No. 388  |  Dec 16, 2012   Intro   Start   Study   The Vagina Monologue   MEAN GIRL   The Politics of Female Sexuality   No Room For Jesus   Donate   Home

Mean Girl is my worst nightmare. In the old days, straightening out Mean Girl required only a church mother and a switch. Now, we have all of these modern rules. Worse, Mean Girl has no functional parent. She has a child parenting her, a self-absorbed and severely damaged person who will make Mean Girl's behavior a referendum on her parenting, The best thing any parent can do about Mean Girl is to invest themselves in a meaningful relationship with God. The better choices you make, the better example you’ll model for Mean Girl. The better example you model for Mean Girl, the more options you open up for her. And, when you least expect it, you’ll see a breakthrough, a real change. And maybe, just maybe, you can break the cycle of meanness handed down from generation to generation.

She was such a mean girl.

Pouting, hands on her hips, disrespectful, glowering at the judge. “Take your hands off your hips!” the judge demanded, and she complied. Not sure why. I mean, the judge wasn’t going to come off the bench and slap her—though she certainly deserved that. And, she wasn’t a real judge, after all, she was a TV judge, lights and cameras and all of that. Maybe it was the judge’s motherly tone—she clearly wasn’t there to play with Mean Girl. She was there to put a stop to Mean Girl’s crimes. And, that’s what they in fact were—crimes. Mean Girl had been terrorizing younger and weaker girls in her school, taking their things, ridiculing them and making them cry. Until one day one of the weaker kids’ mothers got fed up and decided it was time to do something about this. I have to believe the victim’s mother certainly called Mean Girls’ mom, only to discover Mean Girl, in fact, had no mom. Mean Girl was in her great-grandmother’s custody and lived with Great Grandma and Auntie. Which, of course, suggested all manner of problems in that household, where this child's mother and Auntie's sister was not living, and Auntie's mother—the child's grandmother—was not in the picture, either. And, sadly, there was no daddy even mentioned on either side of the courtroom. Auntie appeared to be about 22 years old, and seemed to be a Mean Girl herself, “Sometime I do, sometime my grandmom [sic] do.” Mean Auntie spent fifteen minutes glowering at the judge and got all kinds of beside herself when the judge said Mean Girl was being stupid—which she was. Mind you, the judge never said Mean Girl was stupid. She said Mean Girl’s behavior, Mean Girl’s choices, were stupid. And, they were. It was also stupid that two grown people—the victim’s Mom and Mean Auntie—couldn’t get this thing done without dragging an eleven-year old and a thirteen-year old into a courtroom and playing out this juvenile drama on national TV. But, perhaps this was for the best, anyway. For all of the victims and all of the Mean Girls out there in TV land to see this spectacle, Mean Girl brought low by the tyranny of Judge Judy Sheindlin, a lady who is certainly not there to play with you. And TV court or no, what most people do not realize is, when litigants agree to go on her show, they, in fact, dismiss their actual court case and agree to abide by what Judge Judy rules, Judge Judy acting as a binding arbitrator. Whatever she decides becomes, in fact, law. And she can, no kidding, actually toss you in jail if you get out of line in her TV courtroom.

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The judge’s withering and relentless attack on Mean Girl exposed Mean Girl’s silly lies, the kind of silly lies little girls from 8 to 80 tell every day. The kind of lies that are so bad, that make so little sense, that you know they are, in fact, lies the moment you hear them. You know Mean Girl is lying in your face and insulting your intelligence at the same time. Her defenses up, her sass at full throttle, all you can do is take it. Mean Girl is my worst nightmare. As a kid, I was routinely picked on by Mean Girl. Heck, I lived with Mean Girl. I know this kid intimately. I spent most of my youth trying to avoid Mean Girl at home and still other Mean Girls at school. Nasty, pushy, aggressive, violent. Mean.

Entering into adolescence, Mean Girl took on a whole new level of Meanness. At puberty, girls become aware of how their sexuality affects boys and men around them. Suddenly, all males from 8 to 80 become their little biology experiments, as girls begin to notice that boys are looking at them. That boys will do things for them or give them things if girls smile at them or flirt with them. Girls start rebelling against their mothers, wearing increasingly revealing clothing and wanting their hair and makeup and jewelry and all of that—things they never cared about before, but they suddenly realize this stuff gets them attention, and attention is what every kid wants.

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It’s at this point that Mean Girl starts using her sexuality as a weapon, which opens up a whole new level of torture for her victims. Making fun of the plain girl. The too-tall girl. The fat girl. The flatchested girl. And, my Lord, torturing the poor boys. Mean Girl has learned how to lead the boys on. A bare midriff, a too-short skirt, a too-tight pair of shorts. A blouse unbuttoned a bit tool far, and the poor sap is buying her lunch. But Mean Girl doesn’t love this boy. Mean Girl, in fact, really doesn’t know how to love or to be loved. Mean Girl knows only how to be mean. That’s the example she’s been set. It’s all she knows.

No. 388  |  Dec 16, 2012   Intro   Start   Study   The Vagina Monologue   MEAN GIRL   The Politics of Female Sexuality   No Room For Jesus   Donate   Home