Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Daily Telegraph: Girls now carry knives... and will use them

(Ed: Any bishops out there want to speak up on this one?)

[...] This aim of Sixties feminism has now been achieved on the streets, at great cost to the supposed beneficiaries. Many of the girls I met spoke of the necessity of adopting the same aggressive behaviour as their male counterparts; they are now feeling that they have "to go as hard as the boys".

A Molotov cocktail of low self-esteem and hyper-inflated sense of self respect and shame mean that if a girl is attacked physically or verbally she will lash out. And as she does that, then she should, so the logic goes, be prepared to take "man-licks" herself. The mimicry of male peers even extends to their street fashion: girls are now wearing designer jeans hanging low off their backside, just like the swaggering boys.

Girls are also forming their own gangs or "cliques" - not in the old-fashioned way, but for self-preservation and for material gain. Aggressive acts by female gangs are rapidly rising - police are investigating whether a gang blew up a house in Harrow last week, severely wounding a 17-year-old girl who had called the police to complain about a group of girls who were bullying her. A neighbour was killed in the blast.

Initiation rites are violent and might require a girl to mug an innocent passer-by. And once you are in, there's no getting out: "When you're in that position," one girl told me, "there's nothing you can do because if you stop going hard, you will get yourself into more trouble, or you'll just get beaten up, or it'll just be the end of you." And be under no illusion: these girls are carrying knives and are prepared to use them.

Their deep sense of insecurity also underlies the incidence of widespread casual sex ("linking"). Some seem to be easily persuaded to "give up the goods" as if that were the only way to get a boyfriend; while others have a far more consumerist approach: as soon as you've had one boyfriend, you move on to the next one. Another example, surely, of girls' behaviour mimicking that of the boys.

Meanwhile, technology seems to have added a new dimension to bullying. Videos of boys and girls having sex in the stairwells of housing blocks circulate the school playground via mobile phone.

These are disturbing times. Moral breakdown, social disorder and the emergence of a new female aggression - an aggression seen as necessary for survival - is a natural, if highly repugnant, reaction to far larger forces. Read more
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