October 24, 2012

TV For Thought: The Jersey Shore Gets Violent

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So our favorite non-New Jersey-ites (Jerseyans?) have returned to grace our television and laptop screens for their last season. But before we begin the process of mourning and reminiscing about the deep impact of these twenty-something buffoons on our country’s pop culture, they have provided me with great fodder for discussion this week.

In continuation of the previous week’s club fight, we see Roger push Jenni out of his way, which consequently leads her to fracturing her foot. Now, those unfamiliar with the show are not privy to the regularity of these incidents or disagreements with Roger and Jenni. But the issue at hand this week was whether females should even try to prevent their male counterparts from getting into a fight. It was a thought that pervaded the house, pitting the females’ perspectives against the males’.

According to the guys on the show, in the event of a fight breaking out between men, women should immediately get out of the way. In a blinding rage, the women will simply become collateral damage that they have no control over. So rather than letting those unfortunate situations occur, women should just let men handle their manly affairs.

It seems almost chivalrous of the guys to think of the women’s safety. Or it just seems like a poor excuse for men to hurt a woman without facing the repercussions. In no way should fighting or assault be allowed on another person. And just because your primary aim was not to hit your significant other, it does not eliminate the damage or the fact that it happened.

I understand that in times of an actual and dangerous threat (being drunk and belligerent does not fall under this category), a man has the right to defend himself and fight back. If the altercation does not directly involve the woman, then she should probably get out of the way to reduce the amount of unnecessary victims.

On the female side of the argument, the ladies of the Jersey Shore put forth their own interests of wanting to protect their significant others. They involve themselves by attempting to deter the men from entering unnecessary fights in which they can be injured or get into legal trouble. Granted, the way J-Woww went about doing so by throwing a drink on Roger only exacerbated the situation.

In addition, if an issue has already heightened to the point that two parties are on the brink of actual violence, it is probably in your best interest to stay out of it. Regardless, I tend to err on the side of the women in trying to prevent a hasty decision towards violence. It is a part of our natural maternal instincts to protect the ones we love. Although some women like to see men show off their might, others do not, or they prefer to see it done in ways that don’t involve physical combat.

While I do not purport that Jersey Shore is a point of highbrow television in the slightest, it did pose an interesting question regarding gender relations this week. The reason behind the actions of both genders remains the same: protection of a loved one. Men believe in handling things on their own, as it is a symbol of masculinity to take things into their own hands.

Women like to intervene and protect others from danger. In both cases, neither party is more right than the other. Furthermore, gender politics prohibit us from understanding both sides of a story, which can lead to conflict within relationships. Hopefully J-Woww and Roger can sort out those gender dynamics in this week’s episode—they are engaged, after all.

Natalia Fallas is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences. She can be reached at nmf28@cornell.edu. TV for Thought appears alternate Thursdays.

Original Author: Natalia Fallas

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