I remember growing up dancing to Cyndi Lauper's song, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." My girlfriends and I would choreograph dance routines, put on the strangest get-ups, crank up the music, and have a blast. Nowadays, it would seem girls are fighting their way into the spotlight.
It's all over the news and YouTube especially - catfights. More specifically, girl fights. It's a very distressing trend. One article highlights the fact that "Boys are right there in the videos, ringside, egging the girls on." Another talks about the entertainment value and "fighting as a path to more status" among preteen and teen girls in schools. I recall reading a NY Times article last spring revealing that graphic Hollywood horror movies are (suprisingly and) increasingly appealing to a female demographic. She's "Up to Her Eyes in Gore, And Loving It."
What's happening here? The teenage years are known to be full of "storm and stress" and it's a time ripe for conflict and insecurity, physical and emotional. But none of this is developmentally new. The degeneration and disfiguration is cultural. Do you think it has to do with sex? I'd argue that an increasingly sexualized culture is now erupting into girl-on-girl violence as girls physically fight over their guys. Is it feminism gone awry? An increasingly androgynous culture where men and women are interchangeable upholds a girl's need and right to assert herself physically, just as a guy would if provoked. And it sure is easier to fight with pants on instead of skirts. What about negative attention-seeking that's gratified by media exposure via cell phones that loves to catch girls in the act and transform them into instant celebrities?
And what about those guys, ladies? A good friend once told me that men are either predators or protectors (generalization I know). Never in the past would young men stand by and watch two (or five for that matter) girls beat each other up. They would act as protectors - get in there and break it up. Now they are spectators. Worse, they are cheerleaders for the cause. Worse, they are purveyors pedaling the footage to YouTube. This is misogyny at its worst.
I want you to know YouTube has not taken these videos down - they are still up. Is the solution censorship? In part, yes. I prefer to call it discretion. Really, it's common sense. These young girls are ruining themselves right before our very eyes.
Question is: what can we do about it?