Bernard Lefkowitz's Our Guys raises a lot of issues, all of which have been discussed throughout this semester.
Just a few pages into the book, words had already begun to jump out at me, capturing my attention. "The kids in Newark, black and brown, speaking Spanglish, hoods over their heads, wheeling their stolen cars over to the local chop shop -- they were aliens in America. Strange, forever separate and separated from the American ideal. But these Glen Ridge kids, they were pure gold, every mother's dream, every father's pride. They were not only Glen Ridge's finest, but in their perfection they belonged to all of us. They were Our Guys (page 7)." This is a story about White Privilege, I thought. After reading the next two pages, I changed my mind. "...I wanted to understand how their status as young athlete celebrities in Glen Ridge influenced their treatment of girls and women, particularly those of their age.....I was especially curious about what license they were permitted as a clique of admired athletes and how that magnified the sense of superiority they felt as individuals (pages 8-9)." Oh! This is a story about jock culture, I thought.
I had only touched the surface. Later on, I realized Our Guys was about jock culture and white privilege...as well as rape cultures and patriarchy, male privilege and compulsory heterosexuality, pornography, accountability and "blame the victim." All of these issues were part of this, a real life story, a real rape.
Reading the story of the Glen Ridge Rape, I was able to make observations and draw conclusions that Ridgers who lived inside their glass bubbles weren't able to make. They didn't realize what type of things they were teaching their children. Morals and values are instilled into a person at a very early age. It can start at birth. Males of Glen Ridge were taught that they had power and were expected to do certain things. "In their youth sons were permitted and even expected to raise a...
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