Dear Mean Girl,
I am not one that tends to be fond of the open letter, though it seems to be the internet’s favorite form of communication. But being that you are everywhere and I can’t just mail you a note, I will today write one to you here in hopes that you see it.
Mean Girl, I’m not sure who invited you into our culture. I’ve been trying to figure it out. Who opened the door and let you in, giving you a popular spot in our community living system? Are you international, Mean Girl? Do you live in the slums as well as the cities? Sure, your ideas and the way you treat people has been around for a long time, but it seems that only within the last few decades has your behavior been labeled, tolerated, and in many circumstances, celebrated.
Proof? This article from ABC News would like us to believe that you, Mean Girl, are in all of us and totally natural.
That’s not true.
I’ve got to tell you something- our culture is changing in lots of ways- some for the better and some for the worse. But nonetheless, we are changing. And whereas you were given a spot at the table the last few years, it doesn’t look like you are welcome anymore in most arenas. This month is Anti-Bullying Month, so all through October, teachers and leaders and coaches and mentors have been focused on removing bullying from the lives of children.
That’s not good for your longevity, sister.
Here’s what you’re really gonna hate. The church is tired of it, too. The church is tired of seeing students being wounded and broken by the words of the Mean Girl. Trust me, I see them every weekend – I see youth leaders and students who are saying that your ways of communicating aren’t welcome there anymore.
And I’m tired too. I’m tired of the stories of hurt and the words you say to make yourself feel better. I don’t know your name or your face, but I know you live in every city and go to every school and man, I’m tired of running into your shrapnel in the hearts of girls across this country.
It’s always been hard to be a teenager. Since you’ve come along, it’s gotten worse. And since the internet? Yeah, you’re a beast.
But Mean Girl, you aren’t welcome here anymore.
Let me be the first to officially uninvite you to the party that is our culture.
No more will you be allowed to cause rifts between friends.
No more will you be allowed to determine social status and who/what is cool.
No more will you be able to hide behind a computer screen or anonymous text messaging and think that your words will define others.
No more will the rest of us sit back and let you do the thing you do that hurts the other women around you.
So this is more of a dear John letter, though I don’t think you are dear and I bet your name isn’t John.
Goodbye, Mean Girl. We’re done with you.
Annie and everyone else
[How do we get rid of the mean girl? I’ll tell you tomorrow….]
This is Day 30 of 31 Ways to Speak Love. You can click here to see a list of all the posts in the series.