Posted by: Ophelia | April 13, 2008

I don’t follow

Bill Mahr expresses his incredulity that six teens ganging up on another teen and beating them into unconsciousness is worthy of jail time.

It starts about 40 seconds in.

Now, I’m curious as to what stereotype is preventing him from seeing the problem with what happened there. Is it that they’re all girls? I’m sure we’re familiar with the fascination with “cat fights” and how it’s supposed to be cute and to a degree arousing to see women fighting because they might just start smooching.

Or is it that they’re too young and delicate to know the potential harm of their actions and thusly should not be punished?

Could it be the age old stereotype that women who talk too much deserve to be shut up? Help me out here Bill.

I actually do think it has to do with their race and gender. White women are constructed and understood to be the least threatening and so,  Bill might find it difficult to believe that even 6 on 1, that they couldn’t have inflicted the harm stated. He seemed absolutely incredulous about the reported injuries and promptly declared them bullshit.

If they were a different race, or gender, I’d think it would be more difficult to deny the harm that they caused.

Interestingly, there was a local case in January with a similar premise, a group of girls ganging up on two others–only, no one was questioning the harm done there. Can you guess why?

” Police say on Monday, about 10 girls ambushed 15-year-old Shakia West and 16-year-old Khianna Little. West is recovering with more than 100 stitches after being wounded by a box cutter. Little, the apparent target, suffered minor injuries.”

People seem to have no problem viewing black girls, especially a group of them (did you notice the use of the word ambushing that’s absent in the previous story?*), as violent. The intended target was accused of dating one of the other girls’ boyfriend, I wonder if that’s a reasonable explanation for Bill.

*I think there’s something visceral about the word ambush as it appears to have taken on the meaning of surprise rather than concealment and attack. If I had to characterize one of the attacks as an ambush, it’d be the first since well, that’s what they did–lured the girl in and pounced. But that’s just my impression.



  1. I don’t care who it is, if someone was involving in kidnapping someone and beating them into unconsciousness, then they deserve to be punished.

  2. gah, I’m so over Bill Maher.

    and, yeah, I think you’re onto something wrt “white women are too fragile and girly to do THAT.”

  3. There’s also the element of him rushing to their defense and excusing their behavior because well that’s what kids do and even if they did it, I’m sure the girl deserved it after all. It just rubbed me all kinds of wrong.

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