Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Clique

Hi, I am Elizabeth Bennett, an expert in the field of Bullying. However, I tend to use the term Peer Abuse because I want to keep it real. Bullying is a form of abuse IMO and I wish people would start seeing it that way. So, as I have introduced myself, I want to move forward here....the reason for being here and starting this blog.

I am sure by now everyone has heard of The Clique. This is a series of books written by Lisi Harrison. These books are hot right now amongst the tween and teen girls in America today. A movie has also been made based upon these books. The series revolves around five wealthy 12-year-old girls in Westchester, New York. They are pretty, socially sophisticated and obsessed with clothes, weight, technology and are the mean girls of their school Octavian Country Day. We will meet (or in some cases get reacquainted) with these young ladies soon. For now, I want to explain the reason for this blog and why I am doing it.

First off, this is no slam on Lisi Harrison. Lets get that established immediately. I do not know this woman, have never met her but only seen photos of her with her books. If I do not know someone then I have no reason to form an opinion of them. I do know Lisi is a good writer and has managed to reach a lot of young girls with her books. She uses a lot of quirky language and I sense she has a sarcastic side. She has stated that she uses these books to show others how ridiculous this behavior in girls is. Maybe read and allow the reader to fantasize about having the "whole package" and an ah-mazing life. There is nothing wrong with fantasy, we all have done it in our lives. Her reasons behind the series are innocent enough and her intentions I believe are good. I do not think she is trying to turn Americas tween girls into groups trying to go for world domination in their own friendships. I believe she is trying to get the reader to see at the end of the day how these things are not important and to help the reader move away from this behavior if they deal with it in their own lives. So Lisi, do know that this blog is in no way to trash you or your work. I am always glad people are out there trying to reach others in one way or another. So, with that, I want to explain the reason for this blog.

As an expert in the field of Bullying, I travel across America to speak to kids about this and the dangers of it. I get emails from parents that their teen girl is suffering from being abused by her friends or being excluded from a group of girls. On Twitter and Facebook, I talk to folks daily. Technorati and Blogger News are a couple of my stomping grounds online along with my blog on this site. This problem is a huge one in our society and one that needs addressing more than it is. After the death of Phoebe Prince back in January, I thought long and hard about finding a way to reach girls online and point out examples of what Bullying is. As I have read some of these books, I have found the problem of Relational Aggression amongst this group of young characters. Phoebe experienced a great deal of this at her school and it led her to take her own life through bullycide. The characters in the book do not go this far, however, they experience a lot of humiliation and torment just as Phoebe did. Again, I know Lisi's intention in writing these books is not to add to the bullying problem we have. I think she is trying to show the reader that because this behavior is ridiculous then its not cool or acceptable. I agree; this behavior is not cool and should never be acceptable. Yet, we continue to enable it in our culture. So, this summer, I have decided to read all of the books in The Clique series and blog about the parts of the book where Relational Aggression occurs. Maybe I can help the reader see where these behaviors occur in the book so the next time they read them, they will understand that this "mean girls" stuff is full on abuse and not a way to be rewarded. Many times girls will try to be accepted by these mean girls and without trying to, they give them a lot of useless power. Its based on fear more than anything. However, they do not need to be afraid. Being accepted by mean girls makes these problems worse and not better. Its important to understand that.

Again, its nice to meet you. I hope you will join me in this journey and most importantly I hope you as the reader will gain some knowledge on this serious issue. Thank you for reading.....


  1. Hi Elizabeth--

    Lots going on with husband's health issues, but hope worst is over and I can concentrate on building my blog www.cyberbullyinghelp.com back up.

    I will be calling you to reschedule the interview. Hope we can link our blogs.

    Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and speaker

  2. This is very interesting. My daughter is 9 and she's already dealing with bullying issues with a girl in her class. Thankfully it's only one girl who has aggression issues with everybody in the class. My daughters teachers have been very good about dealing with it, but it's still a topic that I need to learn more about. So I'm following you! I hope for some good info.

  3. Hi Judy, sure, lets connect our blogs. Hope your husband is doing better.

    Thanks Heather, I am glad the teacher is all over this. That is very important in stopping these problems. I hope you get a lot out of this blog also. Stay tuned, will be posting more content. Have a good week...