Like a lot of men I find the idea of mean women to be completely contradictory. I mean women, almost by definition, are kind and nurturing, aren't they? Apparently not, in some cases.
Every girl I've talked to about it has horror stories of other girls who gave them grief in school. Sometimes the bullying is physical, sometimes it takes the form of a whispering campaign aimed at separating the victim from her friends.
A really evil girl will go even farther. She'll try to change her victim's perception of herself. If the aggressor succeeds, even when the target is grown up she'll be a wallflower with limited career possibilities and no self-esteem. It amazes me that evil girls will devote so much energy to damaging girls they hardly know.
I'm dying to know what happens to mean girls when they get to be say, 25 or 30. What percent of them mellow out?
If you have a daughter, and send her to school, then I offer you this picture (above) of the girl who'll greet her in the schoolyard every day. This photo gives me the creeps. It displays a combination of natural meanness stoked by teen aggression hormones. No wonder your daughter hates school.
Oddly enough, surly Goth girls usually aren't the biggest aggressors. Maybe my artist's bias is at work here, but I reason that if Goth girls have a sense of style, which is a form of art appreciation, that this implies a yearning for higher culture. Am I wrong?
Meanness in young girls is shocking and appalling, but in older women women it's sometimes tolerable, provided you don't have to come in frequent contact with it. Maybe that's because nature has already applied its penalty. Maybe because it's sort of funny. Women like this tend to establish little kingdoms where they rule over small, alcoholic husbands and rebellious teenagers.
But there's a serious side. Imagine what it must have been like a hundred years ago in third world countries like China. Older women were sometimes merciless slave drivers who had no pity for the poor girls who worked for them.
You see it in some men, but it's more unexpected and therefore more disconcerting in women...that restless energy, that hungry need to go for the jugular of people they scarcely know.
I love this picture (above). I've used it in two blog posts. When this kid grows up...man, just walk on the other side of the street and never, ever give her the wrong change!