In 2012, my 15-year-old daughter was upset about a friend who was being bullied on the popular social media site, Facebook. She shared with me the video of two “mean girls” (girl bullies) spouting offensive and ugly things about her friend on another teen’s homepage. The “mean girls” made the slanderous video difficult to remove because it was posted on another person’s Facebook wall.
My daughter wanted to jump in and support her friend. I too wanted her to stand up to the “mean girls” and stand for her friend. I was just unsure how to do that and still keep her safe.
As a teacher and a mentor for junior high and high school girls, I know first hand the difference education makes and the devastation ignorance can play.
After I did some research, I was horrified to discover girl bullying is on its way to becoming an epidemic. Girl bullying is all too often covert, easily overlooked as the unfortunate part of forming cliques and social groups.
Reality check: Where boys often use physical intimidation to have power over their peers, girls tend to use social power to intimidate. Relationships are used as weapons to inflict emotional pain through ostracizing, social isolation, or ruining someone’s social standing in the popularity hierarchy by way of rumors. This is nothing new, but with social media playing such an important part in everyday life, rumors spread can hit Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter in a matter of seconds. This affects not only the victim”s own peer group, but every peer group on planet earth. The damage can often feel permanent.
After conversations with my daughter about girl bullying, we realized not only was it prevalent in schools, but there really wasn’t any anti-bully resources and support specific to girl bullying, so we decided to become one! The Mean Girl Extinction Project is now a CA Non-Profit organization. Our campaign is designed to provide awareness, support, resources, events and activites for victims, parents, educators, and the community. It is our hope this campaign to fight the “mean girl” phenomenon in a positive way can rid our schools, social circles, and community of “mean girl” behavior altogether.
The Mean Girl Extinction Project offers events, Combat Mean assemblies, workshops, service projects and team building programs for girls. You can check our our website here: The Mean Girl Extinction Project
Hope we can Combat Mean together!
Shaylene King Founder/President