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Now it's officially over

Just got this email:

The Assistant Organizer (Jenn) of this group has just removed you from the group. 

Juli - we want to thank you for your participation in Berks Mom & Tots to date.
I am sorry that we have not been able to become the group that you are looking for
for you and your family. We do appreciate your involvement and hope that you keep
the friendship that you have made within the group.

Berks Mom & Tots Group
Why do I feel like this is some sort of badge of honor?  Seriously, when I saw the email, I couldn't help but chuckle to myself.  It's especially amusing in light of an article in the Sunday Reading Eagle that I just had a chance to read about female bullying.  

All this drama is just so middle school- when "relational aggression" begins.  Rachel Simmons, who wrote Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls write that the purposeful control over the terms of a relationship is a signal aspect of relational aggression--ignoring someone to punish them or get one's own way, excluding someone socially for revenge or threatening to end a relationship unless the friend agrees to a request.  It's very Mean Girls.

Ooh, does that mean that *I* am Lindsey Lohan, pre-rehab? 

I have to wonder if these women even see the irony of the situation.  Because I had the balls (um, ovaries?) to stand up and say that I disagreed with their rules nonsense, they're going to punish me by kicking me out.  Isn't it interesting how this garbage carries over into adulthood?  I mean, I was aware of the culture of Mommy Comparisonism-- women judging each other based on who drove a nicer minivan, who had the more expensive stroller, whose husband had a more lucrative career.  To see Mean Girls in action is absolutely fascinating to me, now that I'm a few days beyond it.  Just witnessing the lemming like behavior of a group of women hurrying to step forward and declare their conformity and submission was a lesson in sociology. 

I have half a mind to write to the author of the book and suggest a follow-up study, since my story isn't the first of it's kind and is likely not to be the last. 


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 8th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
that's really just .... sad. oh no, you can't express an opinion, we'll kick you out of our club!!! im suddenly reminded of a scene from mean girls ... "we all wear pink on wednesdays!! *giggle!!*"

you have officially been kicked out of a moms group for being unruly. wear your badge with pride!!
Apr. 8th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
Ooh, ooh, I'm gonna wear pink tomorrow! :)

It's so freaking funny. I got something like 6 emails from other group members saying things like, "I really don't like the policy changes either but I didn't want to say anything."

Isn't that female relational aggression by definition? These adult women are afraid to speak their minds because they don't want to rock the boat!!!
Apr. 8th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
hey, welcome to the club! i got outed from the local parenting group too. i have rejoined under an assumed identity because there is a huge wealth of info on this site about schools, things i wouldnt find anywhere else without spending hours researching. but thats it, there is no social obligation or anything.

but i have to wonder, since i think suzanne said she was also booted from a group or two, is this somehow a single mom thing? i dont mean discrimination against us, not directly, but somehow we have the balls to rock the boat and everyone else is kinda dont rock the boat. it makes me wonder. i cant really put it into words at the moment, but maybe since we already have fallen outside the norm and cant possibly "keep up with the joneses" we are more inclined to speak up. or something like that.
Apr. 8th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
I think you might have something there about already falling outside the norm. I'm not a single mom but I have had similar situations where I start stuff because I see something I don't like or just don't agree with.

I guess I also fall outside the norm because my husband is a SAHD so I could never keep up with the "lucrative career" discussions... I have little in common with the moms in my neighborhood.
Apr. 8th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
I think you might be onto something garden_blog! I can't keep up with the Jones already just being a divorcee, but if you added kids to the mix, there you go. I've always been annoyed with such petty pointless competition. I always have more respect for those willing to rock the proverbial boat! Keep rockin' it and never let the bastards get you down!
Apr. 8th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
Wooo hoo! We're like Parenting Pirates! (I'm on a pirates kick lately!)

That's one of the other odd things about this group. I'd say 80% of them belong to another very similar group in the same area. There are 5 mothers' groups in the area and only one has a significant variation, it's for mothers of only boys. SO the group I was booted from would often cross-post events with the other groups. So there are like 5 places to get the same information.
Apr. 8th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
The childishness is overwhelming. Because you don't agree with us we will delete your messages and kick you out of our group. I really haven't seen crap like this since high school.

People don't join groups like this to add more drama and stress, they join them to socialize and add some fun to their lives.
Apr. 8th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
who drove a nicer minivan, who had the more expensive stroller, whose husband had a more lucrative career


No wonder I don't associate with that kind of person.
Apr. 8th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
It's really ridiculous. I saw a lot of it in NJ and on the WeddingChannel boards back in the day.

"You use a GRACO stroller? Aren't they unsafe and made of lead and covered in broken glass? I had to have a PegPerego or Volo or Maclaren becuase they're so much more expensive, I mean better."
Apr. 9th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)

We had an umbrella stroller, goshdarnit. And we took that massive massive baby in it everywhere, and all the latte-drinking mofos in town can SUCK IT! YEAH! :D
Apr. 8th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
omgosh, how JR highish. wait, sounds more like an elementry school fight. I'm so sorry Juli
Apr. 8th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
I was really upset all weekend but now I just think it's funny. I think a weaker person would be devastated by this kind of thing. Hell, I think that had things worked out like this with my NJ group a few years ago, I would have been crushed!
Apr. 8th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
Juli, just so you know--I'm not sure if this ever came up, but Meg and I were essentially hen-pecked off a parenting board. There were some people who were really nice, but some of them revealed a really nasty side--personal attacks were freely thrown around. And as you described in your earlier post, many saw no problem with it. They didn't gang up on the bullies. They saw the bullied as the trouble makers, or stayed silent for some other reason.

Fuck them. Let them have their little social machination. Lot of good it'll do them.

A lot of people wonder why I pay attention to warfare, international politics, high culture, humanity's ongoing inhumanity on the world stage... Said people usually don't believe me, but I know that we're all political in nature. We all seek power, either in standing alone, leading, following, or lording over others like a despot. I've seen it in families, on bulletin boards, in classrooms. It's ugly. By turns, I find what we call "politics"--which is only the most obvious example of the whole human phenomenon of seeking, gaining, and exercising power--refreshingly distant. What you've experienced is low politics, Machiavellian maneuver on the individual scale. It is as despicable in nature as any.
Apr. 8th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
I agree with you and completely and Steve actually reminded me that I've seen this before. Unfortunately, I can't refer back to my old Purplemommy blog because LJ has purged it, but my old NJ group had similar issues with a woman who got a little power hungry and declared herself the "Manager" of the group and decided to set up rules for everyone to follow.

It had a different end result though. In that case, most of the other moms (and I) ditched her and set up our own little group, which is still strong and functioning now. I soooo miss them.
Apr. 10th, 2008 10:59 am (UTC)
At least it didn't end like this!
Apr. 10th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
Re: At least it didn't end like this!
That is just plain horrifying. Kids have always retaliated for perceived wrongs but this is so far beyond the “meet me in the parking lot after school” level.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )