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Old 05-02-2006, 10:33 AM   #1
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Physical Violence Between Girls

Interesting, I don't remember any when I was that age. There were some that I wanted to punch I can definitely see how e-mail and IM would be a factor, I have seen that create a mob mentality and an anonymity/constant harassment that promotes physical violence. Maybe with more equality it has also become more acceptable for girls to fight. Like the article states, there are more role models for this in the media now. Or maybe the "mental violence" amongst some girls has no way to be resolved in their minds other than physically, that's what the article seems to suggest.

I am posting the entire article because I don't think the link will work. It's from Time Magazine

May 1, 2006

You can tell things aren't going to end well the moment the little cluster of girls starts to talk. Amanda, a junior at Lower Dauphin Middle School in Hummelstown, Pa., is in the cafeteria, commiserating with her friends about a monster test they all just took. Her friends are sure they tanked it, but Amanda has no such worries. "I aced it," she says airily, "but that's just me." As she gets up to clear her tray, the other girls exchange narrowed looks. "Let's trip her," one suggests. Another one nods, goes after Amanda and in an instant sends her sprawling.

The scene is a nasty one--or it would be if the girls meant any harm. But they don't. There is no real tray, no real cafeteria, and Amanda's tumble was a planned pratfall. The students are merely role-playing, acting out a Kabuki version of the girl-on-girl aggression they are increasingly finding in their school. The teachers noticed it too and have taken steps to stop it.

"O.K.," says Pam Eberly, a health and physical-education teacher who helped the girls stage the exercise. "What happened here? Who was the bully? Who were the bystanders? And what could you have done so that things turned out differently?"

The role playing at Lower Dauphin is part of a new program called Club Ophelia that the school initiated to stem the problem of violence among its girls. And Club Ophelia is just one of a few programs in the U.S. that educators are putting in place to tame a group of girls who--to hear teachers and psychologists tell it--have suddenly found their feral side.

The take-no-prisoners pitilessness teenage girls can show one another is nothing new. Pitch-perfect movies such as Mean Girls and Thirteen elevated awareness of the behavior, while shelves of advice books help parents and girls get through those angry years. But while the kids may be acquiring better tools to deal with cliques and cattishness, few are skilled at surviving a darker part of the schoolgirl power struggles: physical violence.

Popular stereotype doesn't always make room for the idea of violent girls, but they are there--and they are acting out. In 2003, according to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 40% of boys admitted to having carried a gun or a knife or been in at least one physical fight in the previous year. But the girls were not far behind, at 25%. And when the violence is girl-on-girl, it can get especially ugly. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, co-author of Sugar & Spice and No Longer Nice: How We Can Stop Girls' Violence and professor of public health at the Harvard School of Public Health, meets with teachers and administrators around the country and is taken aback by what she hears. "Principals talk about not only the increased number of girl fights but also the savagery," she says. "One of them told me, 'We never had to call an ambulance here until girls started fighting.'"

Experts agree that girls can be a handful, but they can't agree on why. One explanation is the Kill Bill culture--a reference to the famously bloody movie and its famously lethal female protagonist. If generations of boys found their mojo imitating the likes of Bruce Lee and James Bond, why shouldn't girls be equally juiced at the sight of a jumpsuited, sword-wielding Uma Thurman? ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (a sister publication of TIME), recently ran an online list of Hollywood's 15 best "Butt-Kicking Babes," from the pugilistic Hilary Swank to the gun-toting Charlie's Angels. A few of the stars were of older vintage, but most made their screen bones in the last generation.

Then there is the Internet. Girls have traditionally practiced not so much physical aggression as relational aggression--battles of cutting words, frosty looks and exclusion from cliques. E-mail makes it easy for the verbal part of that fragging to go on around the clock. Says Cheryl Dellasega, a humanities professor at Penn State's College of Medicine and creator of the Ophelia clubs: "They go back and forth on the computer all night, and the next day they're ready to fight."

Whatever the cause of all the combat, it is groups such as Club Ophelia that are making the peace. Dellasega founded the clubs in 2002 after the publication of her first book, Surviving Ophelia, about the struggles girls face growing up. One of the principles behind the groups is that girls tend to be tenacious about their anger, with resentments continuing to simmer long after the fisticuffs have ended. Most boys, always thought of as brawlers, are raised from birth on the idea of avoiding fights or at least ending them with a handshake. Girls need to learn the same lessons. More than 400 teachers and guidance counselors have taken Dellasega's workshops, and groups are sprouting up nationwide.

An Ophelia group consists of about 30 girls, two adult counselors and five or six mentors, who are one or two grades above the other girls and sometimes Ophelia graduates themselves. Teachers and administrators pick the participants, looking for girls who are aggressors, victims or enabling bystanders. The groups meet in 12 weekly sessions of 90 min. each. Most meetings begin with cooperation exercises such as forming hand-holding circles with all the girls' arms crisscrossing in the middle, and then trying to untangle without releasing hands. Sullen teens and tweens would not seem the best candidates for such an exercise, but at Lower Dauphin, they go at it gamely. "This is not for speed," Eberly reminds them. "Go slowly and listen to one another."

After the exercise and role playing, the girls retreat to the school's art room, where they work together on creative projects and brainstorm nonviolent solutions to hypothetical situations the instructors present them with. They also discuss powerful--and peaceable--women they admire. The list the teachers compile includes Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling and Laura Bush. The girls' nominees mostly include teachers and guidance counselors and often their mothers.

