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The Forum > Article Comments > My brotherís keeper or my brotherís problem? > Comments

My brotherís keeper or my brotherís problem? : Comments

By Clifton Evers, published 14/3/2007

'The Bra Boys' film sucks you into quite an ugly world of surfing, localism, violence, mateship and masculinity.

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I can imagine that some entrepreneur would see the Bra Boys as a way of branding to get a buck and the Bra Boys themselves like all petty criminals would love to get some recognition.

But what is there to understand about it? The gang equivalents of the Bra Boys are everywhere but that sort of mentality is not restricted to young men (or masculinity) as the author would like us to believe.

There are sociopathic women who flock as groupies to gangs or even start gangs themselves. If anyone doubts the propensity of women to form toxic gangs or bully just have a look around the schoolyard. Clothing and tatooing/scarification styles are indicators of gang membership and women evidence this in abundance. Just think, how common is the Mullet hairdo among women as well as men?

So if it is a case of my brother's keeper, there is also my sister's keeper to be concerned about as well. By way of example, the gender feminist sisterhood is more dangerous and damaging to society than those Bra Boys pussies could ever be.

In closing, God save us from the gender studies academics - isn't it possible for them to study or analyse anything without having pre-judged the outcome? No, gang membership is not a function of being male, just as gang membership among women is not a function of being female.
Posted by Cornflower, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 10:05:18 AM
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Author,

What about some comment about YOUTH alienation and keep this away from being a 'masculinity' gender issue.

Surely we already know enough to say that youth need to be involved in a real way in policy affecting them and this is not something the major political parties, academics, bureaucrats and the helping professions are interested in. Well, maybe they say they are consulting with youth, but when it comes down to tin tacks the kids might get to comment in surveys and that is about it!

Just a few possibilities for youth input to policy could be: more funding for and support of diversionary programs for youth offenders; community facilities for youth; and more youth counselling/help/drop-in facilities at grass roots level.

There is a lot to be done to stop youth at risk from slipping between the boards, but $$ and coordination are lacking. Bureaucrats and politicians at different layers of government appear more interested in the argey-bargey of maintaining their territory and emopires tha helping kids.

Imagine you are a fourteen year old depressed youth who spends days on the Net and the remainder of the time avoiding food and cutting yourself with blades from disposal razors. What supports are there that can help you in practical ways? Sure there is a phone in crisis line if you can motivate yourself to get to one with privacy but what you really need is a trained buddy system. Otherwise what else is there if you survive the night but to join a gang if they will have you?

It is time we focussed on practical solutions, rather than grinding a thinly disguised gender axe. Articles aimed at one gender to the exclusion of the other just muddy the waters and we must move away from that.
Posted by Cornflower, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 11:34:36 AM
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You have to laugh that the "Bra Boys" now market fashion assessories, and are so insecure, they hire security guards at the opening of their film. Do they actually make "bras" with a fashion label too? Who does the "cat walk" for them? Now that's really tough mate.

These are really frightened insecure people. To be so territorial and demonstrate such a "hyena pack" mentality does not mean that they are brave at all. It means they are cowards with many insecurities and masculinity issues.

If they surf competitavely, do they expect the locals in the Gold Coast or the back beaches of Owahu, Hawaii to block them out of THEIR territory? That would be justice, since they would do it to them.

They pull out the "poor bloody me" card in being raised in Department of Housing. Sure, so have many young people.

As to isolation and being poor little Oliver Twists, what about the kids in Port Kembla, Newcastle, or even Eden. Do they have gangs on the beach being so hostile to "outsiders"?

The romance of the "golden Aussie bloke" surfen the clean innocent beaches is on the nose. It has a smell of homoerotisism, and that could be an unconscious insecurity. It has a smell of racism, hence the Cronulla riots. It has the smell of commercialism, hence the marketing of their fashion labels.

I feal sorry for that Church you group that was bullied off the beach. It is a pitty that Church groups are so passive sometimes. It galls me that Australian culture makes up so many excuses for this embassing mob of bogans.
Posted by saintfletcher, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 5:26:23 PM
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Reading this article, the impression that I get is that the Bra Boys phenomenon has little do with surfing or with mateship, it is about inferiority complexes and with power.

This, I think, is a typical male thing. While girls may form groups, they rarely belong to them when they are out of their teens. There are, however many middle-aged men who still belong to bikie gangs and also with the Mafia and with gangs like the Bra Boys. The original members are not boys anymore are they?

Muddying this interesting article by again calling for less gender discrimination is a waste of time. The call to take gender out of the article does not address why a lot of males tend to need this sort of group therapy when women generally get over it and look towards girlfriends as sounding boards for problems rather than a way of gaining public recognition or power.
Posted by Lizzie4, Friday, 16 March 2007 9:25:10 AM
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I haven't seen the documentary yet, so i can't comment on it. However, in response to some of the posts here, i have to come to the author's defense.
The Bra Boys are called the 'Bra Boys' for a reason. They are not called 'the Bra People'. There is no room for women in their title. I would have to assume that having a a heroin addict as a mother may have tarnished their view on women so as to restrict the role women play in their lives. A heroin addict is far from involved in life so it would have been brothers raising brothers.
To accuse the author of making it a gender issue is betting on the wrong horse, so to speak. It's the Bra Boys that make it a gender issue, not the author. The article is about the movie, not about gangs in general.
Even so, to jump up and down about the fact an article was written about an all male gang is to ignore the fact that most gangs ARE male dominated and this specific gang IS a male gang. It's not a gender issue, it is a fact. Sometimes people bring their own gender issues into discussions without even realising it, as is the case in this forum.
Posted by BlackArachnia, Saturday, 17 March 2007 3:32:21 PM
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I also haven't seen this movie, but feel that I have to take issue with Conflower's comment of "By way of example, the gender feminist sisterhood is more dangerous and damaging to society than those Bra Boys pussies could ever be." What exactly does this mean? How can a social movement aimed at ensuring women's full participation in society be more damaging than a group of men who appear to revel in violence and see this as a way of resolving problems?

I found the article informative, especially since I lived in Maroubra for a number of years. While not coming across the activities of the Bra Boys, I was certainly aware of a culture of violence in the suburb - shootings and fights in the local pub were not uncommon. Whether it be in the pub or on the beach, it is essential that causes and continuing manifestations of male violence be examined, and Clifton Evers has added to this knowledge.
Posted by jeane, Monday, 19 March 2007 11:00:38 AM
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