Girls talk

Featured in

  • Published 20060307
  • ISBN: 9780733316210
  • Extent: 268 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

GIRLS TALK IS a classic Dave Edmunds song, penned by Elvis Costello, and it captures in a few verses and choruses the complexities of a girl culture that thrives in the corridors and toilets of schools around the world. Movies like Heathers and Mean Girls helped bring the dark side of this secret society to mainstream attention and revealed it as a breeding ground for a stealthy kind of bullying that has long evaded notice and official consequence.

Few children schooled in the Western world escape experiencing or witnessing bullying, but what exactly is it? When we think of bullying we think of the traditional scenario: a bigger boy beating up a smaller boy or the infliction of a humiliating initiation rite on a terrified newcomer. We think of boys and we think of the body, or of persistent schoolyard name-calling. We know girls can bully, and most of us recall the “tough girls” of our childhood, but they were a rarity, seen as an aberration of girlhood.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

More from author

Beauty and the bêtê noire

MemoirI COME FROM a long line of beautiful women. This short, simple statement raises immediate questions: why am I so sure? How is this...

More from this edition

Reports from the front

IntroductionTHE BATTLE OVER ideas in education is one of the most hard-fought in public life. No other field carries heavier baggage. Education is regarded...

Reality beyond imagining

EssayIN THE COURSE of the 35 years in which I taught in universities, a number of people had suggested that I write a campus...

The academic underclass

EssayIF YOU GET a casual job as an academic at an Australian university, you think you are very lucky – a job working in...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.