It is usually assumed that most of our generation has seen, if not memorized, the movie “Mean Girls”. This movie is a drastic and over dramatized version of how girls act towards each other in the high school setting. Girls are easily jealous of each other and are commonly talking about, or judging, one another behind their back. “Mean Girls” is an example of how the standpoint teenage girls have on each other, is disturbing and cruel.
Girls excessively judge other girls by using harsh terms such as “whore” or “slut”, without blinking, but if a boy calls a girl by a derogatory name, he is automatically a bad guy. In the movie, Tina Fey’s character tells the girls they need to stop “calling each other sluts and whores…cause it just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores” (Mean Girls, 2004). Girls’ nasty jealousy towards one another has devolved a new perspective on how everyone views their gender, it is common for a group of “best friends” to talk about one of their other friends in a mean manner and then act “fake” to her face afterwards.
Sandra Harding and Julie T. Wood’s Standpoint Theory is how we perceive the world at one angle and then view something differently in another. Standpoint is “whatever our vantage point, its location tends to focus our attention on some features of the natural and social landscape while obscuring others” (Griffin, 2009. P. 441.). In the movie “Mean Girls”, everyone’s standpoint on girls is that they are caddy and negative towards one another and that standpoint affects their worldview on, not just teenage girls, but women in general. This mean girl example can go with Wood’s use of relational dialect of seeking autonomy and connectedness. She says, “men tend to want more autonomy and women tend to want more connectedness” (Griffin, 2009. P.444.). The women’s connectedness deals with building relationships using communication, including others, and responding, In “Mean Girls”, the girls are using connectedness, but it is portrayed in a negative fashion, communicating with each other by talking behind their backs, building fake relationships just to become popular, or responding by getting into a “girl fight”.
Girls’ bullying other girls is way too common in high schools today, and it is allowing both genders to have a damaging standpoint on women. If these young ladies could grasp the concept of the Standpoint Theory and understand how their actions affect everyone’s perception of them, perhaps they can change their nasty ways and learn how to get along and improve their gender’s reputation.
- Griffin, E. (2008). Communication: A first look at communication theory (7thed.) Boston: McGraw-Hill