La Divina Commedia di Dante

<i>La Divina Commedia di Dante</i>
I took this in Florence (Nov. 2010) at the Museo Casa di Dante

Sunday, May 8, 2011

"It's a testosterone thing"

"How Being a Good Girl Can Be Bad for Girls"
Deborah L. Tolman & Tracey E. HIggins

"Nothing my boy did was anything any red-blooded American Boy wouldn't do at his age." Their mother commented, What can you do? It's a testosterone thing." (page 207)

When first read this piece, this quote stopped me in my tracks. I think I actually said, "Are you kidding me." I reread the section numerous times. I even had to walk away from the piece for a little bit because this phrase, "it's a testosterone thing" makes me so mad. Being a person who is on testosterone I understand the hormonal piece of it. I know what testosterone does to a person. I have the same T-level as any biological male at this point. I have never liked this phrase because all it is, is an excuse for bad behavior and a lack of self-control.

When reading about the actions of the Members of the Spur Posse, I couldn't help but think of Raby and the discourse of at risk and social problems. "Such risks are also gendered, with girls particularly at risk of pregnancy or assault, and boys more likely to get in trouble for things like drug offenses" (435, At Risk). "'Teens are running roughshod over this country - murdering, raping, gambling away the nation's future - and we have the bills for counseling and prison to prove it" (435, Social Problem). Their behavior is written off by the discourses of the American Teenage Boy. But this discourse transcends the teenage years and move into adult hood. Ron focuses his blog post on this concept.

There is an obvious double-standard and I really do not know how this will ever be rectified. You see it all the time. Here are just some popular examples:

1. Ben Roethlisberger, 2- time Superbowl Champion Quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
2. Rick Pitino, Hall of Fame Basketball coach
3. Tiger Woods
4. Bill Clinton
5. Kobe Bryant

In all of these cases the men mentioned above have been excused and really never missed a beat (except monetarily) and there will always be a large contingent that will say, "Oh, the girl seduced him," or "She knew who he was-she was after his money."

From teenagers to adult men this behavior categorized by the discourses of at risk and social problem are an epidemic. But these discourses and standards are gendered as Raby touches on: "Such risks are also gendered."

This is where the "Atalanta" track and the movie "Alice in Wonderland" come into play. It is clear that these two texts could never be about young men. I can only imagine what the movie "Alan in Wonderland" would be about. Certainly it wouldn't start as a young man running away form an arranged marriage. The Atalanta track wouldn't even be possible because no king would be marrying off his prince.

Using the three media texts, it is almost as if being a "good girl" is good for parents and families - the families in "Alice in Wonderland" clearly want Alice to be a "good girl". To an extent, while it is rather different from Alice's situation, Atalanta is kind of the "good girl" image - but not as much as her father would hope her to be. But, as the article is titled sometimes, "being a good girl can be bad for girls." Much of the images in media have to do with girls being "bad." I love the way Ron describes the following scene form 90210:

Take a look at this clip below from Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000). Tiffany Amber Thiesen (yes, Kelly from Saved By The Bell) replaces Shannon Doherty as Brandon and Brenda's long lost "Good Girl" cousin from Buffalo. She starts off as the "Goody-Two-Shoes Cousin" but has a "Dark Side." Luke Perry plays Dylan McKay, who is the "Bad Boy" of the show.

She is the "goody-two-shoes" cousin with a "dark side." Isn't this a classic image and desire of young men in media texts. So often young men are looking for the "good girl with the dark side."

Because I enjoy the older version of 90210 and I used Ron's video clip as an example:

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