Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change


Girls Against Girls is a must-read for today’s strong, smart, and capable generation of young women. Complete with:

  • Guidance on how females can band together and quit breaking each other down
  • Popular movie quotes
  • Advice from female artists and athletes
  • A resource section of girl-power organizations

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Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change

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Girls Against Girls is a must-read for today’s strong, smart, and capable generation of young women. Complete with:

  • Guidance on how females can band together and quit breaking each other down
  • Popular movie quotes
  • Advice from female artists and athletes
  • A resource section of girl-power organizations

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Burton, the voice behind, explains in five chapters the psychology behind “mean girl” behavior, how to deal with it and what can be done to stop it.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Burton pulls together a collage of observation and insights that creates a network of compassionate guidance for girls caught in the throes of teen meanness.” — VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

Children's Literature - Heather Robertson Mason
"Girls are mean," is a statement that few will argue with, but is it a given that girls are built to be mean? How can a young woman avoid conflict with a mean girl or avoid becoming a mean girl herself? This book tackles the topic of female conflict especially in the context of high school. It is part psychological examination of how and why girls torment each other and part advice book helping young girls avoid falling into the "mean girl" trap either as a victim or a offender. The book is a refreshing read in this genre. The authors avoid being cute or hip. There are no catchy phrases or slang used to "reach" young readers. Instead it is a straight forward text that treats teens as if they are intelligent people; it talks to them not down to them. It offers scientific theories for behavior and examples that are extremely realistic, and provides steps for recognizing when abuse is happening and what to do when you cannot deal with it anymore. Most interesting is the chapter "Breaking the Cycle" that helps girls recognize when they are the problem and how best to stop. Highly recommended read on a topic that girls need to know about. Reviewer: Heather Robertson Mason
School Library Journal

Gr 6-10

Burton's accessible text is a guide for girls who are caught up in the malicious gossiping, jealousy, and social shunning that affect so many adolescents. The author neatly outlines the issues and provides common-sense approaches to breaking the cycle of meanness, envy, and passive-aggressive behaviors, and she addresses both the victims and the mean girls themselves. The balance of narrative, white space, and illustration makes this self-help tool easy to comprehend. The well-researched text is punctuated with quotes from female artists and athletes and also includes a good resource guide to finding empowering organizations. The real challenge will be getting the book into readers' hands at the right time. Solid advice presented in an easy-to-read format.-Elaine Baran Black, Georgia Public Library Service, Atlanta

Kirkus Reviews
Burton, the voice behind, explains in five chapters the psychology behind "mean girl" behavior, how to deal with it and what can be done to stop it. First, readers learn why girls bully the way they do, with an acknowledgement that such feminine traits as strong written and verbal communication make girls' bullying intrinsically different from that of boys. Then comes advice on verbal self-defense and stopping the cycle. Confident women, usually artists and writers, give advice and confessions in eye-catching bubbles between paragraphs. The advice generally takes a sage, pacifist tone. Girls are encouraged not to seek revenge or start ostracizing the one who wronged them but to take the high road, confront with words and try to understand where their enemies are coming from. The author also acknowledges that all girls can be prone to bouts of mean behavior. Will this book find an audience with those who need it the most? It may with those on the receiving end of bullying, but most likely not with those who are dishing it out. (empowerment resources) (Nonfiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780979017360
  • Publisher: Zest Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 520,648
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1120L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonnie Burton is a regular contributor to Bust, Geek Monthly, Star Wars Insider, and Wired magazines, and contributed to the comic anthology The Girls’ Guide to Guys’ Stuff.

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Read an Excerpt

Girls Against Girls

Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change
By Bonnie Burton

Zest Books

Copyright © 2009 Bonnie Burton
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780979017360


Chapter 1: Why We Hurt Each Other

Chapter 2: Methods of Our Meanness

Chapter 3: Bearing the Brunt of It

Chapter 4: Calling in Reinforcements

Chapter 5: Stopping the Cycle

Chapter 6: Teaming Up Instead of Tearing Each Other Down

Chapter 7: Resources

Chapter 6: Teaming Up Instead of Tearing Each Other Down

So, OK, we know we’re not perfect. But to say all girls have no choice but to be catty and mean isn’t true. We’re not inherently a wicked mob of fashion zombies who can’t tell right from wrong.

