Several readers (thanks) have emailed this news story
about a group of girls who attacked another girl and posted the video on YouTube
and bragged about their crime. Two boys, it was said by news sources,
(click on the video to hear the news anchor discuss this) served as lookouts while the beating took place. Notice how times have changed. It used to be the girls serving as accessories to crimes, and now, in some cases, it's the boys.
Why were the girls angry? It seems that the victim, Victoria Lindsay, posted some negative stuff on MySpace about some of her peers and they were upset. Rather than confront her for what she did and talk to her about it, or insist that she take down the MySpace insults, they beat her up and put up the video for the world to see. Many of the news sources asked "why" and had psychiatrists such as this one
on Fox News (click on the video in the middle of the page) discuss the "pack mentality" where kids get together and feel more powerful as a group and do things that they might not do alone. The victim's parents blamed the beating
on the internet:
Her parents blamed the Internet for the incident.
"These Web sites are creating a space for criminal activity, beating, fights," Patrick Lindsay said. "MySpace, MTV's 'Jackass,' they are enticing our children and desensitizing out children. Now, if they create the best shock video, they are the heroes. They think it is top dollar..."
Rubbing his wife's back as she tried to gain her composure, Patrick Lindsay vowed to get justice for their daughter.
"I'm very upset with these Internet sites," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, MySpace is the anti-Christ for children. I'm going to carry this as far as I can.”
While the need to get "shock video" and a pack mentality may play a part in why girls become violent, there is more brewing in these types of girl crimes. Psychologist James Garbarino, author of See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It,
explains some of the cultural reasons that girls are turning to assaulting others. In the book, Garbarino discusses the "New American Girl":
...Girls are hitting people more than in the past, and this represents a challenge to adults charged with responsibility for rearing and teaching those girls.
Second, girls are getting physical and learning the very positive message that their bodies can be physically powerful in ways that are not sexual. These very positive changes in girls result from unleashing them from the traditional bonds of femininity and are evident in assertiveness, participation in sports, and active rather than passive psychological coping strategies...
...more and more of the aggression displayed by girls is physical. This aggression is often displayed in a positive light, both in it's own right and as a positive alternative to relational aggression...
The ongoing "feminist" mantra of "you go girl" with the culture telling girls that they are both "empowered and entitled" can be a lethal combination. Our society tends to let girls off the hook, and tells them they are not responsible for their actions or society denies that girls and women can engage in violent assaults. This simultaneous denial and acceptance of female violence just feeds into a sense of entitlement for girls as well as a sense that they can do no wrong.
Sometimes, this causes them to go overboard, like in the case described above. Girls are told that it is okay to be angry and physical yet, they do not understand the boundaries of violence. No adult wants to take this on--men are afraid to interact, engage with, or even teach young girls about the boundaries of violence due to fear of sexual harassment or molestation charges and women feel kind of proud that their daughters are so "empowered." So girls do not get the guidance and help that they need in channeling anger and can end up wrecking havoc on others and at the same time, ruin their own lives
in the process.
Labels: crime, teens, violent kids