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Female Bullies
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First time poster here in the Womens :)

So whats up with female bullies?!?
I've been teaching HS for 16 years and almost exclusively grade 9 /10 boys phys ed. I've become extremely adept in spotting and dealing with the male bullies in my classes but female bullies...?!!??...I am fast learning that they are a whole different can of worms.
I never had sisters, I grew up in the sport dressing rooms around other guys and as mentioned have never taught or coached females until 5 weeks ago when I stepped in to take over a grade 9 girls volleyball team from the regular coach who had to go on med leave.
Everything was going- or seemed to be going:) - hunky dory until last night when my assistant -a senior female here at the school - comes to me with news that 5 of the starters have been bullying the 6 th starter since pretty well the start of the season.!! I was shocked to say the least!!
Never ever saw any of the usual telling signs of bullying that I see with my boys. In fact the opposite...these girls looked to be best of friends with lots of group hugs on the court , smilling, giggling etc etc . The victim is tall , athletic and pretty ...as are the supposed bullies. They have been together since grade 7 and I am hearing today from admin that the roots of all this go as far back as junior high!!!!
I'm just amazed ....and its served as a real eye opener for me not only as a teacher but as a father of a little 3 year old girl. I certainly don't want her to be a victim some day or to be the offender. The offenders in this case all 'appear' perfect and their parents all 'appear' to be loving , supportive and (well educated) from what I see.
Not to mention the mothers all seem to be good friends all sitting together at games.
This is all really weird and troublesome

That's all ::))



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Re: Female Bullies [shady] [ In reply to ]
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Can you get the bullies suspended from the team?

I'm a female and have never been bullied. This is shocking.
Last edited by: TriBeer: Mar 28, 14 15:34
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Re: Female Bullies [TriBeer] [ In reply to ]
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They're teenage girls. They're probably hormonal, too concerned about their images, and all trying to fit in. Who they like and dislike can change from week to week, just like clothing and makeup trends. Does the "bullied" girl have other friends? Does she have her own support system outside the team?

BTW, I hate the new fear of bullying that everyone seems to have...there's a difference between bullying and teasing, and not every snide remark or insult to someone's clothing or hairstyle choice has to result in turning someone in for bullying. I was teased as a kid, but I think it made me more resilient and willing to joke about myself. I wasn't beaten to a pulp by bigger kids, which is what I consider to be bullying.
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Re: Female Bullies [shady] [ In reply to ]
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I read an interesting article that I can try and dig up if you want. It talked about how one theory of why girls are so sneaky and mean to each other is that it is not acceptable for them to be loud and physical like boys are. So, they turn on each other in a different way. Boys may push each other around and shout but girls aren't allowed to do that. Boys resolve it with a confrontation or two but girls don't get "permission" to do that.

I wasn't bullied and I never did it so I can't speak from experience here. I thought that was at least a legitimate theory and it makes sense.

It is also part of a continuous cycle. They see older girls doing it who watched older girls do it, etc etc. It is how both genders learn to deal with each other, by watching those older and emulating that.

I think the way to prepare girls is to teach them not to be afraid of confrontation and to stand up for themselves, loudly when necessary. They should be taught not to put up with anyone's bullshit and watch out for others who are being bullied. Never use the words "lady like." Girls need to be taught that being aggressive, when necessary, isn't only the domain of the boys.

In the meantime, talk to the girl being bullied and ask if there is anything you can do to help. If she says no, let it go. At least you let her know she can come to you if she needs to. Singling her out without her agreement will only make it worse.

Good luck!

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Jen

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
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Re: Female Bullies [shady] [ In reply to ]
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Bully/Bullies are used so loosely anymore that it is difficult to what is really going on. If a pack of five girls have turned their backs on one, I would not consider it to be bullying but teenage girls going through hormonal changes. If the sixth girl is feeling hurt by their actions, it may be helpful to ask what is going on, how she feels and encourage her to stand up against them in a non-violent fashion.


_____________________________________
DISH is how we do it.
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Re: Female Bullies [shady] [ In reply to ]
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You are the coach right? So make sure you make it clear what type of conduct is acceptable or not during practice/games/team events. Focus on what you can control and influence where you can't control. Try to use your time with them to show why fair play - even for teammates - is important.

Other than that, not much you can do until said bullied girl asks for help. Teenage girls are cruel, yes, but we need to stop coddling kids. My 2 cents.

AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: Female Bullies [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Oh and (re)watch "Heathers". or "Mean Girls". :-)

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: Female Bullies [shady] [ In reply to ]
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Ladies, you've all shared some good insight - and it's why I came into your 'hood to get your perspective:)
Me? I'm just going to try and stay out of this one... Boys I can handle! Girls?. ..meh
Our admin and guidance dept are all over it -it's what they are paid to do but I thought I would just hear what you guys thought and again real eye opener for me ...and having a daughter myself now...?
It's good for me to see what can go on among the young womens
Hope everything turns out all right. I know that they are all great kids deep down



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Re: Female Bullies [jl2732] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
BTW, I hate the new fear of bullying that everyone seems to have...there's a difference between bullying and teasing, and not every snide remark or insult to someone's clothing or hairstyle choice has to result in turning someone in for bullying. I was teased as a kid, but I think it made me more resilient and willing to joke about myself. I wasn't beaten to a pulp by bigger kids, which is what I consider to be bullying.

