I was reading an article in the NY Times health section the other day on the cliquish behavior of women in assisted living and long term care, the constant re-establishment of a Jr High level of pecking order, and the bullying and cruelty that goes along with that behavior. It's something that I saw firsthand when I worked in long term care, and apparently it's a serious enough problem that it actually merited a research study.
I don't know that a study was necessary, personally I think they could have just asked my mother - her take on this type of behavior is pretty shrewd. She says that as you get older you just become more of what you already are. So, if you were a bitch and a bully as a kid, and as a young adult, you'll be a bigger bitch and a bigger bully as you become an old lady. If you cling to a small crowd that thinks and acts like you because that's where you get your security from, you'll continue to do that for the rest of your life.
The article stuck with me mainly because of what's been going on at Circle of Moms in the faith based blogging category. A few of the Christian bloggers started acting VERY un Christ like over the fact that Pagan bloggers were nominated for top 25 faith based blogs. Several of them got their saintly white panties in a bunch over the fact that Witches and Heathens and Druids (Oh My!) DARED to write about their faith! They called out the Christian Soldiers to try and keep ONLY Christian blogs in the top 25.
Of course we Witches and Heathens and Druids (Oh My!) responded in the only possible appropriate way. We outvoted the crap out of them. As of right now the top 25 Faith Based blogs by mothers contains 11 Pagan blogs, and #26,27,and 28 are all by pagan women as well!
The reason I connected this article to what was happening on the blog contest was the fact that there was such a sense of entitlement from the Christian bloggers, or at least a few of them. They had this overt attitude of "You don't belong in our club, you can't sit at our table", and that attitude wasn't reserved just for the pagan blogs, it was for anyone that didn't fit into their little clique, Jewish, Muslim, anyone. It was the online equivalent of the catty bunch of cheerleaders that sat in the back of the class making fun of the fact that you didn't have the "cool" shoes or the "right" purse.
I hated that shit in High School, and I guess my mother is right, because I hate even more as an adult. The bitchy, catty, "you're not good enough" attitude is just childish, and it comes from an overinflated sense of self importance which is actually a cover for deep seated insecurity. It's that same insecurity that makes these bitches plaster on big fake smiles and air kiss women that they secretly can't stand, because they're afraid if they deviate in any way from what's expected of them by the "right" crowd that they'll be ostracized. So they'll all rally around the head bully who decides which people are the right kind of people, and they'll pick apart anyone who doesn't fit that mold, and they'll secretly hate themselves for being so weak and pathetic, but they'll go along with it anyway.
Mean girls never die, they just learn to bully online.
And that's fine, those of us that were the target of that kind of behavior growing up have (for the most part) learned how to handle it. We've grown, developed our inner strength, built loving honest, stable friendships and relationships, and learned to love ourselves for who we are.
We've also learned how to outvote the bitches - take THAT Mean Girls!