Robbing banks no longer just for guys, FBI statistics show: "Nationwide, 6.2 percent of all bank heists today are committed by women. That's up from 4.9 percent in 2002—a 25 percent increase, according to the most recent FBI crime statistics."
The uptick in bank robbery committed by women correlates with the economic downtown, the head of the Nassau County police department's robbery squad says that women are primarily motivated by a need to "pay bills, get a little extra cash... They need diapers for the baby that kind of thing," and yet the framing story is all about a thrill-seeking thief and the accompanying article photos are of the "Barbie Bandits"—blonde, teenage strippers who robbed a bank to go on a shopping spree. (And who, by the way, conspired with two men, one of whom was a bank employee, to orchestrate the heist.)
There's a real story to be told about desperate women who have no resources and no opportunities, but it's buried beneath yet another "hot chicks doing boy things" story.
The new backlash is the bikinification of all news about and media featuring women: It's got to be young, it's got to be sexy, and it's got to be stuffed in a bikini going "Wooooo!"
Not desperate mothers in poverty at the end of their ropes, but young thrill-seekers who want money for clothes and make-up; not an in-depth sit-down interview with a mature and talented actress who's "past her sell-by date" because she's over 40, but a manically-edited True Life Docuvideo of an ingénue going to all the hottest clubs though she's not old enough to legally drink; not grande dames, but randy damsels; not the National Organization for Woman, but Girls Gone Wild; not ever anything about any woman who has the temerity to be old or fat or poor or in need or independent, when there is a seemingly endless supply of young and thin and privileged and on-the-prowl girls in bikinis waving their hands in the air shouting "Wooooo!" who have no conception that life will ever be anything else.
That sort of youthful self-centered ignorance, fueled by equal parts feelings of insecurity and infallibility, is (mostly) forgivable.
Its calculated exploitation by people with a profoundly misogynist agenda is not.
[Previously in Teh Nooz: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven.]