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'Did you smash it, lad?'

Teen girls are now most at risk of violence. Tony Schumacher hears the 'hard' talk (contains strong language and imagery)

Published on April 18th 2011.

'Did you smash it, lad?'

“DID you smash it lad?”

“Yeah lad, I smashed the slag everywhere lad, proper made her cry and everything.”

The above isn’t a transcript of a half time analysis on Sky Sports, it’s a conversation I overheard heard a while back while waiting in the self service till at Tesco’s on Allerton Road.

I once picked up a girl from a city centre apartment, as she got in the cab two lads shouted from a balcony above 'You slag!' and as we drove she told a friend she had 'filmed it on me mobile, I look amazing'. I’m guessing Harry Hill wasn’t getting that clip

The two young men who were speaking weren’t tracky’d up scallies out looking for trouble either. They were two young student-types who were buying a couple of bottles of cheap cider and a pizza (not that it should make a difference who said it) discussing their disturbing, night-before endeavours.

I thought of the above exchange as I read the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmers’, statement, this week, that teenage women are most at risk of domestic abuse. He went on to say “What that tends to show is that there may be a next generation of domestic violence waiting in the wings.”

What I’d suggest to Mr Starmer is that his figures show these men aren’t waiting in the wings; they are already centre stage in a horror show that is almost too frightening to watch, but watch it we must.I recall when I was a kid, someone talking in hushed tones about my recently deceased grandfather.

“He was terrible when he had a drink in him, we’d all stay out of his way”, the words whispered in case he heard them from the grave and rose to exercise that temper once again. I didn’t really understand what they meant, when I recently chatted to an aunt about him she said: “Most of the fellas were like that in them days; people just accepted that it happened.”

These must be the “good old days” people fondly talk about all the time.

But surely we’ve moved on. This isn’t Distant Voices, Still Lives, it is the 21st century. We’ve had women’s lib and Germaine Greer, and women are bright enough to know that they don’t have to take abuse from ignorant men.

This is the new generation that has grown up with girl power, not girl cower, so why are so many at risk? Is it the modern misogynist rap culture that refers to women as “bitches” and features videos in which scantily clad girls dance for dollars?

It’s ten past two in the afternoon and I’ve just switched on a TV music channel. The first video that came on was “Back Seat” by New Boyz, it featured the following lyrics:

“Don't say a word just turn around and let me see
Girl you got something special something special for me.”


“Until you get it low quit playin with your fine ass
I said don't try me baby, I'll make you hot trick.”


“I heard you had a baby.
You want a new boy in you?”

All that, in the middle of the afternoon on 4Music, a channel affiliated to that paragon of equal rights, Channel Four.

In the video, a girl dances around some young men leaning against a car, they watch her with eyes that can only be described as disdainful as she cavorts in an attempt to please them, in the hope of a trip in their backseat. Later she is shown almost at the point of climax as they look on like terminators.

Maybe the music is reflecting the culture, not causing it; casual binge drinking amongst the age group Starmer mentions is something I observe nearly every working day as a taxi driver.

And casual drinking leads to casual sex. Maybe this is the cause of casual violence. Why would you respect someone who has no respect for themselves?

I will often hear girls ask each other “Did you get with him?” It took me a while to understand that “get with” means “have sex with”.

I often drive along in disbelief as tales of brief encounters – a world away from the Leslie Howard and Celia Johnson sort - are detailed in mobile phone conversations by girls who care not that a man old enough to be their father sits fewer than two feet away.

I once picked up a girl from a city centre apartment, as she got in the cab two lads shouted from a balcony above “You slag!” and as we drove she told a friend she had “filmed it on me mobile, I look amazin”. I’m guessing Harry Hill wasn’t getting that clip.

But am I wrong for thinking bad of these girls? Aren’t they just enjoying themselves? And of course, just because they have casual sex doesn’t mean that they revoke their human right to be treated well, it just means they are free to do as they wish with whom they wish. Germaine would be proud of them. Wouldn’t she?

I’ve a theory that the return of the local pub would go some way to redressing the balance, I believe that it would reduce binge drinking, re-establish a community of drinkers from all age groups. Allow people to form relationships over a period of time that had depth and commonality and that were conducted under the watchful eyes of neighbours and friends, what better way to make someone behave in a civilised manner than the judgement of one’s peers?

But then I could be wrong. My granddad drank in a street-corner pub every night before he went home and terrorised his family.

*If any of the above is relevant, there are some support linkshere

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AnonymousApril 19th 2011.

You do have to worry about what teenage girls think is expected of them now. I’m only in my 20’s but feel like my teen experiences were a world away when I overhear conversations amongst that age group now. Kissing and fondling other girls in order to turn on boys, threesomes, filming sex, S & M, bondage, anal sex.. these are all things that teenage girls now seem to be talking about on my bus route without feeling any need to hush their tones and feel a sense of shame that the entire rush hour commute can hear them. Call me naive, but I’d never even heard of half this stuff when I was their age and me and my friends would have been scandalised by the kinds of things that now seem the norm. Whether they’re actually doing these things, or just pretending to their friends that they are, it makes me worried about what girls now think they have to do to please a boy, and what boys will expect from girls. The worst thing is, I get the impression they’re all just pretending to enjoy this stuff- the boys included.

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