Female Bullying

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Female Bullying

Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

Keiasia Morris, Staff Writer

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Bullying. Some may call it a modern epidemic. This is thanks, in part, to the wide array of communication in our reach and the false image of glitz and glamour we present on these platforms.    In this age, we have more means than ever to communicate: from social media, to emails and message boards, all the way to classic word of mouth. However, commonly we see people use these platforms to tear each other down. People of all kinds do it; however, too often do we see girls, especially young girls, do it to each other. Instead of using these platforms to encourage and support each other, many use them to talk and belittle other girls based on what they find socially attractive and acceptable. In fact 20% of girls report being cyber-bullied at some point in their lives. In addition, 15% of girls report being subject to rumors.

But exactly why does this happen? Of course, we established that breaking “social norms” has a small part to do with it. But what are these “social norms” and who establishes them? Social norms such as being a certain body type, having a certain hair texture, and even owning certain clothes have been traditionally set up for the attention of men. Centuries ago, tight corsets, petticoats, and large wigs were ideal for a women to present herself as a suitable, attractive wife. Since the relationship to the men in their life was the only occupation that mattered, if you were not considered suitable you were beneath the other women who were married. These ideas were used by women who felt like they had to compete for men, and, therefore, status. These tactics of putting other women down based on how they look has now since faded to less of a competition, for the most part, and more of a gossip source. Women may no longer feel such an obvious reason to compete for men, but putting other women down based on the physical social norms still exist.

But how can we change this? By encouraging women to truly love themselves for who they are and not what they look like is a start. We should encourage young girls that they don’t have to look like the popular Instagram model (who themselves don’t even look like that in real life). Instead girls should be encouraged to value themselves for their talents and abilities, the true basis of their character. Girls should be kind to each other and exposed to various forms of art and expression. From sports to public speaking, the exposure will teach girls teamwork and encouragement to and from each other. It is vital for girls to support each other on every platform.

So girls, before commenting on that classmate or spreading that rumor, think “What does this do for me?”