Friday, March 6, 2009

Some reading:

In honor of International Women’s Day: March 8:

Where I work, I get to handle and see books sometimes a month or more before they are released. The security around here before the last Harry Potter book was available to the public was crazy…I have just run across a new book called Girls Against Girls: Why we are mean to each other and how we can change, by Bonnie Burton. It made me think of a post by Clever Creative that I read a while ago, it was just a joke she put up, but it, in turn made me think of the “Lobsters” episode of the L Word (the one where Max talks about male lobsters helping each other climb out of the pot, but the female lobsters pull each other back down trying to climb over them.):

Friendship among women: A woman didn't come home one night. The next day she told her husband that she had slept over at a girlfriend's house. The man called his wife's 10 best friends. Not one of them knew anything about it.
Friendship among men:
A man didn't come home one night. The next day he told his wife that he had slept over at a buddy's house. The woman called her husband's 10 best friends. Eight of them confirmed that he had slept over, and two claimed that he was still there.

Girls Against Girls is written for teenage girls, and if you are a parent of a teenage girl, I would buy this book for her, and if she does not read it, then read it to her every night before she falls asleep! Read it for yourself either way. Oh yes, it is that important.

Women’s equality is still a way’s off, just like LGBTQ rights, hell, just like Human Rights in general, we need to come together as people, and quit making life so damn hard for each other, it’s hard enough just being born.

Even when I was a girl, this girl against girl stuff was going on, but today, it doesn’t stop at school, it’s being tracked on My Space, texting, IMing, and even email - it is everywhere for some girls who are picked on and they can’t just escape from it anymore. The author gives several popular theories of why this happens, but ultimately it doesn’t matter why, only that we stop using our strengths against each other, and start using them to build ourselves and other women up.

The book is full of quotes from women in all fields of accomplishment:

We live in a culture right now that pits girls against each other. We are brought up socially to be in competition with each other – who has the best body, more boyfriends, better clothes. And this kind of competition can be devastating on female friendships because it emphasizes a mentality that there isn’t enough to go around. Enough love. Enough attention. Enough success. But there is. There is enough to share with your girlfriends. -- Jessica Weiner, author

Women and girls are taught that it’s not OK to be proud of themselves – that if they talk about what they do well, they will appear “stuck up.” So, instead of accentuating their positive traits, they accentuate other girls’ negative ones, scoring social points not with their own accomplishments, but by honing in on the faults of others. -- Kate Izquierdo, music editor, SF Bay Guardian

Don’t make space in your head for people who make you miserable. And if one of your friends turns out to be one of those people? You might not have space in your life anymore for them either! Give ‘em a chance for redemption, but don’t let anyone keep screwing you over or hurting you repeatedly. -- Isabel Samaras, painter

We have to look at each other as allies, not enemies, and rise above the media’s messaging to us that says we have to hate other girls and women. What we need in this world right now is more unity and less cattiness. -- Jessica Weiner, author

The last thing we need are more women with low self-esteem who feel alienated. We need to learn to empower each other even if it’s one girl at a time. The problem is far from new, and the solution isn’t a big mystery. We just need to face up to our individual roles in the process. -- Jessicka, vocalist, Jack Off Jill and Scarling.

Being yourself is the best revenge. -- Lynn Peril, author of Pink Think

We’re already a team; we just don’t all realize it. There are so many areas of life in which it is still a man’s world – sucks but it’s true! Girls can be this incredible web of support for each other, if we all just get into the mindset of holding out our hands to each other. How great it would be if all girls had each other’s backs? -- Isabel Samaras, painter

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