I agree there is a difference between bullying and teasing, but bullying is not always physical.

maybe she's born with it, maybe it's chlorine
Fishtwitch is chlorintined!
disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: Female Bullies [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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AndyPants wrote:
Oh and (re)watch "Heathers". or "Mean Girls". :-)

Or look at the whole "Self" magazine uproar.

clm
Nashville, TN
https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: Female Bullies [tigerchik] [ In reply to ]
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tigerchik wrote:
Quote:
BTW, I hate the new fear of bullying that everyone seems to have...there's a difference between bullying and teasing, and not every snide remark or insult to someone's clothing or hairstyle choice has to result in turning someone in for bullying. I was teased as a kid, but I think it made me more resilient and willing to joke about myself. I wasn't beaten to a pulp by bigger kids, which is what I consider to be bullying.


I agree there is a difference between bullying and teasing, but bullying is not always physical.

That's true. I guess the difference there would be the occasional tease vs. the unrelenting tease where the goal is to make the person hate their life. I think some of the former is starting to be seen as equal to the latter.
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Re: Female Bullies [jl2732] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
BTW, I hate the new fear of bullying that everyone seems to have...there's a difference between bullying and teasing, and not every snide remark or insult to someone's clothing or hairstyle choice has to result in turning someone in for bullying. I was teased as a kid, but I think it made me more resilient and willing to joke about myself. I wasn't beaten to a pulp by bigger kids, which is what I consider to be bullying.

I agree there is a difference between bullying and teasing, but bullying is not always physical.
That's true. I guess the difference there would be the occasional tease vs. the unrelenting tease where the goal is to make the person hate their life. I think some of the former is starting to be seen as equal to the latter.

I think I agree with you. Humor, teasing, and mocking are three of the ways I "deal..." on the other hand, I think one comment can have a profound impact. When I was 12, I laid down sideways on the couch and my legs slapped together. My dad teased "Allison! Was that your thighs slapping together?" two years later I weighed 97 pounds... while that one comment alone did not cause my eating disorder, it was certainly one of many things that did (the others being perfectionism, never feeling good enough, etc etc etc).

So while I'm all for teasing, there are some types of teasing I would not find ok, even if it just a single comment. Body weight is one of those for me.
I agree that unrelenting teasing is absolutely unacceptable.

maybe she's born with it, maybe it's chlorine
Fishtwitch is chlorintined!
disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: Female Bullies [ironclm] [ In reply to ]
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Threaded…..What Self mag uproar ? All of those health/fitness mags aimed at women are just crap.
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Re: Female Bullies [toreishi] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Threaded…..What Self mag uproar ? All of those health/fitness mags aimed at women are just crap.

SLEF posted a picture of a woman running in a tutu as "BS" - a real-runners-don't-wear-tutus thing - the woman in the picture responded to them (not that one needs an excuse to wear a tutu, but she was a cancer survivor and was running as part of a group to raise $ for cancer or something) and the SELF editor responded w/ an apology

While I don't always find useful info in fitness magazines, they are totally a guilty pleasure for me. I let myself read them while walking on the treadmill or using the stair master, figuring at least that way I am doing something productive!

maybe she's born with it, maybe it's chlorine
Fishtwitch is chlorintined!
disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: Female Bullies [tigerchik] [ In reply to ]
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Totally agree about using them as time fillers. As long as they're free and a last resort, I can always use a good laugh.
Thanks for filling me in.
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Re: Female Bullies [toreishi] [ In reply to ]
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toreishi wrote:
Threaded…..What Self mag uproar ? All of those health/fitness mags aimed at women are just crap.

Friend of mine wrote a blog post about it.

http://www.pikespeaksports.us/...the-tutu-controversy

And further to what TC said, you never know what that one comment to someone might be. For TC it was her thighs. For someone else, it might be something totally different. And no, it definitely doesn't have to be beating someone up (physically).

clm
Nashville, TN
https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: Female Bullies [shady] [ In reply to ]
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As a fellow high school teacher with 20 years of experience, you really need to report, in writing, the bullying to the administration so that you are following your district's bullying and harassment policy. Not reporting these days is a big deal. I don't know what state you are in but in my state we are required to report bullying within 24 hours and admin has to go through very specific steps to deal with it other wise it is a violation of not only district policy but state law. This isn't "girls being girls".

