Bindeman Center presents bullying documentary

‘Finding Kind’ shows struggles of womanhood

By Julia Heimlich, Features Editor

Behind their caked-on makeup and pearly whites, girls can be vicious creatures. Because of their ability to cover up whatever drama goes on behind the scenes, situations in which a girl is both the bully and the victim is not always taken as seriously as it should be.

A showing of the 2011 documentary Finding Kind will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center in Potomac. Finding Kind documents the uniqueness of womanhood, compiling personal experiences and universal truths that many females can relate to, as well as revealing the effects of girl-on-girl bullying.

“We all assume that girls who have been bullied may still be suffering years later,” said Ira Miller, who is organizing the program. “Hearing from women who bullied other girls in high school, and finding out that they carry tremendous guilt and shame from how they treated them, was really eye opening.”
Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson, who created the film, ventured out and interviewed real women to capture both the perks and struggles of being female.
According to Finding Kind’s official webpage, Parsekian was labeled as a “popular” girl until her friends turned against her and she was left all alone. Thompson experienced a similar loneliness after she too was mistreated by a group of girls all through high school.

“The filmmakers really show how girl-on-girl bullying affects everyone involved—parents and siblings included—and how the only way it can stop is if each of us changes our own behavior,” Miller said. “Girls are doing this to each other for all sorts of reasons, and it won’t stop unless people choose to make it stop.”
Even with everything done at school to promote treating each other with respect, girl-on-girl bullying is not a situation uncommon to many CHS students.
According to a freshman who wished to remain anonymous, the way girls bully each other can often be more destructive than the physical bullying traditionally associated with boys.

“I’ve heard about girls taking their fights to social media so that it’s public for everyone to see,” the freshman said. “It doesn’t have to be in extreme forms, but even the smallest remarks can be hurtful.”

Sophomore Emma Siritzky plans to watch Finding Kind in December because she wants to learn how girl-on-girl bullying can be prevented.

“I think this program will help promote kindness and support between girls in our community, so the psychological bullying and gossip that girls inflict on each other will stop,” Siritzky said.

According to Miller, the girl bullying focused on in the documentary includes spreading gossip and starting rumors, giving dirty looks or even physical and emotional violence and harassment.

“People need to look out for each other and care for each other,” Miller said. “We are all part of one community, whether it’s our neighborhood, our house of worship or our school. When someone is harassed or bullied, we have to imagine that this is us, it’s our friends, it’s our siblings—and that we won’t put up with it anymore.”