By Sarah Blair Matthews
Assistant News Editor
Every girl I know can quote scenes from “Mean Girls.” by heart.
Even though “Mean Girls” is a widely influential movie in U.S. culture, it is important to realize that it satirizes an issue that is still very much a problem in girl culture today. When girls quote this movie, do they really know what they are saying? Probably not. “Mean Girls” does a good job of presenting the issues of girl friendships in an accessible way, but I think it’s important that we also take the time to analyze why these actions occur in the first place.
In my own life, I remember one instance where the phrase “mean girl” has been directly relevant. I guess you could say I was a
victim of girl bullying in this situation. A group of girls in my third grade class sat at a lunch table every day, and they decided to make a chart of who could sit with them on certain days. I was in their friend group, and I think they assigned me to sit with them on Wednesdays. This would probably bother most girls, but I just thought it was how things worked. I think there were around eight of us, and everyone else had to follow the rules, so I didn’t see any reason to get upset about it. One day, our teachers found out, sat us all down and told us this was a “mean girl” thing to do. Now, when I look back on it, I find it hilarious, but some of the other girls might not have felt that way. Why did these girls feel the need to act this way? To be honest, I’m not sure. I think you would find that a lot of girls don’t know the answer to this question. Maybe it’s society or maybe it’s encoded in our DNA at birth. I’d love to know. Clearly, girl culture is dominated by the concept of exclusion. For the ones doing it, they think it makes their group appear more selective and elite in the eyes of others. For the victims, being excluded is one of the worst feelings in the world, especially when girls are young and vulnerable. Girls keep participating in this system of continuous rejection because of the feeling we get that one time we are included. It only takes one instance of being included to make a girl want to erase the other bad experiences from mind. But when things go back to normal, the cycle continues and we are worse off than when we started.
I think the best way to deal with mean girls is to not take them too seriously, although this is easier said than done. Mean girls will always be there in our lives. Whether it’s in the sorority we join, the apartment we live in or one of our coworkers, most of us will have to put up with them
at some point in our lives. Although this issue isn’t going to be solved overnight, I think it’s important to raise awareness. Maybe our culture will change when we expose the mean girls, one Regina George at a time.