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Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girlsby Rachel Simmons
Synopses & Reviews
The national bestseller Odd Girl Out exposed a hidden culture of cruelty that had always been quietly endured by American girls. As Rachel Simmons toured the country, these girls found their voices and spoke to her about their pain. They wanted to talk-and they weren't the only ones. Mothers, teachers, counselors, young professional women, even fathers, came to Rachel with heart-wrenching personal stories that could no longer be kept secret.
Here, Rachel creates a safe place for girls to talk, rant, sound off, and find each other. The result is a collection of wonderful accounts of the inner lives of adolescent girls. Candid and disarming, creative and expressive, and always exceptionally self-aware, these poems, songs, confessions, and essays form a journal of American girlhood. They show us how deeply cruelty flows and how strongly these girls want to change.
Odd Girl Out helped girls find their voices; Odd Girl Speaks Out helps them tell their stories.
I'm always the odd girl out
No one talks to me
I try to be friendly and speak out
But I'm invisible, see?
You know, gossip is a natural thing in high school. I'm one of those girls that will
do it right in front of you. I'll whisper at my friends and look at you the whole time.
Then we'll all cut up laughing. You know we're talking about you.
My best friend and I started being friends with this other girl. But she was fat. It was hard because she always wanted to go down the slide second and she would crush us. We didn't want to tell her she was fat, so we decided to drop her. Her mother called my mother and
told her we were being mean. But we just couldn't be friends with her anymore.
-from Odd Girl Speaks Out
REVISED AND UPDATED
WITH NEW MATERIAL ON CYBERBULLYING AND
HELPING GIRLS HANDLE THE DANGERS OF LIFE ONLINE
When Odd Girl Out was first published, it became an instant bestseller and ignited a long-overdue conversation about the hidden culture of female bullying. Today the dirty looks, taunting notes, and social exclusion that plague girls friendships have gained new momentum in cyberspace.
In this updated edition, educator and bullying expert Rachel Simmons gives girls, parents, and educators proven and innovative strategies for navigating social dynamics in person and online, as well as brand new classroom initiatives and step-by-step parental suggestions for dealing with conventional bullying. With up-to-the-minute research and real-life stories, Odd Girl Out continues to be the definitive resource on the most pressing social issues facing girls today.
READING GROUP GUIDE AND TEACHERS GUIDE available at www.marinnerreadersguides.com
When boys act out, get into fights, or become physically aggressive, we can't avoid noticing their bad behavior. But it is easy to miss the subtle signs of aggression in girls--the dirty looks, the taunting notes, or the exclusion from the group-that send girls home crying.
In Odd Girl Out, Rachel Simmons focuses on these interactions and provides language for the indirect aggression that runs through the lives and friendships of girls. These exchanges take place within intimate circles--the importance of friends and the fear of losing them is key. Without the cultural consent to express their anger or to resolve their conflicts, girls express their aggression in covert but damaging ways. Every generation of women can tell stories of being bullied, but Odd Girl Out explores and explains these experiences for the first time.
Journalist Rachel Simmons sheds light on destructive patterns that need our attention. With advice for girls, parents, teachers, and even school administrators, Odd Girl Out is a groundbreaking work that every woman will agree is long overdue.
About the Author
Rachel Simmons graduated from Vassar in 1996, where she studied women's studies and political science. In 1998, a Rhodes Scholarship for study at Oxford launched her research of female bullying and girls' psychology, leading to Odd Girl Out. She has worked in politics in Washington, D.C., and New York City and lives in Brooklyn.
Table of Contents
A NOTE FROM RACHEL SIMMONS o vii
THE SOUND OF A GIRL'S VOICE
"WHY IS IT MY FAULT THAT
I DON'T WANT TO BE HER FRIEND?":
Moving On, Growing Apart
"A NEVER-ENDING NIGHTMARE":
When Friends Turn On You
"IT'S THE WAY GIRLS SURVIVE":
Aggression, Fear, and Revenge
"I WANTED TO FIT IN SO BADLY":
Life as the Odd Girl Out
FINDING YOUR INNER STRENGTH
What Our Readers Are Saying
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