Bad girls? They're just misunderstood

SUGAR, spice and everything nice - that's what girls are supposed to be made of.

But, judging from some of their Facebook profiles over the past few months, you would think that Singapore girls are a tattooed, cigarette-smoking bunch who spew vulgarities.

These girls' antics, ranging from allegedly slapping their mothers to smoking while still in their school uniforms, have been a talking point on the Internet, with netizens labelling them as "Pai Kia Girls" (literally Bad Girls) or "Gen Z Ah Lians".

This has led many to question: Are our girls getting out of control?

The figures tell a different story. According to statistics from the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, there were 78 female juvenile-court referrals last year. This was a significant dip from 2007, when there were 115 referrals. Similarly, there were only 81 new admissions to Singapore Girls' Home last year, compared to the 113 new admissions in 2007.

So, why are teenage girls receiving so much flak only now?

I, for one, am pointing the accusatory finger at social media.

As a friend pointed out, we saw such misbehaviour when we were in secondary school four years ago. The difference? We were still using Friendster and it did not offer a status-update option.

The latest "bad girl" thrust into the spotlight is a 15-year-old who posted news of her supposed pregnancy and impending nuptials on Facebook (FB).

Underage sex aside, netizens were outraged that she was not only unapologetic about her actions, but also bragging about her situation.

Unapologetic? Yes. Bragging? Hardly.

I'd say this is simply the language of the iGeneration.

Her FB status read: "Can't believe I'm pregnant and getting married at 15, amazing."

To my girlfriends and me, that is no different from saying: "Can't believe I actually passed my algebra test, amazing."

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