Hernia (from “Hagar the Horrible” cartoon): “You’re being bullied by Mary Lou Olsen?!!”
Hamlet: (SIGH) “Yes.”
Hernia: “But she’s a GIRL!!”
Hamlet: “A good left hook has no gender.”
I would love to upload Chris Browne’s cartoon that accompanied this dialogue, since it’s a perfect match for Bully at Ambush Corner, but the rights are owned by the King Features Syndicate, so I would have to pay for even a one-time use. However, I believe the words alone get the point across. These days, a good left hook absolutely knows no gender.
When I was young, boys were the main instigators of physical bullying. Girls were mean, but they seldom resorted to fisticuffs. That no longer seems to be true. According to James Garbarino, Ph.D., in his book See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It, twenty-five years ago, ten boys were arrested for assault for every one girl. Now that ratio is four-to-one and dropping.
A quick search of on-line videos brought up plenty of examples of physical violence between girls, of which the following are representative. If you have a soft heart or a weak stomach, don’t watch.
Could you imagine discovering your daughter in one of these, on either the receiving or the giving end? Of course, if you’re the mother in the first video, you encouraged the fight. No comment. Who’s worse? (Not including the sicko mother.) The fisticuffers, the bystanders egging them on, or those who record and post the violence for the world to see?
When my generation rallied behind equal rights for women, we didn’t argue for the right to join the men in their level of violence. It makes me sad. But back then, the Golden Rule was posted prominently on every classroom wall. Did it make us more peaceful? Who knows? All I know is times have changed. And in some ways, not for the better.
Why are girls becoming more violent? Do you have any explanation or theory for why this is occurring? Reality T.V.? Video games?
If you’re a female, have you ever resorted to physical bullying or been bullied physically?
I’d love to hear from you.
(If you want to know why and how girls bully, check out EduGuide, a resource for parents.)