The story on my mind today, and on many, is the horrific terrorist attack in Manchester, England. At least 22 were killed at an Ariana Grande pop concert. One of the confirmed dead was an eight-year-old girl.
It’s an attack that targeted a Western city, yes, but more specifically, a concert filled with young women and girls. Yes, some Jewish. Young girls’ music fandom, often dismissed (as Jill Filipovic points out) as frivolous in the culture at large, is an especially jarring and upsetting site for deadly violence. Girls enjoying themselves, and then… it’s truly too awful to contemplate.
Below, some links that may help process the unthinkable:
-BBC’s Newsround site has excellent advice for young people trying to take in the news. Young and not so young - the tips under the heading “Remember, it’s rare” are especially helpful to those of all ages.
-Emily Baker explains the significance of Manchester’s music culture:
That this attack targeted a music concert in Manchester is all the more gut-wrenching. We might have split the atom and invented the first computer, but it’s our music we’re known for. In Manchester, there’s no such thing as a bad song, where The Smiths, 808 State and Take That all sit at a level pegging.
-The great British-Jewish novelist Howard Jacobson reflects on his hometown:
[I]t’s a city of young people. Even on the most forbidding winter nights, the young congregate outside the bars and clubs, wearing not very much. The less you shiver, the harder you are. We will hear more over the coming days about about Manchester’s indomitable nature. How the city will not bend to terror. How death shall have no dominion, and the faceless men of violence neither. And it will be as true of Manchester as it can be of anywhere.
Phoebe Maltz Bovy is a former editor of the Sisterhood blog at the Forward. Her writing has appeared in several publications, including The New Republic and The Atlantic. Her book, “The Perils of ‘Privilege,’” was published by St. Martin’s Press in March 2017. She has a PhD in French and French Studies from New York University, and has read a lot of 19th century French Jewish newspapers for a 21st century American.
Ariana Grande Concert Attack Was Anti-Girl Violence