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Jewish World Review
June 30, 2004
/ 11 Tamuz, 5764
When girls' civilizing influence turns brutal
Remember the great Lesley Gore tune, "It's my Party"?
In the song, the birthday girl's boyfriend, Johnny, and a party guest, Judy, leave the party at the same time, and Judy comes back wearing Johnny's ring. And so, sings Gore, "I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to. ...you would cry too if it happened to you."
Well, tears were not how one 13-year-old Baltimore girl handled such a "betrayal" at her recent birthday party.
According to the Associated Press, when the birthday girl's "boyfriend" kissed a 12-year-old guest on the cheek at the party, the birthday girl's mother was furious, and ordered her daughter to "handle your business." At which point the unfortunate guest, Nicole Ashley Townes, was savagely beaten by six women and girls, including the mother, and sent into a coma.
It's tough imagining a Lesley Gore tune coming out of that story.
But, it does seem to fit with the "girls gone wild" phenomenon spreading across American culture. According to AP, "Around the country school police and teachers are seeing a growing tendency for girls to settle disputes with their fists ..." It's still true that violence among boys is a much bigger problem than violence among girls, as measured by arrest statistics. But, AP reports, while it used to be the ratio was 10 to 1, now it's 4 to 1.
While the surge of violence among girls has been seen primarily at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale, it's by no means exclusively there. Just flash back to the news about the violent "powder puff" girls football game in an affluent Chicago suburb where one group of girls brutalized another group of girls huddled helplessly on the ground, even to the point of breaking bones.
So, what's going on?
There are about 100 different theories, everything from a more coarse and violent culture in general, to violent women portrayed in movies think "Terminator 3" to less religious influence, to more broken homes and fewer moms at home most of the day.
Who knows for sure? No one.
What we can know is this: When the virtue of women as a group degenerates in a culture, it weakens the culture as a whole and it's a dangerous thing.
In every successful society, women are the ultimate keepers of virtue. They are the civilizing influence on the men and the culture around them. They tame the worst appetites of men, whether it be toward violence, sexual aggressiveness and promiscuity, or even just things like laziness or coarseness.
The extent to which women degenerate, whatever the reason, is the extent to which a powerful and wholesome check on the culture at large is lost.
We've seen this with the sexual revolution, where women have been encouraged to behave as sexually aggressive as men do, even if they lack the same sexual appetite. But, it's the woman who is then left hurting and wondering why she is not married, or at least why some man could have sex with her without loving her or being committed to her (duh).
Throughout our culture, as sex has been belittled and cheapened instead of rightly honored, it's coarsened our culture as a whole, and hurt countless hearts of both sexes.
Is this all the fault of women? Of course not. And many women do maintain their virtue. But there are enough women no longer meeting their role of being a civilizing influence on the culture that the culture is suffering for it.
We may be seeing a similar trend when it comes to violence and young women. If they are truly becoming more "like men" in this area, the culture is being weakened along with becoming even more dangerous.
Of course, arguing that women are traditionally the keepers of virtue makes feminists wince. But, they actually argue something vaguely similar, yet wholly wrong. They maintain that if men were more like women, our culture would be a better place.
If more men shared their feelings and changed diapers, that would be the answer to our problems, they say.
Look, I'm into my husband sharing feelings and changing diapers. But, ironically, it seems instead of men becoming more like women in a sort of feminist panacea, we've seen women becoming more like men to the detriment of all.
At any rate, we as women don't need to feminize men. We do need to civilize men.
To walk away from that mission is, in fact, to deny our nature. And our culture, including little girls like Nicole Ashley Townes, will suffer for it.
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