Chapter 1: Why We Hurt Each OtherChapter 2: Methods of Our MeannessChapter 3: Bearing the Brunt of ItChapter 4: Calling in ReinforcementsChapter 5: Stopping the CycleChapter 6: Teaming Up Instead of Tearing Each Other DownChapter 7: ResourcesChapter 6: Teaming Up Instead of Tearing Each Other Down
So, OK, we know we’re not perfect. But to say all girls have no choice but to be catty and mean isn’t true. We’re not inherently a wicked mob of fashion zombies who can’t tell right from wrong. In fact, a lot of the cruel things we do are just a result of us using our best traits in the wrong ways. Girls are typically great speakers and writers, and we can use that advantage to advocate for people less fortunate than us or to make great works of art instead of gossiping and spreading rumors. We love forming communities, and we can use that to draw all
people together instead of creating exclusive cliques. We are the more emotionally tuned-in gender, and we can use that to spread love instead of anger. We can also learn to be more direct with our emotions, keep less bottled up, and choose better influences in our lives. Everyone can change, even you
.The first step to stopping the fighting is finding common ground. We are all girls, and we face many of the same challenges. If we can find better ways to share our troubles, communicate, and work together, there is no limit to what we can do."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. The only way we can change this is if we, each in our own way, begin to look at this issue and take action!"
--Jessica Weiner, author and advice columnistWORKING TOGETHER
When was the first time you saw girls join forces? Maybe when the girls in fifth-grade gym class played the boys in a fierce game of dodge ball? It didn’t matter that 10 minutes before you lined up in the gym, Jennifer told you that you smelled, or that Rebecca glared at you from across class that morning after you screeched the chalk against the blackboard. You shoved your grudges and alliances aside, and worked as a team for one great cause — to pummel the boys! You can do that now (work collectively, not
pummel boys, that is). There are way too many important causes that could seriously use your help — like animal rights, school reform, environmental issues, domestic violence, and human rights. When girls form bonds instead of fissures, all of us not only stop fighting with each other, but also create positive change together
.WHO, ME, A FEMINIST?
Do you believe that women deserve to be treated as equals to men? Do you have love and respect for yourself and your fellow "sisters"? Are you strong and smart and ready to take on the world? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are, indeed, a feminist. Most girls do not view themselves as feminists, because they think that the term implies that they are not feminine (even though the two words are practically the same) or that they can’t have a boyfriend (so wrong — guys love strong women). Feminists are just people who support women and help to empower them. That pretty much makes all of us girls feminists. Why does it matter? Because feminism is based on banding together. Feminists come in all shapes and colors, from your best friend, who wants to be a gynecologist because she cares about women’s health; to your grandma, who decades ago demanded the same pay as the men she was working alongside; to your little cousin who is planning to take over the world with her Barbie; to your boyfriend’s stay-at-home mom who successfully raised four children and loved every minute of it. Feminists can even be guys who support the women in their lives (like your boyfriend, though he may never admit it)."I was lucky enough to find friends who were interested in feminism, and they taught me a lot about self-respect and caring for other girls and women. Every time I found myself thinking ‘what a bitch,’ I tried to remember that by using that word I was not respecting myself or other women of the world, and that this kind of thinking and speaking keeps women low on the food chain, so to speak. "If women and girls don’t look out for one another, no one else will! By constantly tearing one another down, we are participating in a system that is set up to keep women out of positions of power. And, power aside, hating on girls feels terrible for both the hater and the hated."
--Emily Moeller, program director, Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls