On Wednesdays We Wear Pink

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“I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me…but I can’t help it that I’m popular.”

Welcome to our Half-Block course, “Queen Bees, Wannabees, and Mean Girls,” taught by self-proclaimed “Wannabee” but suspiciously Queen Bee-ish Professor Lisa B. Hughes.


You are undoubtably familiar with Mean Girls (2004), or if you’re not, someone you know is. It enriches our vocabulary, is being made into a musical, and causes me to dig through my house to find something pink for Wednesday. But Tina Fey didn’t create the first genius mean girl characters; these have been around for thousands of years.

In our first three days, we have compared Mean Girls to Machiavelli’s The Prince, examined girl power and competition in ancient Greek myths, and watched Joan Crawford wreak havoc in Queen Bee (1955).


Who are some iconic or memorable pop-culture girl groups or duos?

  • Arachne and Athena,
  • Penelope and Helen,
  • Elizabeth Bennett and Miss Caroline Bingley,
  • The Plastics
  • Charlie’s Angels
  • Lorelai and Rory
  • Lucy and Ethel…..the list goes on

How many are all seamless friends? Where do conflicts come from? Can girls be friends? Where do the conflicts in Mean Girls come from? How are they solved?

What is Girl World? Who makes the rules?

  • Those rules are even real. – They were real that time I wore a vest!
  • “Eating with the plastics was like leaving regular world and entering girl world” – “I know how this could be settled in the animal world, but this was girl world, and in girl world all the fighting had to be sneaky.”

Which is better, to bake a cake of rainbow and smiles, or to break the crown and give everyone a piece of it?

Is Brutus just as cute as Caesar?

How has female sexuality been portrayed over the years? How is it alike or different in Queen Bee and Mean Girls?

Are you a Queen Bee, a Wannabee, or a Mean Girl?

“And don’t be wrong” (John Tucker Must Die).


Published by Kendall Rock

My name is Kendall Rock, and I hail from Poulsbo/Seattle, Washington. I am a Film and New Media Studies major and English minor at Colorado College. I can't cook, but I love unicycling, knitting, and being outside. I will try my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

5 replies on “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink”

  1. “Is Brutus just as cute as Caesar?” – Such an important question, Kendall. As this half block begins to come to an end, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about who is a “Queen Bee” and why. In class, I hear people say that Jennifer, or Eva, or Miss Bingley, or Lady Catherine de Bourgh, whoever, isn’t really a Queen Bee because of this or that- so clearly, we have some different ideas about what makes a Queen Bee. I think I’ve figured out that for Lisa, being a Queen Bee means wanting something and then getting it. I wonder– is there more to being a Queen Bee than getting what you want? Or does being a Queen Bee mean something else entirely?

  2. My name is Luke Landis, and I am a student at Oak Park and River Forest High School near Chicago. I’ve been reading your blog because my teacher, Ms. Steffen, used to go to Colorado College and she introduced us to your class. In my Freshman English class, we’ve been talking about Greece and watching The Dead Poet’s Society in anticipation of reading Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Midsummer Night’s Dream this quarter.

    Although there aren’t any Mean Girls in Dead Poet’s Society, I am intrigued about this concept of “frenemies” that’s on your blog. Specifically, I am interested in the power struggle that might exist amongst female friends who are seeking political or cultural gains—if you’re friends with someone, then why do you fight? Can competition be healthy or does it purely breed negativity? I am interested in hearing what you think about this, specifically in context of the story about Athena and Arachne from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Could you possibly view the characters, Athena and Arachne, as frenemies? For instance, they are competitors and they both want to win the weaving competition, but they also seem to display a certain amount of mutual respect. Athena knows that she will win the competition (she is a Goddess, afterall) and beat/embarrass Arachne, but then why did Athena want Arachne to live? She could have gotten rid of her, but instead she turned Arachne into a spider and allowed her to continue living. Overall, she ends up punishing her, but she still lets her get away free. This sounds to me like they might be frenemies. What do you think?

