Blame feminism for murder

26 03 2009

Feminism has been  blamed for everything from “hook-up culture” to female alcohol consumption.  And now, apparently murder is also the fault of feminism.

Last week, in Toronto, a 17  year old girl, M.T. was recently convicted for “inciting” her boyfriend to “stab another girl (her rival, 14-year-old Stefanie Rengel) to death in exchange for sex.”  And of course, feminism is to blame.  

Judith Timson at the Globe and Mail, writes that M.T.’s desire to have Rengel dead is “an ages old pre-feminist scenario” in which “girls believe they don’t have a lot of real power, that it lies only in attracting or keeping a guy, and they’ll go to desperate ends to do so.”

And in response, in “Feminism’s deadly fallout,” Lorne Gunter at the National Post enlightens us with the “truth”:

Pardon me? Girls have turned to murder because they have no power? The truth is, they have turned to murder and “obsessive irrational hatred of one girl toward another, depict[ing] an emotional landscape devoid of respect, conscience or heart,” because they have too much power. I don’t mean too much power relative to boys — with whom they are now equals in every real sense — but rather relative to teens of past generations.

Ohhhhhh…I get it now – the thought of girls murdering because they have no power is completely absurd!  Instead, the truth is that girls now have too much power and that’s why they’re just going off and killing people!  And of course, I should’ve known – teenage girls are one of the most powerful constituencies in society.  Teenage boys and older men find some of them really sexy and attractive, so duh!  This gives them the upper edge.

Right, and girls and boys are “equals in every real sense”? if we are equal in “EVERY real sense” then that would mean that we are equals in terms of our biology and reproduction (and it doesn’t seem to me that boys and girls have the same parts).  And that women wouldn’t be earning less than men do for doing the same jobs.  And that boys would be just as likely as girls are to be raped or sexually assaulted.

Gunter then delivers some more wisdom:

It is just possible that all of this is the logical end product of feminism, instead of, as Ms. Timson postulates, the harbinger of some return to a regressive age.

So the logical end of feminism is getting teenage girls to incite their boyfriends into stabbing and murdering other teenage girls?  Am I missing something?  Because this is not what I thought feminism was about.

Feminism’s attempts to release women from the strictures of the old sexual morality, and the movement’s encouragement for women to act like men, have produced violent girls like M. T. who use their sexuality as a tool, and think nothing of offering up– via cellphone text messages — “bj’s ” and “bang bangs” in order to have a perceived rival, Stefanie Rengel, killed. It’s not the technology that’s changed, it’s the girls.

Okay, hold it!  First of all, feminism is NOT about encouraging women to act like men.  It’s about challenging and eliminating traditional gender roles and norms.  And secondly, feminism has encouraged women to use their sexuality as a tool?  Newsflash: patriarchy has made sexuality a tool!  Women, both young and old, use their sexuality as a tool to survive because patriarchy has reduced women to their sexuality!  And the bit about how technology hasn’t changed, but girls have.  Um, excuse me?  So the Internet, twitter, iPods, iPhones, Blackberries, HD TV, all that stuff has always been around?

And then Gunter continues:

Now before anyone flies off the handle and accuses my of being a patriarchal, barefoot-and-pregnant-in-the-kitchen reactionary, let me point out that my wife is a lawyer and we teach both our 14-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son that they can and should be whatever they want.

But you are expressing patriarchal sentiments.  And the fact that your wife is a lawyer means what exactly?  Is it supposed to mean that if your wife is a lawyer (and not a stereotypical 50’s housewife or something) then all of your claims are valid because you’re oh-so-progressive and in support of gender equality?

Now, ready for this?  Gunter, quite the expert, shares with us what feminism really is about:

But feminism at its core was about more than just freeing women and girls from stereotypical careers and winning them equal pay for work of equal value. It was also about tearing down the old morality and ethics (which the movement’s most radical members saw as yokes created for women by men) and about taking away women’s feminine choices and directing them only to masculine ones.

“Taking away women’s feminine choices and directing them only to masculine ones”?  Why are there “feminine” and “masculine” roles, activities, and choices?  BECAUSE OF PATRIARCHY!  Feminism wasn’t/isn’t about telling women to be like men and doing whatever men do.  And it certainly wasn’t about “directing them only to masculine” choices.

So when you tell girls for four generations that they are weak and should demand the kind of power boys and men have, and when you — through the pill and abortion — signal to them that sex is nothing more than a consequence-free, pleasurable act and when, finally, you remove faith-based morality from the mix, too, you should not be surprised to wake up one morning and find that you have created an M.T.

Aha.  The birth control pill (and other birth control options we have now) and abortion are bad bad BAD because having these options means that women can have sex without the intention of having babies.  Gasp!  The thought of women wanting to have sex for pleasure, or just because, and not just to reproduce?  How terrible!  And the whole schpeal about removing “faith-based morality”?  If we don’t hold onto religion and religious values, we’re doomed!

A larger underlying issue here is that yes, it is horrible that M.T. incited her boyfriend to murder Rengel, but NEWSFLASH: WOMEN CAN BE PERPETRATORS OF VIOLENCE TOO!  Society lacks the vocabulary to discuss women as perpetrators of violence because apparently violence is only a “manly” thing to do.  While masculinity is constructed in relation to violence, and violent masculinity is the norm, WOMEN ARE VIOLENT TOO, SOMETIMES!

I am not advocating to support female perpetrators of violence; instead I am pointing out that it is highly problematic that society confines women to the role of the victim.  Yes, women are victims. Men are victims too. And men are perpetrators, but women are too.  We need to expand our perception of women to include the idea that gasp, women can be violent too!



One response

27 03 2009

I appreciate your observation that women are, still, supposed to be the sexual “gatekeepers”–as if it’s physically beyond the reach of a man to keep it in his pants.

Case in point, Steve Harvey’s recent book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” Bizarre cookie metaphors aside, Harvey basically chides women who “give it up” too soon (inside of 90 days, according to Harvey) for acting “desperate.”

More here: Steve Harvey Wishes You Weren’t Such a Slut

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