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Posted in: Gender, Psychology & Law, Woman's Inhumanity to Woman

Published on Apr 06, 2010 by Phyllis Chesler

Published by The New York Times

Letter on "The Myth of Mean Girls"

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Mike Males and Meda-Chesney Lind do not seem to understand that girls and women do not usually commit direct, male-style acts of violence. Therefore, the female-perpetrator rates for violent aggression have not increased.

Female-female aggression is indirect and involves slandering, taunting and ostracizing one vulnerable female target, which is what happened in the South Hadley, Mass., tragedy. Often, envy of a girl's beauty or brains, but just as often, the slightest difference (whether someone is new, an immigrant from another country, or school) will be seized upon by a female clique and treated as a high crime, an opportunity to tribally bond with one another — and as permission to torment the chosen outsider.

Phyllis Chesler

New York

The writer is the author of "Woman's Inhumanity to Woman."

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