Friday, April 11, 2008

Gender and Violence

Guest post from C.Ewing

What initially shocked me about this and this is how strongly I reacted to them, as opposed to how I would react were it to be an all male scenario.

There was a local occurrence here some time ago, where a group of girls sliced another girl's face at the mall. Perhaps I am biased being male, and thus not often privy to the goings on in the female segment of the population, but what strikes me as...well, wrong, is that there is a sentiment that "girls just don't do that sort of thing", which I'm not thinking is particularly uncommon. Indeed, we have the UFC and Pride Fighting, which are both male dominated arenas for violence. Boxing, kick boxing, etc., are still predominantly male. We've long now had the adage that, "boys will be boys", which makes us more forgiving when they turn to violence as an expression of anger or a solution for disagreements. But I think this is wrong. We are moving in the wrong direction. We should not be getting more accustomed to female examples, but less tolerant of them all.

Or am I being overly idealistic? I'm not saying boxing, etc., should be made illegal. Not only do I think that's an inappropriate reaction, but it seems foolish to disallow something, which is harmless to the uninvolved, and freely entered into with knowledge of the consequences, when the problem lies with that, which is beyond regulation and not consensual in the least. Have we started to lose problem solving skills and socialization? Surely, that can't be the case. But I do recall a seminar, where statistically it was stated that we are a more violent society here in the U.S.A. The question is two fold. First, why is that the case? And second, how do we counter the trend?

I'm the first to say, God bless Youtube. It's a wonderful website by far and large. But have we become so enamored with our fifteen minutes of fame that we think this is an acceptable way of getting it? Have we become so unaffected by violence that we think this is an acceptable way to resolve our differences?

I don't want to be a knee-jerk reactionary, my appreciation for Punk aside. But we have so many crises in this country and the world at large already, that we simply don't need one more. Our young women should be embracing the positive aspects of quote-unquote "masculinity". A strong work ethic, a no-nonsense attitude, and an appreciation for stout are all respectable, even admirable. But brawling is not an acceptable resolution, and it is certainly not commendable.

I love horror flicks. I've, oddly enough, never liked gore. I'm all for free sparring, but I haven't been in a fight since grade school. Maybe I'm just an oddity (well, o.k., I am, but still...), but I think our gender-biased gut reaction to female-on-female violence of such a vicious sort should be our reaction to all of it. This is unacceptable. Sure, massive explosions are wonderful in movies, but 9/11 was not amusing. This is not entertainment. This is not a claim to fame. We already have metal detectors in schools. Do we now need filters to get rid of violent content as well as pornographic? But surely this is just an appeasement that doesn't impact the fundamental problem. Where is this anger coming from? Why don't our young people (or most of us?) have a healthy way to channel it, and why is it a source of amusement/entertainment when it seems so appallingly apparent that it should be no such thing?

Are we going to be throwing our Wiccans to the lions, next?

I know this is horribly reactionary, but that video disturbs me deeply, and I just had to get this out somehow. My apologies for the rambling.