“How Being a Good Girl can be Bad for Girls” by Toman and Higgins.
Alice in Wonderland and “Atlanta”
“The cultural anxiety precipitated by unbounded female sexuality is perhaps most apparent with regard to adolescent girls. Coming under scrutiny from across the political spectrum, girls’ sexuality has been deemed threatening either to girls themselves (potentially resulting in rape, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy), or to society (as evidenced by the single mother, school dropout, welfare dependent). Although none of these issues is limited to teenage girls, all frequently arise in that context because of society’s sense of entitlement, or indeed, obligation, to regulate teen sexuality” (Tolman).
Tolman argues that adolescent females do not fit into the “good” girl category. Teenage girls are more in touch with their own sexuality that they do not restrict how they feel and for many, how it effects the male. This behavior is threatening because for a girl to be aware of your sexuality and to not be afraid to reveal it is seen as bad. The “bad” girl appears and girls are seen as “wanting” it. The double standard applies here because “boys will be boys’ but when a girl is seen a provocative it opens up society’s views of them as being promiscuous and a tease. AS usually, the burden always seems to fall on the women; it wasn’t rape because you teased him and wanted it, you are pregnant because you chose to have sex.
This reminds me of Grinner’s “Hip-Hop Sees No Color” when she discusses SCWAMP through the film Save The Last Dance. “Her body represents sex, as in one scene where she “steals” Derrick from Sara on the dance floor and begins dancing in a sexually explicit and provocative way in contrast to Sara’s innocent movement” (Grinner). Although this fits into the “Good girl, bad girl” category also, I want to emphasize Nikke’s body language . This may certainly be seen as “threatening” behavior that Tolman discusses in his text. If she were to be raped that night the prosecutor would most likely bring up her dancing as sexual behavior.
This statement suggests that girls want a boy more than they value their own sense of self and body. Girls are also much more aware of what their sexuality portrays and what their sexuality arouses from their partner or men (boys) in general. Many use their sexuality it as a tool as opposed as pleasure for themselves.
When thinking about Christianson’s “Myths that Bind Us” I was reminded of the “Secret education” he discussed. It is interesting that Alice in Wonderland is a Disney film unlike most of the other films Disney films like Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and The Little Mermaid all have female heroines who focus on who they will marry as it is the most important thing in their life. In the end, they get their man and live happily ever after. They do not need anything else. They represent to the viewers (mostly young kids) that a female’s worth is the man at the end. However, Alice is portrayed as a educated, dominant female who puts any desire for a man aside to fulfill her own destiny. The vidoe has many of Disney's female leads waiting and wanting thier man.
Something to think about: Don't we all want soemone to love in the end?