Girls Against Gangs

DREAM TEEN Magazine - - Content - - Blair Baker

Blair Baker

Women’s Rights Move­ments in the United States be­gan in 1848. It was in May 1869 that Su­san B. An­thony and El­iz­a­beth Cady Stan­ton formed the Na­tional Woman Suf­frage As­so­ci­a­tion. The pri­mary goal of the or­ga­ni­za­tion was to achieve vot­ing rights for women by means of a Con­gres­sional amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion. Women’s Rights or­ga­ni­za­tions have since de­vel­oped world­wide. One of the main goals of these or­ga­ni­za­tions is to bring women into full par­tic­i­pa­tion in the main­stream of Amer­i­can so­ci­ety now, ex­er­cis­ing all the priv­i­leges and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties thereof in truly equal part­ner­ship with men. Any­thing they can do, we can do. So where did we go wrong with our girls and why are they not fight­ing for equal­ity with us, or are they?

Start­ing in the 1980s, re­ports of fe­male in­volve­ment in gangs, drug sales, and vi­o­lence be­gan to sur­face as a se­ri­ous prob­lem in Amer­ica. If fe­male gang mem­bers were men­tioned at all, they were gen­er­ally de­scribed as merely ad­junct to male gang mem­bers. The males did not want the fe­males vig­or­ously par­tic­i­pat­ing with them in gang-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

On De­cem­ber 11, 2011, the New York Post pub­lished an ar­ti­cle en­ti­tled “Rise of the Girl Gangs.” It is in this ar­ti­cle that Brad Hamil­ton re­ported, “When teen hoop star Tayshana Mur­phy was chased and shot dead by gang mem­bers in her project in Morn­ing­side Heights in Septem­ber, few knew her death was a dou­ble tragedy. De­spite be­ing one of the city’s best high-school bas­ket­ball play­ers and a likely WNBA draft pick, Mur­phy had been drawn into a deadly street crew and was killed be­cause of a ri­valry with an­other gang. Cops now have re­vealed that Mur­phy was caught in a trou­bling new trend: good girls re­cruited by neigh­bor­hood gangs into lives of vi­o­lence, where car­ry­ing weapons and com­mit­ting crimes are as com­mon­place as shoot­ing a free throw.”

For those that may not see this im­age in their back­yard, it may ap­pear to be fic­tional--a scene right out of a vi­o­lent movie, but it is very real.

It ap­pears as though the fight for women’s equal­ity has veered off course. Did they want to have equal rights to men or was it some­thing else that drew girls, who were raised to be sugar and spice and ev­ery­thing nice, into a life of vi­o­lent crime?

What is the Prob­lem? It is now 2014 and girl gangs are ev­ery­where. They are crop­ping up in neigh­bor­hoods that you least ex­pect. Some of these gangs have names to iden­tify them­selves and others are op­er­at­ing with­out a name, but they are gangs nonethe­less. The vi­o­lence is so brazen that they are post­ing their fights on so­cial me­dia. In many cases, there are adults that are not break­ing up the fights, but in­stead pro­mot­ing and push­ing the fight. These girls look, at times, like you and I but their nightlife is very dif­fer­ent. DT

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