The situation came to a head at the end of this school year--which coincided with the end of High School. My son was devastated--no, gutted--by the extent of his so-called friend's series of betrayals. Part of the problem was that, as a kid who would never go in for such sabotage, especially of someone he considered to be a very good friend, it took him a while to wrap his head around her dirty dealings. That someone whose friendship he valued could do that to him came as the rudest of awakenings. As his mother, I can tell you it was very hard to watch.
Fortunately, he's never been one to wallow in his misery or be tripped up for long by a crappy situation (in that way, he's a lot different than his mom, since I tend to suffer and stew for days, if not longer), and he was able to shake it off pretty quickly.
It is perhaps instructive to keep my son's experience in mind when reading this, about Barack Obama essay in next month's Glamour magazine, for which he's won much praise:
In his most extensive remarks about feminism, President Barack Obama has written an essay for Glamour magazine in which he reflected on American women’s long fight for equality and called on men to fight sexism and create equal relationships.
In the 1,500-word essay, which was published online Thursday and will appear in the September print magazine, the president argued that “when everybody is equal, we are all more free.” He praised the progress of American women over the past century while pledging to work on securing equal pay and reproductive rights. The president also warned against “dated assumptions about gender roles.”
The president said that it was important to his daughters that he be a feminist, “because now that’s what they expect of all men.”
“We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive, that criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear,” he wrote. “We need to keep changing the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs.
“We need to keep changing the attitude that permits the routine harassment of women, whether they’re walking down the street or daring to go online. We need to keep changing the attitude that teaches men to feel threatened by the presence and success of women.”
It's so unusual that I doubt the president actually wrote it. (More likely, it was penned by one of his factotums.) Furthermore, the idea that all girls are potential victims and all boys potential victimizers is, quite simply, unfair and unfounded.Brenda Weber, the professor and the chairwoman of the gender studies department at Indiana University, said she was “delighted” by the essay, which she said showed a nuanced sense of women’s issues. It is unusual for a man to write such an essay, let alone a president, she said. ...
My son was in no way "threatened by the presence and success" of his friend; he was always supportive of her endeavors and successes, even when she was in direct competition with him. She was the one who felt threatened by him, and by the possibility that he might be the smarter, more successful one.
I wonder if Obama would have "written" this essay in exactly the same way if he'd had a son who, like mine, had been treated so horribly by a girl.