BOOKS FOR WOMEN: Dissecting Female Relationships in The Twisted Sisterhood

By   |   March 6, 2012   |   Entertainment

Contributor Teri Harmon breaks down the newest book in her reading rainbow!

Written by Kelly Valen, The Twisted Sisterhood: Unraveling the Dark Legacy of Female Friendships is a study of the sometimes tortured relationships between women, which seems so perfect in the age of Bad Girls Club and Basketball Wives – reality shows about women being not so nice that we just can’t seem to get enough of.┬á It is broken into three sections: Part I – “Garden of Good and Evil”; Part II – “After the Fall”; and Part III – “Next Stop, Paradise?”. Like Kelly proposes, I agree that our relationships with other women depend on who we are ourselves as women and how we see ourselves as women. Kelly wrote the book after her own harrowing experience with her sorority sisters that still haunts her to this day.

Most of us go through that period where we donΓÇÖt like other women entirely for one reason or another. Some just donΓÇÖt like her because “she did something wrong, she reminds us of something we don’t like or because she made us the wronged party in a situation.” I think Kelly describes it best in her introduction: ΓÇ£Most of us draw from an arsenal of surprisingly common coping strategies and return to the dance floor seemingly no worse for the wear smile on face, tail between legs, inwardly tentative-confirming Odd Girl Out author Rachel SimmonΓÇÖs theory that beneath the facade of female intimacy ΓǪ lies a terrain traveled in secret, marked with anguish and nourished by silence.ΓÇÖΓÇ¥ (p. 18).

This book takes you on a journey in which women of all ages speak to you. Kelly shares with us how we as women feel personally and professionally in our lives, and explores the mean girl mentality women can have against other women, and the scarring impact it can leave. Surprisingly, I can relate to most of what Kelly has said, specifically in this statement, “We can do our best to teach our girls to be good, but in the end, they are their own person and must learn from their own experience. I do think a mother who is mean will greatly increase her daughterΓÇÖs chances of being mean, but, sadly, I think almost every girl is mean at some pointΓǪΓÇ¥ It made me step back and remember a moment when I conjured out my own mean girl mentality and try to understand why I felt the need to be so raw against someone of my own gender.

Kelly goes on to say that ΓÇ£This book is an invitation for every girl and woman to pay more attention to whatΓÇÖs going on within the gender; to reflect and ultimately, to behave.ΓÇ¥ ( p. 19). A lesson we can all learn, no matter what our gender.

Read more of Terri’s thoughts on The Twisted Sisterhood and other books for women at her website.

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