As a woman, one thing you will undoubtedly face will be a bully (or seven). This bully will most likely take the form of a nice looking girl, perhaps even a former friend, who has decided that she must take you down. This takedown will not be a knock out, drag out fight. It will not be a punch to the gut or a kick in the shins, that is what male bullies do. Frankly, I think a male bully would be a MUCH easier opponent than a female one! This female bully will start behind the scenes, spreading lies and turning others against you. She will most likely keep you close and you may not even recognize her as the enemy. Until the day you find out that she alone is responsible for the recent hurt you have been feeling. It is a full on mental assault and it may leave you feeling alone and breathless, confused as to how your social circle has turned upside down so quickly.
At least that is how I used to feel.
I have had my share of female bullies. The worst was a former best friend whose attacks became so vicious, my 6th grade body began to lose weight and became a shell of the child I was just months prior. My mom had to pull me completely out of that school. Away from that girl and all my other friends she had turned against me. It was devastating. Of course, that all started because the boy she liked, liked me.
As I have grown older and many of my friends have drifted away, I have not encountered a bully in a long time. Then I found message boards. I am not sure what type of social medium you will be using when you are my age (my secret hope is that our society will have drifted away from so much online interaction and back to in-person relationships) but I frequent a couple of message boards. On these boards, groups of people, usually women, can come to talk about common interests. In my case photography. I always saw bullying happening but luckily because I do not seem to make waves, I did not create any enemies and the bullies let me be. But then something changed and I became a target.
I actually know very little about my bully. For the first time, I am not sure what her issue is with me. As much anger in my heart as I have toward her right now, I am refusing to join her on her low level. I stood up for myself the best way I knew how and luckily had the support of many others on the board. But it still hurt, online or not. I think people forget that just because you are behind a screen does not mean comments don’t sting (or in my case make me cry, damn these pregnancy hormones!).
So the lesson for you here is no matter HOW you are communicating with people, whether it be your real life besties or a woman online, never fall into the mean girl trap. Never try to beat someone through bullying. If you are the victim, keep your chin up. Chances are, the attack is less about you than you think.
As your mom it will take every ounce of my being not to KILL the bullies of your future. But know this, I have been there and I will help you through it.
And a pretty of you because I need a smile :)