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Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of…
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Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls (2002 original; edició 2003)

de Rachel Simmons (Autor)

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Títol:Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls
Autors:Rachel Simmons (Autor)
Informació:Harvest Books (2003), 301 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Jim
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls de Rachel Simmons (2002)

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My 10-year-old daughter and I were in the library a few weeks ago picking up some holds for her when she saw this and asked to borrow it. Normally, adult non-fiction is not her thing, but she's had bullying problems at school these last two years, and I thought I would let her try it.

She finished it in 24 hours and loved it. "It makes me feel less alone," she said. "I'm not the only one going through this."

So, of course, I had to read it too.

And I ended up crying on the GO train going into Toronto (on a car full of Carabana revellers, no less). It's absolutely harrowing, for either those of us who remember this from our own girlhoods, or those of us watching it in the girlhoods of our daughters. Or, if you're like me, both. My god, girls can be vicious to each other. And the fact that they're being vicious to each other in this way because of the cultural expectations of Good Girls does not make it hurt any less.

Simmons does a good job of discussing all the ways and means of girl bullying and aggression, how it works and why it works the way it does. She has minimal advice for parents on how to deal with it, although the advice she does have is probably as complete as you can get; the fact is, there is not much parents can do from home about things that go on at school, and the most important thing is for the school and the kids' teachers to get it and act.

If you've ever dealt with a situation like this, you know that usually doesn't happen, even though this book came out over a decade ago and there's been tons of discussion on this issue ever since.

I feel at least better equipped to understand not only what she's experiencing, but also how best to listen and react to what she tells me so that she knows I understand and support her. I'd recommend it to other parents for that, if nothing else. ( )
1 vota andrea_mcd | Mar 10, 2020 |
Girls, and the women they become, are nuts. The things they value most are personal relationships, the things they fear most are losing personal relationships, and so the things they destroy are personal relationships. And apparently they do this because they lack the language to say how they feel, and the cultural permission to be angry. ( )
  cwcoxjr | Sep 5, 2019 |
The newly revised and updated edition of Odd Girl Out is a must have for every person who is parenting or educating a girl.

This was the first book I grabbed once my fall classes were over. Why? I think it's because I have a daughter. She's eight and in the 3rd grade and we've already had two incidents involving bullying. The first was in preschool and the second was last year. Both incidents were handled by teachers are administrators in a manner that Simmons suggests in Chapter 12: the road ahead for teachers and administrators. That chapter gives some wonderful suggestions on how to set up a school or even a classroom to be as bully-proof as possible. Obviously no place can be bully-proof, but one thing that Simmons points out is that one way to address bullying is to have a transparent and predictable system of consequences. If a student knows that Sally and Maria are the teacher's favorite and nothing they do gets them in real trouble, that student feels disempowered to act and report bullying she may be experiencing or witnessing. Having a consistent system of consequences also sends a clear message to students who bully that it will not be tolerated.

Simmons doesn't advocate for a zero-tolerance policy that gets 7-year-olds expelled, rather a zero-tolerance policy that is just that, zero-tolerance for bullying a classmate.

Three themes really struck me as key things to remember from this book.

One is that schools have relied on girls to maintain a certain peace for years.

And second is that this peace that we see in girls is really silence. Society teaches girls to silence their feelings in order to "be good."

Bullying is not just how girls are. Not if we decide that it ends today. HERE. NOW. When we teach our girls to get over it, that "that's how life is, wait until your boss is a bully," we are teaching our girls to ignore that voice in their head and heart that says, "This is wrong. Walk away."

The last theme is one that a friend and I were discussing a few weeks ago. Why are women afraid to promote themselves? I know that I can look back at my childhood and know that being "all that" was frowned upon. Pride in one's work could only be taken so far. Simmons really digs into how promoting oneself breaks one of the cardinal rules of being a girl -- fit in. You can't fit in if you let people know how awesome you are.

Simmons updated her book to include a great chapter on cyberbullying. If you don't have time to read the whole book, skip right to chapter four: bff 2.0: cyberbullying and cyberdrama and chapter nine: parents speak. But you really should read the whole thing.

Warning women reading this will experience flashbacks to high school. Men who read this may have a lot of WTF moments

Read the full review at my blog, Viva la Feminista.
1 vota roniweb | May 30, 2019 |
As a teacher of grades 7-9 I can assure you girls are more aggressive than boys, never forgive, and are very underhanded. If you have a daughter, you must read this book. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
Rachel Simmons says that, "There is a hidden culture of girls' aggression in which bullying is epidemic, distinctive, and destructive." Adolescent female culture consists of manipulation, treachery, and strained niceties, which she calls “alternative aggressions.” To research and interview girls about bullying in Odd Girl Out, Simmons spent over three years in a total of 10 different schools. The schools were in two urban areas and a small town. She interviewed more than 300 girls and 50 women. Many of the interviews consisted of discussion groups with girls in schools.

Simmons offers a detailed portrait of how "alternative aggression" is used by girls as a weapon to control and bully other girls and the damage it inflicts on the victims self esteem. Simmons feels that societal restraints on girls expressing negative feelings or anger helps perpetuate the vicious cycle of bullying. Simmons writes, "it forces their aggression into nonphysical, indirect, and covert forms. Girls use backbiting, exclusion, rumors, name-calling, and manipulation to inflict psychological pain on target victims."

With many examples of the pain and isolation bullying causes, Simmons makes an impassioned plea that no form of bullying be permitted. She has one chapter discussing better ways to respond to a girl being bullied and open up communication between parent and child. Odd Girl Out includes chapter notes, an extensive bibliography, and an index.

While I found Odd Girl Out extremely interesting, I also noted several weaknesses. The most obvious weakness is in the lack of professional data. Simmons uses the stories/interviews of girls to support her conclusions, but these stories are merely narratives, not hard data. The other major weakness is the lack of any course of action and specific responses that need to be taken. Since it was originally published in 2002, I would hope that a more detailed course of action has been researched and is being implemented.

Although the many stories and interviews of victims and bullies might be helpful for those who need to feel they are not alone, I did become a bit weary of all the stories of victims. Just take note that all the interviews might not be for everyone. And if you are a teacher, you might feel Simmons is simplifying the dynamics of the school setting and unfairly targeting you as ineffective.

Additionally, Simmons herself noted another weakness. She "neglected to talk with more girls who do feel comfortable with anger and conflict." There are girls who will stick up for themselves and don't participate in the power play of these bullies. I was one of those girls. I would have also fit the description of one girl who said, "the quieter you are, the better off you are." I was quiet, but if someone tried to bully me I wouldn't tolerate it. (Perhaps it explains why my best friends were always boys.)

Finally, I think Simmons should have noted that many of the behaviors these girl bullies exhibit are carried into adulthood. There are plenty of women who still try to manipulate other woman. I'd call it passive/aggressive behavior rather than Simmon's "alternative aggression" but it's the same thing. Perhaps the only difference is that fewer adult woman tolerate that behavior in others.

Highly Recommended - those of you who feel the pain of being bullied or have a daughter being bullied might appreciate it the most.

( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
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Odd Girl Speaks Out is the sequel to Odd Girl Out.
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