‘Angry man-children’

It cannot be overlooked that the vast majority of the rioters are young (many teenage) males – the same demographic that has been responsible for most violent crimes ever since record-keeping began. They have the highest levels of testosterone they ever will have.

One hundred years ago, these young men would be out in the work force or raising families. If they did riot, it would be for higher wages or better working conditions.

However, in our modern society, we have created the “teenager” (this term has only been around since the 1930s).  Our high school system and laws put them in a limbo state between childhood and adulthood. They live at home with their parents. They want to feel like they have control over their lives, but they don’t.  As a result, they become frustrated and angry man-children.

I live in Vancouver now but grew up in Surrey in the ’80s and ’90s.  I was raised an atheist, in the same capitalist, commercialized, media-bombarded world as these rioters (and those who rioted in 1994). I was treated as a child by high school and society at large, but my parents treated me like an adult from an early age. Their approach made me feel empowered, and so I was only rebellious for a short time in my early teens.  I felt a sense of control in my life and was trusted.  Thus, I put my youthful energy into productive activities.

Maybe the problem is not simply a lack of spirituality, an excess of capitalism, or bad parenting.  Maybe it’s that our whole societal structure treats young men, and young people, like children for far too long.

Rob Brownridge

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Santa Parade may be cancelled

Annual parade in Cloverdale has seen security costs skyrocket

‘The exposure is great’: Why this photo is a contest-winner for one Surrey adventurer

Nature photographer Eduardo Baena spends a lot of time in the wild

South Surrey hikers discover decades-old campsite hidden in Golden Ears Park

Group reconnects with original campers through social media, returns log book

Cloverdale food bank sees surge in demand over short period

Lower Mainland’s newest food bank serves Langley, Delta, Surrey, White Rock

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read