Grrrls’ Fight Club

Mary Grabar
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Posted: Aug 05, 2007 12:00 AM
Grrrls’ Fight Club

Much clucking behind television anchor desks follows the airing of popular internet footage of girl fights. After repeated displays of adolescent girls slapping each other, pulling hair, and ripping off clothes, news anchors wonder out loud about the reasons for their popularity among YouTube and other internet viewers.

It’s no big secret: This is a genre of pornography.

The occasional tough-girl fight on school grounds that one came across with flinching embarrassment is now captured by a video camera for the titillation of millions of sick viewers. The violence factor and the authenticity of the fight are the draws that pull viewers, at least according to the blurbs for the 64,200,000 links pulled up on a Google search for “girl fights videos.”

This genre reflects societal trends and how women are viewed in our post-feminist culture. It’s the logical conclusion of the sexual revolution officially announced in the ironically titled “Summer of Love” forty years ago. The girl fights dramatize the reality behind “free love”; they display the insecurity, competitiveness, and hostility that the sexual revolution has wrought.

The recent trend began with girls kissing each other, as they do in Girls Gone Wild videos—a display made more commonplace with the infamous Madonna-Britney Spears staged tongue tango in 2003.

Both Madonna and Britney Spears, at the same time, have provided the material for much “scholarship” for feminist professors, who have made careers of analyzing such displays of assertive sexuality as evidence of women’s “empowerment.”

As women became more sexually “free,” they had to up the ante to attract men, hence girl fights over men (at least in men’s imaginations). The young man on a college campus today is surrounded by young women, often dressed provocatively. He has his pick because today nearly two-thirds of undergraduates are female.

But at the same time, he will often face hostility inside the classroom. Such an attitude was brought to the public view in the recent Duke Lacrosse rape case, in which a black stripper brought false rape allegations against members of the university’s lacrosse team. What was telling was not only the zealous and now dis-barred prosecutor’s malfeasance, but the eagerness of 88 Duke faculty members to automatically assign guilt to the young men in a published “open letter” citing a “prevalence” of “sexism, racism, and sexual violence” on campus. One of the signers, English Professor Cathy N. Davidson, then wrote in the Durham News & Observer, “We live in a situation where a group of white athletes at a prominent university can get drunk and call out for a stripper the way they would a pizza.” Oddly, she presented the profession of “exotic dancer” in noble terms, “a single black mother who takes off her clothes for hire partly to pay for tuition at a distinguished historically black college.”

This story, Davidson said, “makes Americans of conscience cringe.” Apparently, the fact that the withheld DNA evidence later showed that the stripper had had sex with multiple other partners, did not make Davidson “cringe.” Such criticism is taboo, especially among feminist professors like Davidson.

These are the people who are writing the textbooks, lecturing, and giving grades. As an example of insult against males is a class that made it to Young America’s Foundation’s list of most bizarre and politically correct courses. This women’s study class at Occidental College is simply called “The Phallus.” Such a course emerges from the type of scholarship I’ve heard presented at conferences where traditional logic and argumentative writing is indicted for characteristics associated with maleness.

The craziness and hostility inside many classrooms reflects the sexual aggressiveness outside the classroom. In both arenas collegiality between men and women has been destroyed. As young men abandon marriage and college educations, they retreat into twisted and resentful ways of asserting masculinity—and emulate rappers or disaffected pierced and tattooed rebels. And more and more women turn to anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs.

Forty years ago, the “Summer of Love” was supposed to usher in a new era of unrestricted, “non-possessive” sex and love. All “hang-ups” were to be shed, including the hang-up about monogamy. Marriage was supposedly exposed as an economic alliance under-girding a repressive capitalist system. And overarching all this “repression” was our Judeo-Christian culture, according to the propagandists.

Rather than being “progressive,” however, the cult of free love signaled a return to the pagan ethos, where women, while still in that narrow window of their prime, vied for the attention of men--then were discarded.

Funny, how cleavage-baring twenty-something news anchors look in perplexity at footage of girl fights. I’d like to tell them: This all started with your mother’s feminist movement, where women insisted on being like men (or what they thought men were like.) Pornography then went from being a secret shameful activity over displays of nudity to a business touted as prime example of the American way of free enterprise and free speech. This is what MSNBC did recently with their glowing documentary of Christie Hefner, daughter of our national pimp, Hugh Hefner, who has his own show with nubile “girlfriends” cast as “The Girls Next Door.” And at the same time, what is considered pornography becomes more and more violent.

The fact that Christie Hefner, CEO of Playboy Enterprises, is now seen as a respectable businesswoman illustrates what is wrong with our culture. I’m afraid that “grrrl power” is leading women back to a period of history where they were enslaved in harems.