Ophelia is not the only program doing that work. As long ago as 1986, the Seattle-based Committee for Children introduced its Second Step program, a classroom-based regimen that teaches anger management and impulse control. The program, which has been tested in a remarkable 25,000 schools, is aimed at younger kids--ages 4 to 14--and makes no distinction between boys and girls. But nowadays, says Joan Cole Duffell, the Committee's director of partnership development, girls "are beginning to express anger in ways more similar to boys." Other, independent groups are appearing elsewhere, such as Images of Me, a girls-only self-awareness program in District Heights, Md., that teaches mediation and communication skills.

Nobody pretends that programs or mentoring can roll back the girls' behavior all the way--nor should it. Says Erika Karres, a retired teacher who once worked in the North Carolina school system: "You have to teach kids that it's good to have anger because it helps you get things out." The trick, of course, is learning to master the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness, confidence and swagger.
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:52 AM   #2
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I can remember having some girls that I would cheerfully loved to have hit when I was younger. But I honestly can't remember feeling the agression and hatred these girls are feeling today. Could very well have a lot to do with the internet now too though. Reminds me of this one movie I watched where they harassed a girl really bad through IM's.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosBaby12
Reminds me of this one movie I watched where they harassed a girl really bad through IM's.
Sadly, it's not just a movie. In middle school, many girls enjoyed harrassing me via IM.
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:02 PM   #4
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Yes that really seems to be a serious problem these days, luckily I didn't have to deal with that back in the day before Al Gore invented the internet. Girls did harass in other ways. In many ways I'd rather be physically hit than to deal with emotional and mental harassment and/or abuse.
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:04 PM   #5
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I would reccomend reading Odd Girl Out to anyone who hasn't read it. It's a fascinating look at real-life accounts of the drama that goes on between girls.
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:06 PM   #6
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the only fights i ever saw in jr. high and high school were between girls. this was 10-15 years ago.

for whatever that's worth.
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
the only fights i ever saw in jr. high and high school were between girls. this was 10-15 years ago.

for whatever that's worth.
Not much has changed between then and now.
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by daygloeyes2


Sadly, it's not just a movie. In middle school, many girls enjoyed harrassing me via IM.
That is really sad . Im sorry that you had to go through that The internet was just becoming big as I was getting ready to graduate high school so I never had to deal with that part. But to put it bluntly I had some real bitches I used to deal with.
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Old 05-02-2006, 05:03 PM   #9
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My wee brother who is 16 was beat up just two weeks back. He and his friend were coming back to our house and a bunch of teens drinkin at the top of the street started laying into his friend for no reason, so obviously my brother goes in to help, but they all turn on him, his mate manages to get away....thing is the majority of people that attacked my wee brother were girls, you could see the impressions of their rings on his forehead

Girls are pretty violent in my area and have been for years...me and my brothers have always been brought up with the idea 'never hit a girl', it has been to my wee brothers detriment a number of times...especially when he was in primary school he was bullied quite a lot by one girl in particular, it was never terribly violent as such, she kicked him a couple of times, I think he once kicked her back, because he was sick of her hounding him...and well he was the one that got in trouble with his teacher...his teacher didn't believe him that he was being harrassed by this girl, because well she was a girl

I remember having to go get him from a local leisure centre because he was being harrassed by the same girl and she had called her older brother down on him to......they were not the most pleasant family

Again I remember when I was in primary school the only time there was major friction in my class was between the girls.....one time my teacher had to take all the girls out of the class room to talk to them all in order to stop some group clashes going on...all us guys were left in the class to our own devices...we were actually a bit confused because we didnt have a clue what was going on with the girls

I think girls do still use emotional tactics and gossip more than violence, it continues unabatedly in my own social circle and shall problem continue...

What was it about the female of the species being deadlier than the male?
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Old 05-02-2006, 05:08 PM   #10
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I got emotionally harrassed by girls when I was in school. That was horrible. I'd rather be harrassed physically than verbally.
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Old 05-02-2006, 05:10 PM   #11
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That is really sad, reminds me of the movie Carrie
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
the only fights i ever saw in jr. high and high school were between girls. this was 10-15 years ago.

for whatever that's worth.
It's still true today. For every 1 fight between guys at my school there are 5 between girls. Girls are the worst, they fight dirty, they fight over boys, clothes, a dirty look, a snarky remark. . . Unfortunately the girls are treated differently when it comes to discipline.
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:19 PM   #13
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Unfortunately not all of us possess such powers that Carrie had to get even.

But in reality, things like this happen all the time, it's sad that sometimes you just have these social restraints (ie: don't hit girls back) that allows the males (however frequent or infrequent these assaults happen) to fight back.

If I was a guy, I'd certainly want to punch one of those girls if they were laying on me for no reason. And sorry about what happened to your brother LJT, some people are just jerks all around and unfortunately girls are no exceptions of the rule.
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:45 PM   #14
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Who wasn't harrassed in middle school? Thankfully I was in the orchestra, which was a small close knit group of girls who were always there for each other. Meanwhile I got picked on for being a nerd...even though my grades were crap. Thank goodness I moved after 8th grade, and naturally the only people I keep in touch with from back then are the girls from orchestra.

Thankfully I never had to resort to violence to defend myself, but there was an incident where I was questioned by the police because a girl threatened to bring a gun and kill one of my friends...over a boy of course
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:11 PM   #15
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I ended up switching to a different school after 8th grade. These girls I had been friends with during junior high suddenly turned on me. To this day I still wonder what the hell caused it. Literally it was one day we are fine than the next Im on the outside. Made a good choice with choosing the other high school as I got a better education. Unfortunately still encountered some nastiness from girls but it was a lot better than what I had been through. Gotta say girls really are more vicious than guys!
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