What is Odd Girl Out?

Educator, Rachel Simmons, Author of Odd Girl Out, discusses girls' friendships, bullying, and relational aggression
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What is Odd Girl Out?

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A lot of people ask me, how were you able to write a book about mean girls so young? And I answer, “Because nobody else did”. It was so amazing to me when I was writing this book. I was 24 when I started and I was going around interviewing women and girls asking them, “Do you remember what it was like when a girl was mean to you?” Everybody had a story-the checkout woman at the grocery store. I once signed up for long distance telephone service and ended up telling the woman what I was doing-she told me her story. Everyone wanted to talk about it, why were there no books about it? And what I realized was that even though women and girls have suffered so much with psychological aggression, as a society we tend to focus on the experience of men and boys. And so, that’s why I was able to do this book, because nobody had really looked at it before. One of the things I found when I traveled around the country and I interviewed girls from all different kinds of schools and communities was that when girls are mean to each other, very often the attitude is, well that’s just how girls are. That’s girls being girls, I mean, girls are catty, girls are rude, that’s just part of what you have to deal with growing up. And people weren’t using the word bullying. Their anti-bullying policies weren’t talking about what girls were doing and that has now all changed. In the last ten years, we’ve seen not only an explosion in discussion about bullying-some would say maybe too much-but we’ve also seen research. So, I’m not the only person who’s written about it. Now we have so many more people talking and teaching about it and the culture’s changing.

Educator, Rachel Simmons, Author of Odd Girl Out, discusses girls' friendships, bullying, and relational aggression

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Rachel Simmons

Author & Educator

Rachel Simmons is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence. As an educator, Rachel works internationally to empower young women to be more authentic, assertive and self-aware.

Rachel is a Vassar graduate and Rhodes Scholar from New York. The co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute, she is an experienced curriculum writer and educator who works with schools and organizations around the world. She currently develops leadership programs for undergraduate women at the Center for Work and Life at Smith College. She has previously worked as a classroom teacher in Massachusetts and South Africa.

Rachel was the host of the recent PBS television special, “A Girl’s Life,” and is a contributing writer and advice columnist for Teen Vogue.

Rachel has appeared on Oprah and the Today show, and appears regularly in the national me- dia. Odd Girl Out was adapted into a highly acclaimed Lifetime television movie. Rachel lives in western Massachusetts with her daughter and West Highland Terrier, Rosie, who is currently taking private workshops with Rachel to learn how to stop bullying other dogs.

For more information, please visit www.rachelsimmons.com.

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