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The London Riots: The Elephant in the Room

(415 Posts)
smugaboo Mon 08-Aug-11 23:19:35

I am probably being too quick off the mark in posting this as people are still digesting what is happening in London and Birmingham. I have seen references on here to police "shutting down the internet" and "shooting protesters" (rubber bullets, so that's okay). Let's hope that's the shock talking. But when the dust settles and people start analysing the root causes of the riots (i.e. social problems, poverty, unemployment, cultural concerns) one thing that will inevitably be overlooked, or at least not given enough attention, is the fact that this is gendered violence. It hardly needs to be said that very few women are involved in the actual rioting although I don't doubt that there are quite a number involved in looting. The same can be said in most similar situations anywhere in the world.

So I guess what I'm interested in exploring is whether or not this is actually gendered violence as such. Are the wives, mothers and sisters of the protestors sitting at home cheering them on? Is the only reason they don't join in fear for personal safety? Or do they feel fundamentally differently? I mean, would they ever be the ones to precipitate the violence? Do the males feel more disaffected - or are they actually more disaffected (I hardly think so!). Or, controversially, does this opportunity stir up some innate desire in males to simply be violent?

I've got to disappear but I'd love to hear what you think.

reelingintheyears Mon 08-Aug-11 23:26:10

There was a young woman carrying a baby on the news earlier when Diane Abbot was being interviewed.
Why would anyone take a baby down to watch the trouble?

There were plenty of young women and girls in the reports i saw but i think they were mainly there to watch and to show off to the cameras.

I don't doubt that many were also involved in looting.

NonnoMum Mon 08-Aug-11 23:30:09

I think the mothers of teenagers who come home tonight with armsful of looted gear should change their locks and not let them in.
Tough love.

LauraIngallsWilder Mon 08-Aug-11 23:34:34

Im interested in the mothers of the young kids who have been involved.
Who lets/condones their child running wild in the streets chucking stuff and being involved in a riot.

If the newspaper headlines are true children as young as 7

I just cant imagine why any parent (of any gender!)would allow their child to do stuff like this - of whatever age.

If my son for example aged 17 participated in something like this I would have to say "pack your bags"


LemonDifficult Mon 08-Aug-11 23:36:15

It's young men, no doubt. Crowd disorder is exciting, but these protestors do seen to be relishing it. And I do think this speaks to something in young men.

FWIW, I think the gender discussion is a lot more relevant than the race discussion.

Tortington Mon 08-Aug-11 23:36:22

surely studies on football violence would lead to the same conclusion.

ajandjjmum Mon 08-Aug-11 23:38:42

And that Lemon is why these 'young men' aka mindless thieving bastards needed strong parental guidance. Too late now. sad

TeiTetua Mon 08-Aug-11 23:38:54

In sleepy London town there's just no place for a street-fightin' man. Oh well.

LauraIngallsWilder Mon 08-Aug-11 23:39:21

I agree with your FWIW lemon - the footage I have seen shows people of all ethicities but ALL are male and all that I have seen look young (well under 30 say)

EdithWeston Mon 08-Aug-11 23:39:44

There are certainly women involved in the looting. I saw an interview on one of the news channels earlier - a youth worker described a teenage girl gang smashing a shop window and making off with armfuls of handbags. Footage from Clapham Junction also clearly showed female involvement - direct and cheering on.

solidgoldbrass Mon 08-Aug-11 23:40:24

Having had to walk home past the edges of the Croydon riot, there were quite a few women there, most of whom were watching or, like me, just trying to get the hell home. It kicked off at 7pm and I encountered quite a few people on my way back who had been out for the evening and had to get home through Croydon or to Croydon. There were also some girls with the rioting groups - I saw a few crowds of teens with scarves and hoods and in some of the groups there were obviously girls as well as boys.

Ripeberry Mon 08-Aug-11 23:40:41

Just proves how many disfunctional famillies are out there! The parents DON'T care or they are TERRIFIED of their own kids.

Meglet Mon 08-Aug-11 23:43:24

I always wonder why it's just the men out on the streets at times like these.

But as these kids are well disguised some of them are probably girls.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 08-Aug-11 23:45:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpeedyGonzalez Mon 08-Aug-11 23:46:53

I suspect that the gender bias is similar to that of the typical perpetrators of "Islamic" terrorism: i.e. it's mostly angry young men. (I use quotes there to indicate that IMO the terrorism is mostly not actually about Islam...but that's for another discussion).

EdithWeston Mon 08-Aug-11 23:51:09

They are however discussing the age of the rioters - Lavender Hill disturbance appears to have been characterised by a high number of teenagers, both boys and girls.

Other locations have older rioters (according to one commentator) and those areas may have been male-dominated.

SpeedyGonzalez Mon 08-Aug-11 23:55:33

There are more nasty female teenaged gangs these days, aren't they? What's that all about?

Tortington Mon 08-Aug-11 23:58:02

they are called moldies wink

SpeedyGonzalez Mon 08-Aug-11 23:59:47

grin Arf arf!

madwomanintheattic Tue 09-Aug-11 00:04:49

no no, i'm sure they were the parents of teenagers who felt disenfranchised from the babynames section. i read it in the dm so it must be true. wink

Kallista Tue 09-Aug-11 00:28:26

The mums of the rioters are probably at home texting in their orders for the next looting spree.

Pan Tue 09-Aug-11 00:37:42

Elephant in the room is a bit dramatic.

solidgoldbrass Tue 09-Aug-11 00:40:51

I think, actually, that when it's mostly teenagers, there are going to be quite a lot of girls involved too because adolescents are easily roused to violence and stupidity.

Continuum Tue 09-Aug-11 03:49:14

Guardian article

"We waited for hours outside the station for a senior officer to speak with the family, in a demonstration led by young women. A woman-only delegation went into the station, as we wanted to ensure that this did not become confrontational. It was when the young women, many with children, decided to call it a day that the atmosphere changed, and guys in the crowd started to voice and then act out their frustrations."

TimeWasting Tue 09-Aug-11 07:47:58

Traditional gender roles mean that women always have their place or role, in that there is a home, however crappy, there are children, however ill-supported etc. whereas when there are no jobs, the young men have no role.
They aren't risking anything.

The younger girls are either less influenced by stereotypical gender roles, wouldn't that be nice, or are simply too young to have grown into them yet.

I'm not sure if that's what I believe, just one possible analysis of it.

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