Not so lucky for the likes of Kylie

Ian Roe

If there is such a thing as a ladette then the model was Kylie. Everyone is afraid of her. Even boys with ASBOs are wary, for her fists are quick and her tongue is vicious. Her evenings are spent drinking, smoking, loitering.

Every aspect of her life is defined by conflict.

Her environment has created her, as it has others. In school she presents teachers with huge problems with regard to managing her behaviour, but on the whole they have done a brilliant job. But what makes it doubly difficult is that no matter how much you try, you cannot forget that she is a girl.

I know it should not make any difference but it does. She breaks all the rules. She challenges everything you expect. Her unpleasantness would be difficult in a boy. In a girl it seems even more offensive. She does not understand or accept kindness. Kylie is suspicious of such things; it is what people do when they want something. She would never admit any weakness or vulnerability.

Everything in her life is about control. You need to force people to do the things you want. In her world there is no co-operation, community, goodness, charity or understanding. People do things only because they have to. Through fear you gain influence and power. You have no obligations to anyone.

She has been created by her experiences. To get heard in her house you talk louder. To get noticed you physically invade someone's space. Her brother is an habitual criminal. Her mother and her partner spend most of their time in the pub. Her father lives locally but she crosses the road to avoid him. Kylie refuses fundamentally to accept any restrictions upon her behaviour, perhaps because she has never encountered any.

She spends her days provoking arguments for the pleasure of watching another's discomfort. Kylie hits first and hard. The girls avoid her, and the boys still hold to the honour code that they should not hit a girl.

This inhibits them when she trips or pushes them. They would also have the humiliation of being beaten.

But their greatest fear is that she will select them for a liaison. She is like a black widow spider. She uses the boy, chews him up and spits him out. Then ridicules him publicly on his manly attributes and performance.

Her values are not mine. They are probably not yours. But she is getting ready to leave school. And one day soon she will become a mother.

Ian Roe is a secondary teacher in north Wales

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