  3. Luke, we talked about Athena’s choice to keep Arachne alive and just turn her into a spider in our class extensively. While there were many views as to if Athena’s actions were nice or not. I concluded that Athena’s actions were not nice and she is actually punishing her. One of the questions our teacher asked us was “Would you rather be mortal or immortal?” Most of the class said immoral at first, but after more consideration, people changed their mind to being mortal as the better option. Why? If you are living forever, the people close to you will die and you soon will not be surrounded by friends anymore. One example was that an 80 year old woman said that no one calls her Jane anymore, they all call her, grandma or Mrs. Jefferson. It would have been much nicer to just kill her off than to turn her into a spider. Arachne also stands as a living example to others if the cross Athena.

    Do you think that it is better to be mortal or immortal?

  4. In response to your post Liana, I think it would be better to be mortal because life has its twists and turns, and not all of them are so pleasant. The idea of being immortal scares me because I do not know what cruel challenges life has in store for me. Imagine Penelope, wife to Odysseus, who waited 20 years to reconnect with her husband I can imagine that being immortal would test your patience as there would inevitably be a lot of waiting around, which sounds miserable. I would rather live a short, yet exciting life.

    Luke, I agree with Liana that Athena’s actions were not nice, and I would even go as far to say that her actions were indeed cruel. By turning Arachne into a spider, Arachne has been forced to live her life in constant reminder of her wrong-doing, challenging a Goddess. Arachne must spin threads to construct webs in order to catch food, similar to the threads she spun in order to support her house. It is cruel reminder to Arachne that she must live her life spinning threads when she was so accustomed to weaving for pleasure, she must now do it to survive, which is the cruelest punishment available for Athena to dole out.

  5. Luke, your interest in our class is commendable, but since this is a class about Mean Girls I must say: “(s)He doesn’t even go here!”

    (For a more accurate portrayal of that moment: http://24.media.tumblr.com/6dd8c1d37ee3e5e3828649453ea6e0b8/tumblr_mqhmm3F7FA1s8scfko1_500.gif )

    On a more serious note, I do not believe Arachne and Athena had any type of “frenemy” relationship. Rather, Arachne acted like she was a Queen Bee (as if she was better than everybody else), acted rudely to Athena in disguise (Greek gods loved to mess with humans by disguising themselves and asking them questions), and still ended up challenging Athena to the Spinning/Weaving Battle of the Eons. Every single action of Arachne pushed her towards her inevitable fate and confrontation with Athena. On the other hand, Athena was nice enough to give Arachne a chance to redeem herself when she showed up disguised and asked her if she wanted to repent and admit that Arachne might be the best of mortal weavers, but she got nothing on Athena. To make the plot move along, not only does Arachne refuse, but she also does that with style and rudeness.

    Greek gods also had a way of punishing people by not killing them, rather by making them do one task for infinity. There is Prometheus, who brought fire to humans, and for that he got punished by having an eagle eat his liver (which magically grows back afterwards) day after day. Or Atlas having to hold up the sky so that it doesn’t crush the Earth. Thus, what might appear to us as a “merciful” punishment, might have been considered a much worse punishment back in the day.

    A more fitting example of “frenemies” would be Elizabeth Bennet and Caroline Bingley at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice. Since at the point Caroline is already friends with Jane, Elizabeth’s sister, but she also noticed that Darcy (the guy that Caroline wants to marry) finds Elizabeth somewhat attractive. With this conflict of interests, on one hand the friendship to the sister, and on the other hand, the rivalry for the attention of Darcy creates the “frenemies” relationship where Caroline tries to be nice to Elizabeth from time to time, but also tries to bring her down and humiliate her at other times. It is important to note that it’s only Caroline who participates in this petty rivalry- Elizabeth is untouched by it. Or when she is touched by it, she is usually simply amused by it.

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