Thursday, October 30, 2014

Great Book for All Women

Mean Girls Grown Up: Adult Women Who Are Still Queen Bees, Middle Bees, and Afraid-To-BeesMean Girls Grown Up: Adult Women Who Are Still Queen Bees, Middle Bees, and Afraid-To-Bees by Cheryl Dellasega
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book extremely helpful in identifying female aggressiveness and its reasons in everyday life. Perhaps I've kinda always known what drives it, especially since I danced in a performing company for 25 years. However, our company of girls was particularly supportive, a culture different than other studios. We heard horror stories of backbiting and exclusion among ballerinas and did everything to not be "them."

That knowledge did not easily translate into other aspects of my life. There are few women in our office and those in leadership positions take the "it's a man's world" approach. And while my running and biking group is very supportive, I have found other athletic individuals who might as well be backstabbing ballerinas. To boot, I find men who unwittingly encourage competition against women and would become angry when I didn't participate. Until I read this book, I would feel guilty that I had upset them. Now I know that I should take pride that I refuse to let that dynamic continue.

I'm not blameless. This book made me understand where I was WAY more aggressive than necessary, where I fell into the instigator role, and how I allowed myself to become victimized. But I can also see how much I've succeeded in creating strong relationships with other women and how to do better by others in the future. A lot of people felt they didn't get a lot from this book because the discussion is subjective and the suggested responses vague. But everyone of our situations is different, so I don't think the author could have given a one-size fits all conclusion. It's trial and error. The important thing is that we get started.

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