City Desk

GIRLFIGHT! The Washington Post Creates A Non-Trend

I just don't find this Post story on a so-called "surge" in violence among young women very convincing. The argument goes thus:

  1. This year, four unrelated pairs of women were involved in arguments that ended in homicide; one pair of roommates at Howard University had a fight that culminated in one allegedly throwing a boiling pot of rice at the other.
  2. More girls are getting arrested than ever before
  3. Women are behaving like men because of "changing views of femininity"
  4. There are videos of girls fighting on the internet
  5. A U.S. parole board commissioner says: "This is a relatively new phenomenon, but you see it everywhere today."

At best, I think this story is trying to shoehorn two or three different issues into one "trend." There's A) the bullying that culminates in fisticuffs between angry, hormonal teenagers, B) the tensions that heat up between roommates and boil over into violence, and 3) domestic partner violence (one of the women was killed by her girlfriend, which is a completely different issue from angry roommates).

All of these points are of concern, but calling it a surge in girl fights sensationalizes some very real problems. And it makes it too easy to shake one's head and lament the behavior of young women today, rather than focusing on why these distinct issues keep cropping up.

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  • J.

    I think they mean: Surge in BLACK GIRL violence. Lets not forget the obvious...

  • Shani Hilton

    @J. that was an undercurrent, definitely, since most---though not all---of the cases cited were between black women. I think if they had been up front about it, that could have been an enlightening story in itself.

  • Typical DC BS

    I don't think they looked to hard to find white girl violence. It's easier to sensationalize these issues when the specter of race is introduced as the "undercurrent".

  • J.

    @ Shani: it certainly would have made for a more interesting, and honest, story. But alas, it is not PC, so it is swept under the rug and the problem will continue. Care to say which case didn't involve black women?

  • Shani Hilton

    @J. I think the Florida teens involved in the videotaped fight were mostly, if not all, white.

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