One piece of evidence arrives when Pecola gets her period. As Frieda and Claudia try to pin a pad to Pecola’s dress, their white neighbor, Rosemary Villanucci, accuses them of “playing nasty.” Pecola doesn’t stand up to Rosemary; then again, neither does Frieda or Claudia.
Pecola is also scorned by Frieda and Claudia’s mom. Their mother is aghast at how much milk Pecola consumes. Once again, Pecola doesn’t stick up for herself, and Frieda and Claudia don’t tell their mom why Pecola drinks so much milk. However, they do go outside so that they can’t hear their mom abuse Pecola anymore.
The sex workers who live near Pecola and her family abuse her as well; although, their abuse has a somewhat humorous tone to it. They make fun of her for not wearing socks. One of the sex workers, Marie, calls Pecola as “barelegged as a yard dog.” Here, Pecola does not stick up for herself, but she does engage the women in conversation.
To complete the list, consider how Pecola fails to stick up for herself when it comes to Maureen, Junior, and her dad. It might also be worth considering how the wording of the question connotes victim blaming. It suggests that Pecola is at fault instead of society at large and adults that should have tried harder to protect her.