of Joel's friends. There were a lot of big sisters at this party, and one of them ran up to me. She was in tears, and said, "Mikaela told me that Justin Beiber thinks I'm ugly!" She shook with the injustice of it all.
I considered getting down on my knees and thanking God that I only have boys.
"Boys have their social issues too," Mom reminded me on that phone call. She had one of each.
"I know," I said. "But I want it to be easier for those girls."
"Sometimes you step in, sometimes you help her work it out. But those experiences are part of you, for better or worse." My mom's wise like that.
Shortly after our conversation, Kelly K, asked me to submit a piece to her amazing new site, I Survived the Mean Girls. Kelly is doing something powerful here. She's asking people to share their stories---of being the mean girl, or one's experiences with mean girls. It's similar to the It Gets Better project for LBGT teens, except that this addresses bullying amongst women.
And yes, it does get better.
I talked about one of my first experiences with Little Girl Shit (although my case actually talks about a Mean Girl that grew up to be a Mean Adult). I wish it was my only story, but alas, I had many to choose from.
Please stop by and read my story. And if you're so inclined, consider submitting a piece of your own. Knowledge is power, and you never know who might be reading your words. You never know who might need them.