The peculiar competitiveness that we see in young women and girls is only peculiar because it has yet to be channelled into any positive action. As we know from listening to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Beyonce's Flawless that "We raise girls to see each other as competitors. Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men."
Note that there is no nuance on what kind of attention from men there, just attention. Just to be noticed. Perhaps that's why so many Freshers week parties, student social groups and 18-30 holidays feature themes that cast women as slags, sluts and rather old fashionedly recently in the LSE men's Rugby leaflets 'trollops'. Are they looking at you? No. Have you considered becoming more trollop-like?
Perhaps these young women will be the ones who shut down those who chastise women for choosing how they present themselves
The programme is a 10 week course of group counselling with caregiver training and phone consultation intervention for 'relationally aggressive' middle school aged girls. Thirty young girls aged between 12 and 15 and their parents were randomly assigned to either intervention group or a wait list control group. The girls underwent group counselling, role-playing, journalling and weekly goal setting.
Their caregivers also underwent workshops and phone consultations in order to help them learn better monitoring and supervision skills. According to Melissa Maras, co-author of the study and assistant professor in the Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology at the university, this is necessary so that parents and teachers don't "unknowingly contribute to the negative behaviors."
Every time we refer to a woman who has hit the headlines only in terms of her marital status, or criticise a woman for expressing an opinion or being unashamedly ambitious we contribute to the negative behaviours.
Perhaps these young women will be the ones who shut down those who chastise women for choosing how they present themselves and praise each other for achievements - moving upwards and onwards as a strong supportive group rather than climbing all over each other in order to get ahead, or get a man.