The past few years of Elphaba’s history reveal an indisputable pattern of creating situations in order to undermine Cheryl’s reputation and position. Since they’re all fabricated, she hasn’t succeeded. But the attempts at sabotage have caused major stress and taken up huge amounts of Cheryl’s time that could have been spent doing much more productive and pleasant things.
What a shame that one woman’s life is being seriously negatively impacted by the vicious behavior of another woman. Apparently Elphaba hasn’t read the Girl Code, because she would know that behaving disrespectfully (and maliciously) toward her female colleague is totally forbidden. Elphaba could make a difference in the other direction if she chose to do so. She could support Cheryl’s work and create a positive professional atmosphere, thereby fostering the growth and happiness of Cheryl, and advancing women within the profession instead of holding them back.
Girl-to-girl cruelty stereotypically appears in high school (and is starting at younger ages every year). Often, the most obvious mean girls institute a reign of terror, with their queen bee status clearly visible. But there are power struggles and difficult dynamics quietly lurking in most groups of friends, starting in elementary school. There is often enduring emotional fall-out from these social challenges, resulting in difficulties such as depression, poor self-esteem, eating disorders, poor body image, self-harm and self-destructive decisions in relationships. Starting young, girls need to be taught how to be good, true friends to each other, and how to stand up for themselves when necessary.
If women are kind, honest and respectful to each other, and girls grow up seeing this behavior modeled by the women they know, maybe we will come to expect and demand such good treatment from everyone in our lives—women and men of all ages and in all settings. So, let’s all follow the Code, and use our Girl Power for good rather than evil.
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