In fact, a lot of the cruel things we do are just a result of us using our best traits in the wrong ways. Girls are typically great speakers and writers, and we can use that advantage to advocate for people less fortunate than us or to make great works of art instead of gossiping and spreading rumors. We love forming communities, and we can use that to draw all people together instead of creating exclusive cliques. We are the more emotionally tuned-in gender, and we can use that to spread love instead of anger. We can also learn to be more direct with our emotions, keep less bottled up, and choose better influences in our lives. Everyone can change, even you.

The first step to stopping the fighting is finding common ground. We are all girls, and we face many of the same challenges. If we can find better ways to share our troubles, communicate, and work together, there is no limit to what we can do.

"We have to look at each other as allies, not enemies, and rise above the media’s messaging to us that says we have to hate other girls and women. What we need in this world right now is more unity and less cattiness. The only way we can change this is if we, each in our own way, begin to look at this issue and take action!"
--Jessica Weiner, author and advice columnist

When was the first time you saw girls join forces? Maybe when the girls in fifth-grade gym class played the boys in a fierce game of dodge ball? It didn’t matter that 10 minutes before you lined up in the gym, Jennifer told you that you smelled, or that Rebecca glared at you from across class that morning after you screeched the chalk against the blackboard. You shoved your grudges and alliances aside, and worked as a team for one great cause — to pummel the boys!

You can do that now (work collectively, not pummel boys, that is). There are way too many important causes that could seriously use your help — like animal rights, school reform, environmental issues, domestic violence, and human rights. When girls form bonds instead of fissures, all of us not only stop fighting with each other, but also create positive change together.

Do you believe that women deserve to be treated as equals to men? Do you have love and respect for yourself and your fellow "sisters"? Are you strong and smart and ready to take on the world? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are, indeed, a feminist. Most girls do not view themselves as feminists, because they think that the term implies that they are not feminine (even though the two words are practically the same) or that they can’t have a boyfriend (so wrong — guys love strong women). Feminists are just people who support women and help to empower them. That pretty much makes all of us girls feminists.

Why does it matter? Because feminism is based on banding together. Feminists come in all shapes and colors, from your best friend, who wants to be a gynecologist because she cares about women’s health; to your grandma, who decades ago demanded the same pay as the men she was working alongside; to your little cousin who is planning to take over the world with her Barbie; to your boyfriend’s stay-at-home mom who successfully raised four children and loved every minute of it. Feminists can even be guys who support the women in their lives (like your boyfriend, though he may never admit it).

"I was lucky enough to find friends who were interested in feminism, and they taught me a lot about self-respect and caring for other girls and women. Every time I found myself thinking ‘what a bitch,’ I tried to remember that by using that word I was not respecting myself or other women of the world, and that this kind of thinking and speaking keeps women low on the food chain, so to speak.
"If women and girls don’t look out for one another, no one else will! By constantly tearing one another down, we are participating in a system that is set up to keep women out of positions of power. And, power aside, hating on girls feels terrible for both the hater and the hated."
--Emily Moeller, program director, Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls


Excerpted from Girls Against Girls by Bonnie Burton Copyright © 2009 by Bonnie Burton. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Posted November 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Kira M for Teens Read Too

    Gold Star Award Winner! Why are girls so mean to each other? Are they jealous? Intimidated? See other girls as competition? Whatever the reason, malicious gossiping, social shunning, vicious taunting, and cyber-bullying will often occur. So how do we break the cycle? Through this book, girls will learn some of the reasoning behind why girls can be so vicious - and what they can do to make it stop. The author takes a very balanced approach with this book. She not only addresses the victims, but the mean girls, as well. Her white space, layout, and illustrations are excellent and well-used. The information she presents is well-researched and takes a common-sense approach to breaking the cycle of meanness, envy, and passive-aggressive behaviors. With quotes from famous artists and athletes and an easy-to-understand text that gives adolescents hope, GIRLS AGAINST GIRLS is a must-have for any teenage girl and school or library collection.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2009

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