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I told DD's story here last week, about how she thought a group of
girls sounded mean when they defended spanking as the way to bring up a good
child. And we talked before here about the movie Mean Girls, which DD really
loved both as comedy and social Power of Story.

Then she read a newspaper column about movies like Mean Girls being
the cause of bad girl behavior, by glorifying it. So now she's developed her own
theory about Mean Girls and spanking. It moved her to fire off a letter to
the editor.

This was totally her own motivation, ideas, and words, even her own
transmission to the paper by email. I never saw it, although as she worked on it
she read bits of it out loud while I was playing Scrabble with DS. Anyway,
it appears in today's newspaper, as follows:

Don't Blame Movies for Girls' Cruelty

Re: "Girl-on-girl cruelty isn't entertaining" column, May 8.

The truth is, girls talk about other girls behind their backs and they
say mean things. Isn't it just as likely that these girls are the way they
are because their parents spank or hit them, not because what they see in a
movie looks cool?

When a movie like "Mean Girls" comes along, girls don't like it
because they want to emulate it or because it is cool, but because it is an exaggerat
ed version of what happens to them every day.

Outreach programs such as the ones the author mentioned are an
excellent idea, as is parent involvement, But to understand and curb this behavior,
it is necessary to step back and consider that perhaps life is not imitating
art (tv and movies) but art is imitating life.

And perhaps we should do something about THAT.

Signed, (DD) Age 14

Note: the newspaper's website isn't loading at the moment so I typed this in
from the morning paper, but the uploaded version should be linked at
www.tallahassee.com in the Letters/editorial section if anyone wants to see it. We've
had a couple of chuckling phone calls this morning from family friends, but
DD herself is still asleep - these unschooled teens! <grin> JJ

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