What some people call "girls behaving badly" was the theme of a T.V. documentary recently. The girls are called "ladettes" or "yobettes", because they carry on the way some young men do, and aim to beat the men at their own game. So the night out consists of having a lot to drink and carrying on with wild behaviour. Baring their breasts from a bus window, shouting out lewd comments and chanting 'let's get boozed and let's get laid' is all the go. When two of these girls are interviewed by the show's presenter, one of them tells us that she punched a hole in the house wall in rage when her mother refused to give her money to go out raging for the night. Another one, explaining why she does it, ends up in tears and admits "I'm in trouble. I need help". You can ask why is it that girls get critisised for behaving that way when boys are shown more tolerance. Excuses get made like "They're just sowing their wild oats" or "It's just youth" and more of that kind. The point here is that the girls are out to beat the boys at their own game. And they are suffering for it the way some boyss do.
Some of the girls, it emerges, have been badly treated by boys. So they get their own back. They can do it too. They can treat boys like disposable sex objects. Use someone like a chicken drumstick you buy at a fast food shop. Eat what you want and treat the left overs as garbage. They can get drunk and pick fights. They can trash everyone around them, and themselves. And if anyone complains they get ridiculed and attacked for being a puritan moralist who just resents anyone else having a "good time".
Then the other side of the picture involves. Some of them have started to suffer liver damage and brain damage from all the drinking. Some of them have been infected with STDs and they can't even remember where they contracted them. That happens with men too, of course. The issue is, some girls seem to think it's a good idea to copy them.
So that's how they want to prove something. It's how they get a sense of self. Girls set out to out do the boys, and don't stop to ask: who said the wild boys had the right idea about how to live? In both cases, the issue can be a lack of hope for anything better.
If you want to see the harm done by living purely for this world, there it is. To have an identity and a sense of self-worth, you have to show off and get the attention of others in the quickest and easiest way. The only value you place on yourself is the value other people seem to place on you. And some of those others only value what they can get some use of, or amusement from.
If people get their sense of worth from God, they do not need the approval of others. If someone really knows that God cares about them and values them, they do not have the same need to get social approval or prove something by making a reputation. So they are not so prone to damage themselves by trying to be the biggest rager of dare-devil in the world. And they might live longer that way.
That is easy to say. If you want human company and friendship, it's difficult not to try and get the attention and applause of other people. But then, which people do you want to get noticed by? If it's the 'fun crowd' who do all the raging, what happens if they also demand self-destructive or denigrating behaviour from you?
I've been there myself. This is not some wise old man who knows it all, it is a survivor of mistakes made in taking a foolish, misguided approach to life. But I was never so desperate that I would let other people gull me into making a complete wreck of myself. Even before actually becoming a Christian, I had some sense of a God who cared. There was something in the universe apart from blind chance and the approval of other human beings. That saved me from destoying myself.
One of the most miserable cases I heard of was this: a young man wanted in to a gang. Their rite of initiation was that you had to climb out of a train window; crawl across the roof of the train and back in by a window on the other side - while the train was moving. He tried to do it, fell and broke his neck. He is now quadraplegic. That was the price of trying to be part of the crowd he thought were cool. And zillions of people can comment about how foolish it was, and yet people still do it. Another case was a girl who became wildly promiscuous because she thought that was the only way to get boys to like her - or at least notice her. This is not news. People have known about this for centuries. Trouble is, it keeps happening.
So am I right in thinking that this happens when people do not have a sense of God caring? They think that impressing certain people is the only way to get a life? Or they think 'life's a bitch and then you die', so what's to be lost by taking chances?
For years the so-called 'liberated thinkers' have been trying to eliminate the influence of Christianity from the western world. The trouble is, they have nothing better to replace it with.