I do agree that girls have a different way of bullying and dealing with it than boys do.Their behavior can be very subtle and mean even if it looks like everyone is getting along. Did the senior you mentioned report this to the previous coach? I imagine this is also playing out on social media too. For the benefit of the victim and to cover your own ass, please report it!
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Re: Female Bullies [shady] [ In reply to ]
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I dealt with this kind of behavior in late-elementary school and junior high school. It sucked and I was wary of female friendships for a long time as a result.

But I'm not really sure what anyone could have done to stop it. Because it's all under the surface and sneaky, I don't think any adult intervention would have stopped it, and honestly would have only made it worse. Honestly, the bullied girl has to learn how to deal with it. Whether she can be counseled on some techniques of not letting it get to her, I don't know. (I grew up in the wild and crazy 80's where we didn't have such resources.)

I will say that as an adult, I'm grateful for having had those experiences. It has helped me handle the types of bullies that one encounters as an adult and judge which people I don't need to put up with. For example, catty comments or passive aggressive nonsense bounce right off of me.

Good luck with your team, that's a tough position to be in!

Michelle

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The beatings will continue until morale improves

My blog
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Re: Female Bullies [mdraegerpnw] [ In reply to ]
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I agree that girls need to learn how to deal with it. It's character building and it doesn't end in high school-sadly.

It's different than the 80's now though. With facebook and other social media, it doesn't end when school is over. Also, it seem like parents (moms) are getting involved too. I hear it in the locker room at the Y. It's just the moms talking, no kids.

To the OP, others have great advice about your daughter. I also suggest you praising her and always being her soft landing. The world is so hard, she needs a soft place (sons too). When I was in middle school, my group of friends were bullies. I didn't like it, so I stopped hanging out with them and tried to make different friends. There was about a year that was very hard. My old friends didn't take it well that I wasn't hanging out with them anymore and started bullying me, and I hadn't made other close friends yet. I was in a bit of a nowhere zone. My parents were very supportive and in a way, gave me permission to be different. They taught me that I didn't need to conform just to have friends.

The new group of girls I was friends with are still my best friends. We're going on 16 years.
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Re: Female Bullies [shady] [ In reply to ]
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I was really shy as a kid. I went to an elementary school with ~20-25 kids per grade, and we had to bus to the next town for Jr and HS. Even in elementary school I didn't fit in because I was a tomboy and I was smart. I was usually the first girl chosen at recess for any competitive team games, which ticked the other girls off. Jr High was miserable, I had a girl who always wanted to fight me and would try to trip me when I was walking down the hall, my locker was broken into and my wallet stolen, etc. Thank God that in HS I got into some team sports and found a great crowd to hang out with. I don't know what I would have done if my teammates had bullied me.

Girls/women definitely have a different style of bullying. I spent ~20 years working in male-dominated settings, but for the last 4 I've worked in a female-dominated department, and I've never seen such cattiness, bitchiness, gossiping, etc - and this is a group of people who all have advanced degrees and are working in women's health. Luckily I'm not in the middle of it and can mostly avoid it, but our dept was ranked as the most toxic by students who rotate through. It was bad enough that official complaints from within the group were filed, so our top administration finally took notice and is making changes. It's sad, though - you'd think women would want to help each other succeed.

Diane
Last edited by: mdiane630: Apr 5, 14 8:56
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Re: Female Bullies [shady] [ In reply to ]
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Ugh. Yes, girls can be horrible to each other. I was happier in mixed activities as a kid because of that. I did better with the straightforwardness of the boys.

Because you are the coach, I do think you have to react somehow, to show that bullying on the team will not be tolerated. What to do exactly, well, that will depend on what the girls are doing to each other. There may be a clear way to react, or it may be muddier.
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Re: Female Bullies [mdiane630] [ In reply to ]
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but for the last 4 I've worked in a female-dominated department, and I've never seen such cattiness, bitchiness, gossiping, etc - and this is a group of people who all have advanced degrees and are working in women's health. Luckily I'm not in the middle of it and can mostly avoid it, but our dept was ranked as the most toxic by students who rotate through. It was bad enough that official complaints from within the group were filed, so our top administration finally took notice and is making changes. It's sad, though - you'd think women would want to help each other succeed.


That's interesting because right now there are 3 women and 1 man on my team and I haven't seen any of that. If you go out to a parallel org that is all men, it is ugly and everyone is miserable.

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Jen

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
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Re: Female Bullies [JenSw] [ In reply to ]
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"for the last 4 I've worked in a female-dominated department, and I've never seen such cattiness, bitchiness, gossiping, etc" -

You should talk to my wife about this. She teaches at an elementary school where for some reason most of the teachers are women and she absolutely hates it. She's aways complaining about bitches, drama queens, grandstanders and queen bees that she works with. The women where she works all seem to hate each other. In fact the principle is making an effort to deliberately hire more male teachers to create a better balance.
Last edited by: cerveloguy: Apr 7, 14 14:35
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