tearonthefire: (Taarna)
[personal profile] tearonthefire
To the women reading this article; I'd like you to think back to your teenage years, back to high school and your friends or friend's of friends. Can you recall fighting with them, perhaps even physically. Being pushed or slapped with the phrase, 'I heard what you told so-and-so about me', or 'stay away from my boyfriend bitch'.

It's statistically evident that the most likely perpetrator of violence against teenage women are other teenage women. This is also true for men by the way. Being a teenager is a horrific period in someone's life that some look back on wistfully but very few would like to repeat it. The social dynamic is awkward, growth spurts are awkward, hormones are awkward; really, lets face it, the while thing is just awkward which naturally leads to anger and frustration. This is where the majority of violence during these times in our lives stem from. These kinds of incidents have become such a social norm that one couldn't point to a single television show that didn't address these issues in some way. Even Star Trek had an episode about it.

But why is the examination of teenage issues important to any discussion, don't teenagers grow out of the twilight zone of being teenagers. Well it's important to point out that women are as capable of being violent as men. The conversation is frequently obscured by how 'likely' a woman is to commit a violent act, even when the conversation is centered around capability. No one would disagree that a mother would be capable of murder to protect her children but when the conversation is specific to angry or reactionary behavior, many are likely to deny that a woman is at all able to react to such an extreme. I would counter such a statement with the names; Lisa Nowak, Karla Homolka, Amy Bishop, and many more.

This again doesn't mean that women are as likely to commit such crimes but highlights that we are just as capable of them. The chivalristic, and I would dare say misogynistic, ideal that women are virtuous and passive is not only wrong but damaging to women as a whole. It's an unrealistic idea for any person to live under and adds to the strain of being a woman in modern society. Getting pissed at a waiter and wanting to stuff his order pad down his throat is a normal reaction to an overly frustrating event but the thought that this would be a venial sin for men while at the same time being a cardinal sin for women, only diminishes the self worth of the women feeling this type of anger.

The world is awash with little landmines of anti-selfesteem for women and while it might seem counter intuitive to think that viewing women as less capable of violence is one of those land minds, it does set up an unreasonable expectation. I'm not advocating that anyone go out and prove that they're capable of being violent, I'm saying that both genders need stop portraying women as more and as less then what they we are, people. If we as a society can do that, then the case of three teenage girls selling other teenage girls into sex slavery will be less a discussion of how shocking that a woman can do this and more a discussion of how shocking it is that anyone could do it.
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