Similarly different: Obscuring social hierarchy among girls
• Reena Virk, like many fourteen-year-old girls, had a hard time fitting in where
she grew up, in her case the middle-class suburb of Saanich on the outskirts of
Victoria, B.C. It didn’t help that she was slightly overweight and the dark-
skinned child of immigrants who were not well-to- do (Time Magazine “A fury
of her peers” Dec. 8/97, Purvis, 68).
Equally the victims of “girl violence”
• Bad Girls. A parent’s nightmare: missing the danger signs. The brutal murder of
Reena Virk, 14, sounds an alarm about rising violence among teenage girls.
Maclean’s Magazine. December 8, 1997 issue.
Unquestioned heteronormativity: Colonial sexist-racist underpinings in the “girl
Kelly – was white and normal – seen as a good girl
When girls kill girls, often it’s over a boy’s affections. Vancouver Sun, November
Claims that female perpetrated violent crime is on the rise
• You’re so cute when you’re mad. Globe and Mail, December 29, 1997, D3.
Girl Violence: Feminists blamed for leading girls and women astray
• Girls will be...boys – and it’s not a pretty sight. Young females step out of
traditional roles. Toronto Star, June 18, 1998.
Youth Deviance and Disorder
Adolescents are always going to engage in a certain amount of aggression,
because their emotions are strong and their impulses are hard to control.
The murder in Victoria, however, is something else. That is violence at the
margins, at the proverbial river’s edge, where, it seems, some girls, like some
boys, are becoming more intensely violent”
(Patricia Pearson, You’re so cute when your’re mad, Globe and Mail November
29, 1997, D3)
Good Girl / Bad Girl Dichotomy
The narrative of girl violence hinges on the idea that girls and women are
inherently non-violent. That is, girls and women that meet the requirements of
hegemonic femininity (i.e., white, middle-class, heterosexual, able-bodied) are in
fact the “fairer” sex. Those that do not meet these criteria are categorized as racial and sexual deviants. (Batacharya, 2006).
Shocking: An ordinary good girl runs with the wrong crowd
• Shock of Virk trial is the ordinary appearance of accused teen. Vancouver Sun,
March 23, 2000, A3.