I caught Mean Girls on TV this weekend. It wasn’t a bad movie. Basic gist: Cady moves to the US after being raised and home-schooled in Africa. She struggles to figure out how things work. A couple of people take her under their wing…and convince her to infiltrate the “plastics” clique – three girls who think they own everything and everyone. (Think…the Heathers – actually, Mean Girls is kind of a watered down version of Heathers.)
So she does, and reports back to her two friends so they can all have a good laugh. She also develops a crush on Regina’s (the lead plastic) ex-boyfriend, which Regina falsely shows support for and then ends up stealing back so Cady can’t have him.
Which is when Cady becomes full-on plastic herself and seeks revenge. She undermines Regina’s friendship with the two other plastic girls (who are both so stereotyped I can’t trust myself to describe them here), causes her to gain weight, and continues to try to get the guy away from Regina.
She succeeds, of course, but Regina doesn’t take it lying down. She’s got a “burn book,” a nasty journal that cuts down a huge number of girls in the school. Regina adds a vicious entry about herself, then takes it to the principal and, worse, distributes copies of all the slanderous insinuations. Yeah. Bedlam erupts among the class, and all the girls are corralled into the gymnasium.
Where they all receive guidance and learn they all need to stop cutting each other down, because that gives others (the boys) the freedom to do the same. Valid. At the end, every girl has made peace with the other, there are no more nasty cliques and everything is sunshine and roses.
Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true in real life, if we could all just snap out of it?
And DO we as women sabotage ourselves?
I had a discussion with a coworker about raising boys versus raising girls, and she said she was glad she had boys only because boys told it like it was, no messing around. She said she’d been burned so many times by other girls as a child that she didn’t think it would be nearly as easy to raise girls…and that got me thinking. Is this tendency to backstab (and I’m not talking vicious here; some sabotage can be VERY subtle.) inherent with women, or are we learning it in our environment? And if we’re learning it in our environment, how do we change it so it’s not such a huge issue?