By: Rachel Simmons

Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons exposes the “hidden culture of girls aggression in which bullying is epidemic, distinctive and destructive.” (pg.3) Simmons went around the nation, interviewing to girls about their own experiences with bullying. As I read the book a picture of my own past experiences with bullying became a “distinct reminder of the lasting effects of cruelty, and where the “damage is neat and quiet, the perpetrator and victim invisible.”(pg. 4) “The target, is often unaware of why her friend is angry, is consumed by panic and the fear of permanently loosing the friendship.” (pg.45) One day the girls are friends and the next day “the victim is isolated from her peers as many girls use double doses of distance and silence to announce their anger, leaving defendants clueless about what they’ve done.” (pg. 75). Betrayal hurts, and as a victim states, “they told me what a horrible person I was. They….ripped me down to nothing.” Society can start by lying down, “enforceable public rules….to begin to scratch at the surface of this problem.” Words are powerful and can help society begin to understanding the minds of both bullies and victims. Without taking action society will still experience “the same problem, and without help girls will remain vulnerable bullying and abuse.”

Why do girls fear isolation so intensely? Many girls “may try to avoid being alone at all cost, including staying in an abusive relationship.” Many girls in the book began “to questioning their self, and [began] to lose trust in others and their selves.”(pg 46) But, as one school consular said to Simmons, “it has always been this way. It will always be this way. There is nothing we can do about it.” (pg.33) Hearing the voice of another adult diminish the cruel nonphysical abuse makes me wonder how greatly today society influences girls behavior is today. Society seems to portray a “good girl image”, leaving girls to fear their own anger, therefore acting it out in a way that is cruel and relentless.

In this book, Simmons begins do dig deeper into the Science of mental reasoning and behavior. Half of covert aggression “is looking like you’d never mistreat someone in the first place aggression. (pg.23) “Every child wants three things out of life: connection, recognition and power.” (pg.9)

First hand accounts lead the reader to see the whole picture, not just the authors’ perspective. Although Simmons does not have a degree in psychology, she has also been a victim of bullying, the bully. She wants the reader to know what is going on inside the head of adolescent girls today.

Odd girl Out allowed me to dig deeper into the minds of adolescent girls that were hurt by cruel covert abuse I was a victim of covert aggression and this book allowed me to know more about the actual thinking of the bully. I now want to know more about developmental psychology. What are the stepping stones that have created adolescent behavior today? What is behind the root of anger and joy? II want to know what created the anger in adolescents. Finally, I want to know exactly how much adolescent are influenced by the media. The covert aggression in girls today leads me to want to know my own feelings and how I might project them on other people.