What a variety of emotions I have experienced during the readings this week!
The most recent reading I read “Gentleman or Beast” by Bordo, discussed the nature of men’s taught aggression in sports compared to a gentleman that would turn the other cheek if somebody insulted his girlfriend. I personally believe that I would never be with a girl that would have any reason to be insulted by slurs such as slut or whore, so I would never have to be in a situation where I would have to debate punching someone or not. However, I understand that people are put in these positions, solely to test their manliness. If they turn the other cheek then they are considered a gentleman by a very small portion of society possibly including the girlfriend and the person instigating the verbal attack. In this society, what other option does a man have except to physically hurt the other person? Maybe talk trash back and hope the other person would swing first so you have an excuse of self-defense? Either way, a physical encounter would have to occur in order for the man to not be called a sissy.
On another note, Bordo talks about boxing and other sports in relation to rape. She includes the example of Mike Tyson being accused of rape, which I don’t like as a main argument, not because I don’t believe that Tyson did or did not participate in the infraction, but because, to me, there is a sense of inaccuracy and illegitimacy in terms of famous cases such as these. People would do anything for 15 minutes of fame. Look at Kim Kardashian. The only reason she is famous is because of her sex scandal. Then the whole thing with Kris Humphries. Again, I don’t mean to say that I believe this happened or did not happen. I just prefer the examples that happened in schools, universities, and regular places where there are normal society pressures instead of extreme ones.
“Disney and Heternormativity” by Karin Martin brought up many concerns for me. As I read these articles I always think about the future and how I can be better in terms of handling my children well and helping them cope through tough societal pressures. Martin mentions that there are certain things instilled in kids before they reach elementary school in terms of expectations of marriages and weddings, and other themes brought up in many Disney films. I loved the fact that only 1% out of 600 people didn’t see one of the films mentioned.
I read all of this worrying about how I will be able to raise a son or daughter with or without Disney movies, other tv. shows, a tv. in their bedroom, etc. At the same time, I just watched a film in my Drugs and society class called, “The Lost Children of Rockdale County”. This film was full of interviews from kids recalling their time in Rockdale at the ages of 13-16. They discussed drug use, sneaking out of homes, sex, and even a syphilis outbreak! The majority of these kids lived in well-off middle-class families and were predominately white. The interviews with parents talked about how a close nit of a family they were and how they took vacations every year and spent a lot of time together. My question was: how did this happen if families were so close and loving? One of the fathers put it best by saying something along the lines of, “the pressures we could have put on the kids wouldn’t come even close to the pressures put on them by societies and their peer groups”. This stuck with me and worried me because it made me think that no matter what you do as a parent other pressures that are greater will take over and be in charge of what you child does or who they hang out with.