Posted By Jessica Mattes
Every teen and adult has seen or heard of the crowd-pleasing, Lindsay Lohan film, “Mean Girls.” But has every woman thought about the Regina George who dwells in high schools around the nation? In my high school alone, I saw a boy teased daily about his lack of wardrobe and style. His mom died our sophomore year and his dad was out of work. However, no football player or “popular” cheerleader ever took the time to get to know these life-changing facts about him before teasing him to tears.
In younger grades we are constantly reminded to treat one another with respect and advocate against bullying, but preaching can only go so far. College students have forgotten to “treat others how you want to be treated.”
This past week I viewed a screening of the Kind Campaign’s documentary. Two Greek alumnae spent over a month traveling around the country to prove the amount of hate and girl-against-girl crime that happens in elementary, middle and high schools.
Younger and younger girls (and boys) are being teased about their physical appearance and association with school organizations or friend groups. This moving documentary opened my eyes to what is going on around me and has been for years. I think about Greek life on my college campus and the cutthroat philanthropy events and intramurals, the attempts to get a rival house in trouble for recruitment violations…the list goes on and on, but where does it end?
As an adult, Kelly Valen vowed to abstain from female friendships. In her personal essay, “My Sorority Pledge? I Swore Off Sisterhood,” printed in the New York Times, Valen expressed her life’s greatest sorrow and problems among fellow sisters in college sorority life. Gossip and peer pressure overwhelmed her life. Girl-on-girl hate was engulfing her campus and our own. Valen left me this quote in an interview with TIME: “Men can hurt my body, but women can scour my soul.”
Pledge. Make a promise to support fellow females in their quest for friendship and success.