We live in a city where girls are taught at a young age that it is okay to verbally abuse others. When petty fights are started because of unrealistic rumors (even at the age of 5), adults tend to automatically divert their attention from it, saying, “Girls will be girls”. But where does this double standard come in? Why is it a problem when a physical fight is started, but verbal abuse is tolerated? We’ve come to accept that girls crying in the bathroom and facing humiliation at the cost of their friends is simply something under the norm. It’s normal to be singled out by friends, because “of course they will fight”.
If this is learned at a young age, the same people grow up to follow the same understanding. This understanding is, “In order to rise, you crush others”. It is seen in the work force, in white collar jobs and blue collar jobs alike. Instead of helping each other up, it is “human nature” to step on each other instead. New York City is not always the kindest city. While it holds the golden pot of opportunity, it doesn’t come free. So, if people are constantly facing being put down by other, shutting out important opinions without fully comprehending what the individual is saying, or hiding progressive ideas purely to avoid being put down, how will the people in this city grow as individuals?
The most common version of these types of misconceptions and arguments begin when someone who doesn’t even know an individual begins to form an inaccurate image of them in their minds. As they say, the first impression is the last impression, so this type of image sticks, and therefore, starts rumors. I can’t say that I haven’t been one to do this, but I’ve also been on the other side of it. It makes you think, “How often have I been a hypocrite?”, or “How much of the blame can be put on me?”.
Us “90’s kids” had experienced a wide range of T.V shows, movies, and media news that highlighted that this behavior is “okay”. “Mean Girls” exemplifies this with the constant humor found in situations that cause others to feel uncomfortable or belittled. It gives an image of what a popular girl should be like, and how to become that girl. Of course, young girls would strive towards this image and follow these “instructions”. Meg Cabot’s How to Be Popular connotes a popular girl as someone who parties all the time and is mean to others who aren’t “up to her level”, while remaining friendly to those who seem to be “worthy”.