Sunday, April 10, 2011

Talking Points 9: Hyperlinks: “How Being a Good Girl can Be Bad for Girls”, “Alice and Wonderland, and “Atalanta”

Hyperlinks:  “How Being a Good Girl can Be Bad for Girls”, “Alice and Wonderland, and “Atalanta”
                In the Tolman article the author discusses the war between being a good girl or a bad girl.  It is interesting that she describes the good girl as being “passive and threatened sexual objects” and the bad girl as “being sexual agents.. acting on their own sexual desires”.  The bad girl is portrayed as deviant and threatening.  Being a good girl seems to lead a girl to be easily taken advantaged off under the pressure of fitting into the ideal, virginal teenager.  Teenager girls are getting so many mixed messages on sexual behavior.  There are the Disney girls that have a good girl image on the shows, but behind the scenes display some bad girl traits.  Miley Cyrus’s Vanity Fair controversy comes to mind.  People freaked out because she was breaking that good girl image and showing that she may have some of that sexual agency.  The media portrayed that as being something threatening to teenager girls.
In this blog by a author that claims that she was trying to get sexual attention for men, because who else was she doing that for.  Much of the media was critical of her while not thinking of the person who is a fifteen year old still figuring it out.  Being a good girl can make it harder to make mistakes or just have life lessons without the criticism, and when teenagers are holding these girls that are the same age to higher standards it is even more challenging to stay with the good girl image all the time.  Being comfortable with sexuality is not a bad thing.  

  In Alice and Wonderland, a girl growing up in the Victorian era is set for marriage.  Remembering the earlier movie makes it even more interesting.  She seems to have forgotten Wonderland and is only keeping it in her dreams.  In the movie she goes back to her childhood adventure as an adult. It is similar to the original with the crazy characters of Lewis Carroll's imagination.  I think this movie is interesting because the main villain is a female.  I notice that the villain female characters in texts are often dominant and contain some male characteristics.  I think of Sue Sylvester too. 
 Neither of them have men in their life.  Is that a commentary on what being a bad girl does?  They are alone but not lonely?  Although Sue has had some sensitive moments she seems confident and never backs down.  As you can see she is insulting, rude, and mean.  Despite that she is one of my favorite characters on Glee.  I think looking at the villain characters is an interesting look on the bad girls/ good girls dichotomy.  Maybe it is a commentary on where being defiant and assertive gets a girl.  Alice at the end is rewarded and does not get married.  She does get to see the world.  Like Atalanta, she gets to live a happily ever after and the viewer sees hope that she will be happy.  The butterfly appearing is symbolic of who she can be. 
  Atalanta is a free willed women too.  Her father is too set in tradition in a changing world.  Many teenagers are going through this.  In this episode of Degrassi Alli is a Muslim teenage girl who is dealing with the conflict between her parents wanting tradition and her wanting to be like the teenage girls.  She was in previous episodes found to be sexually active and towards the bad girl ideal.  Once her parents found out she was sent to a all girls school where despite trying to be a good girl, is feeling torn.  This is a conflict that her brother also faces wanting to date non Muslim girls.  With Atalanta she is comfortable with travelling and not wanting to settle down. She wants to be smart and assertive.  This is a positive image for girls. It will be interesting to see what is in Alli's future.
  A summary video is Christina Aguilera's "Can't Hold Us Down"   This video seems to summarize well a lot of what Tolman's article said.  The idea of a women getting called a whore for being perceived as being sexually active and the man being praised is often seen in the world.  She is dressed and singing about the "bad girl" image, but it is seen as a positive thing. 

Points to Share:  How does the media portray the villains and the hero?  How does that relate to the Tolman article?


  1. You did a good job linking the three texts and outside sources, next time try hyperlinking in your URLs. You can do it by highlighting a word and pressing the bottom with the world and the linked chain over it. I hope you bring up your points to share in class, I'm interested to hear more about what you have to say.

  2. used your blog post for " extended comments" nice job

  3. great blog!! Your video definitely relates with tolman agree with you on that one!