Saturday, May 27, 2006

Girl Power

Tell us something we didn't already know:

POPULAR fictional characters such as Harry Potter's Hermione could be contributing to an increase in violence among girls, a leading US expert said.

Girls had traditionally learned to suppress violent tendencies but now get mixed messages about how they should behave, renowned US psychologist Professor James Garbarino, who has advised the FBI, said. "We are seeing a general increase in normal aggression and an increase in criminal violence," Professor Garbarino told The Daily Telegraph.

"It used to be very rare for women to participate in armed robbery. It used to be very rare to see female gang members behaving in a violent way and that is more common now."
How astute of those who've been experimenting on society for so long to finally notice the damage they're doing:

Some studies had shown in some circumstances that girls now display a greater tendency than boys to be aggressive, particularly when they can do so in an anonymous way such as in a gang.
No surprise that Garbarino is touting a book, See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It.

Which includes staying away from Harry Potter flicks, apparently:

He pointed to characters such as Hermione, who is the "perfect daughter" but in the third Potter movie punches Harry's enemy Malfoy.

"Afterwards she says 'Boy, that felt good' and she is cheered on by her friends," Professor Garbarino told the Parenting Imperatives II conference. "To tell a girl after seeing that movie that girls don't hit is preposterous. Girls hit, it feels good and people appreciate it - that's the message."
Garbarino must have missed Thelma And Louise. He also notes that the 'good news that more girls were active in sport had produced side effects and unanticipated consequences':

He said traditionally boys playing contact sports had been taught how to be aggressive without crossing the line into violence. They had been taught to then back off, shake hands and be friends. But girls found this more difficult.

"I think it's mostly because girls have not had this taught to them," Professor Garbarino said.
I'm reminded of a female boxer and equity feminist of some years ago who said the most important thing she'd learned from the sport was how to compete without rancour and leave animosity in the ring.

Outside the ring, they've been beefing up girls' engines for years but forgetting to upgrade the brakes.

The feminist marketing message of Girls Can Do Anything might have led many women to rewarding careers (although one notices the ad pitch is always up to working in white collar professions, not down to digging ditches and driving garbage trucks) but many others haven't been raised up to the mythical heights of joyous equality, they've simply been taught to squander whatever claim to moral superiority they may have once inherited and behave as badly as those the feminists despise:

Earlier this year two 14-year-old girls from Liverpool were accused of murdering taxi driver Youbert Hormozi. And in London, 16-year-old Chelsea O'Mahoney was jailed for eight years for her role in an orgy of violence by a gang known as "happy slappers", responsible for attacks on eight people, including a barman beaten to death.
It's all a bit like Communism really - all that equality sounds great in theory, Comrade Sister, but instead of raising everyone to the same level, it lowers them.

-- Nick

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