Can women get along? This is an age old question that has been the subject of much debate. Well, there is great news on this subject! On Tuesday, November 29th I had the privilege of volunteering at the Junior League of Atlanta’s Girls Round Table event that was held in partnership with Atlanta based, Girl Talk Inc. Held at the Atlanta Speech School, mothers and teen girls gathered to view the documentary, “Finding Kind”, a film that explores the journey of girls and women and female relationships. Haley Kilpatrick, Founder and Executive Director of Girl Talk Inc. facilitated the discussion that followed the film.
The documentary takes a real look at female relationships as a part of development during middle and high school years; explores girl on girl bullying; and the beauty of aging friendships. The film showed girl and women groups discussing the life-long impact of female relationships that have gone right and wrong. I was personally inspired by a group of women that had been friends for over 30 years. The group of friends talked about surviving sickness, divorce and other life issues as a unit. One of the women in the group said that the group started with just her best friend and grew as they met other friends. A group of men that were also interviewed acknowledged that there are clear differences in gender relationships. Experts in education, psychology and relationships cited studies on the effects of adolescent female relationships and bullying on motherhood and other female relationships.
Haley Kilpatrick asked the women and girls in the audience thought provoking questions about female relationships during adolescence and its impact on adulthood. Haley shared her own experience of being rejected by her peers in middle school. The participating teen girls acknowledged what it felt like to be rejected by their peers and how they were able to overcome it. The girls also talked about having supportive and healthy friendships with other girls. Mothers shared stories of developing healthy female relationships after having gone through hurtful childhood friendship experiences.
Girl Talk Inc. partners with programs like the Girls Round Table as a part of their three fold mission to empower girls through leadership, mentoring and community service. What is unique about Girl Talk Inc. is that middle school girls are mentored by high school girls. This model has been working since 2002 thus proving that girls can and do get along!