Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Follow-up on Mean Girls

I was happy to see the NYT e-published some LTEs today regarding last week’s “Mean Girls” article that I blogged about here. Many others stated similar issues with the authors' reasoning that lower rates of illegal violence among young girls meant there was less bullying occurring in general.

Meanwhile, a new story in the headlines is again highlighting the modern-day bullying problem. In February a high schooler in Mississippi, Constance McMillen, was told she could not bring her girlfriend to her prom. The media and LGBTQA groups led a barrage of attacks against the school until it was decided that she could attend a private prom sponsored by some parents (the regular prom, as far as I could tell, was officially canceled). As it turns out, Constance was sent to a ‘fake’ prom while the heteros partied a few miles down the road.

As KC correctly observed in my comments, it’s not always right to blame the parental involvement of kids. I can attest to the truth that some of the shittiest people I know came from loving, fabulous parents. I also agree with Joel that parents should engage with their kids while maintaining authority in order to raise them to be happy, well-adjusted, and caring adults.

However, this wasn’t just mean girls acting out, and it wasn’t parents and school administrators turning a blind eye to the problem (as in the case of the girl in Massachusetts). It was a joint effort of students and adults to exclude Constance, her girlfriend, and other kids who don't 'fit in'.

In the end, what could have been an important lesson in civil rights and acceptance turned out to be a devastating night for one extremely courageous 18-year-old.

The only good news I can see is that, according to my happiness flowchart, the shameful people who did this must be really miserable. Just as they deserve to be. (Pronto, two can play at shameless self-promotion).


KC said...

The fake prom idea was so horrible and so disgusting, and in this case, I absolutely blame the parents for funding it and supporting it.

Another terrific post. I'm so happy you're doing this challenge!