That's the title of a book that my sister raved about yesterday as I told her a tale of woe. As an elementary teacher and mother, she often has a lot of insightful things to say about how children interact and the cause and effect of their behavior on others and themselves as they grow up.
When we were kids my sister, being significantly older than I am, found me to be a pest. It was my role and one that I learned to play well. We often absorb what is projected onto us, and of course all I really wanted was to be included in the inner circle of coolness, the kind that inherently shrouds an older sibling. But the more we were pitted against each other by those around us, I began to become what I heard: a pest.
We are close now and she is a wonderful sister who I couldn't have made it to this point in my life without. Very few people are as warm and wise as my sister, except maybe our mom. But we all know the lessons of being left out, and the subsequent bullying and ridicule that comes with it.
My sister says while she notices that boys are more outwardly hostile towards each other, it rarely lasts and it's never subversive - at least not in the stages before puberty. But even very young girls are just downright mean using "silent aggression" and subtle hostility to show their dislike - and more perversely the whole ganging up method.
That "silent aggression" is what the author speaks of in her exhaustive research to determine the causes of female bullying.
I don't have the book yet, but I am eager to read it because I know ALL TOO WELL what those pathological forms of aggression look like from both sides of the fence.
Women are taught to be sweet, but this is based on the notion of nurturing and honestly, nurturing is not something you develop until you are forced to care for children.