There has never been a time, when people haven’t been cruel to each other at least occasionally. Even kids. But these days, we tend to crack down on physical violence, at least where we can afford it. School-grounds are meant to be violent free: no fighting, no beating, no pushing around. That’s a good thing, no doubt. But as we focus on physical violence, we loose sight of other, equally harmful cruelties. Cruelties less obvious, less visible. The kinds of cruel tricks girls play on girls.
Female violence has as long a history as male violence, but a far less well known one. Which leads some to claim that the world would be a better place if women were in charge. A very naive line of thought. True, girls don’t tend to beat each other up in public. But violence does not stop there. There is insults, there is emotional abuse of various sorts. This type of violence is as bad as physical violence. We tend to overlook this, maybe because we think it would still hurt us if somebody were to punch us in the stomach, but we could handle somebody calling us fat. Or could we?
When somebody wants to beat you up, they have to confront you, face-to-face. They can be held responsible afterwards, the damage done can be traced back to them. They are actually risking something. If you have been beaten, nobody is going to tell you to not take it seriously. The damage done is obvious, public. This is not true for the more subtle kinds of abuse. Somehow it is shameful for you to admit that being called names hurt you.