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08 August 2002 @ 06:16 pm
Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls by Rachel Simmons  
Just finished reading this truly horrifying book. I did not have a comfortable and un-bullied childhood and youth, but it appears I may have had a walk in the park compared with the shit [some/many/most] girls have to put up with. This book details and explains the alternative aggressions which girls use to hurt and bully each other (or to establish social dominance or "popularity" or whatever), why they're used and why they're effective, and why they usually go undetected by adults (parents, teachers, etc.). It's pretty powerful stuff.

In the last two chapters, Ms. Simmons offers some strategies to combat alternative aggressions and some hopes for the future. However, I'm not at all sure how much I'll be able to help Gavi should she run into and have to cope with this kind of behavior.
On the other hand, just being able to see and understand things that were previously hidden or unnoticed may well give us a leg up on not falling prey to them.

I recommend it, even though reading it may be hard on your emotions.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Philip Glass - Glassworks
(Deleted comment)
Fred A Levy Haskell: bridgefredcritter on August 14th, 2002 10:00 am (UTC)
Well, hmmmm. I purely hate to loan books -- I had a couple of bad experiences involving treasured volumes and good friends in the long ago and far away; makes me all skittish when I try to approach the notion. So ... I dunno ... let me think upon this.
Mizz Laura Jeanmizzlaurajean on August 8th, 2002 08:58 pm (UTC)
Yup, been there done that or rather had that done to me. I've heard it's a good book.
Fred A Levy Haskell: bridgefredcritter on August 14th, 2002 10:16 am (UTC)
I think it is. Of course, I am not now nor have I ever been a girl, so I cannot attest to the accuracy of the author's observations, but the book certainly does have the solid feel of verisimilitude. I could be wrong (hey, don't laugh -- anything can happen. Why, there was this one time I thought I was wrong but I was mistaken...), but, given what I know of you, I suspect you might find a read through this book healing (though painful at times -- old memories never go away, they just hide there in the scar tissue). In your copious free time, of course....
Coyote's getting bolderruneshower on August 17th, 2002 04:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks for recommending this book. It sounds like an interesting read anyway, but now that I have a nearly 7-year-old daughter, I'm twice as eager to read it.
Fred A Levy Haskellfredcritter on August 21st, 2002 06:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks!
You're most welcome. Yes, as you say, it's an interesting read regardless -- I think it's helped me understand some behaviors of some of my adult friends. And, for than matter, some of my direct experiences -- I think my childhood socialization contained more of a blend of male and female sex-role expectations than that of many. Anyway, yes, Gavi will be 10 this December, so I know what you mean about your nearly-7-year-old.

Isn't it amazing and wonderful and delightful and sad and discomforting and scary how quickly children grow?