For whatever reason, I thought I posted and commented on this last month after it ran. Oops! Apparently my brain is on summer vacation mode. Better late than never, right? If you haven't heard of Rachel Simmons, you have probably heard of her book, "Odd Girl Out," which was one of the better takes on girls and bullying in a time period where a lot was published on the phenomenon of the "mean girl." I'm really anxious to read her upcoming book on girls' seemingly inherent (and contradictory?) need to be nice and good (this phenomenon is well-documented in the Brown and Gilligan's "classic," Meeting at the Crossroads: Women's Psychology and Girls Development, and in Finders' Just Girls, but it will be nice to have an updated take because obviously, the culture of "nice" is still alive and well and complicated as ever among tween and teen girls).
The New York Times a few weeks ago ran this great feature on Simmons' Girls Leadership Institute, which is kind of like a summer camp to help girls become more self-confident and insightful about all the garbage that surrounds them. What a totally cool idea, and how awesome that Simmons has used her resources to come up with this. Good stuff. Makes me feel a little bad about myself for just doing research on and writing about girls (oh no! I need to go to the summer camp! ;-)):
Girls, Uninterrupted by Jan Hoffman
Three cheers for Simmons and the great girls profiled in this piece.