Option B The events that happened in Littleton, Colorado at Columbine High School in April were tragic. No one will nor should attempt to defend the actions of the two gunmen, but it is beneficial to look into the reasons that this did occur as a preventive measure of sorts. Simply looking back over the past few years of teenage violence a picture become clear of who the aggressors are: white males. There is definitely a strong relationship between the violence of late and gender. Better stated, the socialization of white males in contemporary American society has absolutely lead to the rash of tragic, violent outbursts in our school systems. The mechanisms of socialization utilize childrens toys as a teaching tool.

There is a noted breakdown amoung the genders on the toy front. Toys geared towards females are softer and lead to a calmer climate of civility by their mere nature: dolls to play house with, Barbies to dress up, Easy-Bake ovens to cook with, the list is endless. Toys geared towards males are rougher and create a climate of more agressive playing by their mere nature: guns to shoot each other with, plastic action figures to wage battles with, again the list is endless. Comparison shop down any stores toy aisle and the gender gap becomes all too clear. What is to be learned from the great toy divide If males are encouraged to play in a manner that is aggressive and ultimately violent, is it, then, not expected for them to grow up to be agressive and violent. According to Ester child (Jan 28, 1999), the expectations for masculinity include, but are not limited to, the belief in the unflappable strength of the male and his absolute aversion to all things feminine, as in no sissy stuff.

In this world, the only thing that is as bad as being a girl, is bein a sissy, that is, being like a girl (Kaufman 11) Males are taught from an early age, in no uncertain terms, that there is a huge distinction between males and females. Females are weak, they have no power. Males, on the other hand, are strong, aggressive and powerful. The guidelines for a man are clear and spelled out through a males societal functions. Men fight. Men fight wars.

Men play sports, which are undoubtably violent. Men hold jobs. Men support their families. Movies portray men as the stronger sex. Rarely, though there are a few exceptions, the male is seen as the smarter, stronger, better sex. Men are action heroes.

Men run countries. Men are sports heroes. And in the movies, women are reliant upon these strong men. All of this is expected of your average man.

He is expected to live up to the standards set forth by our culture and evident in our history of colonialism, exploitation, oppression and imperialism. These expectations are strongly reinforced by the aforementioned playthings which are introduced to a male at a very, early, tender age. To reiterate, males are strong and agressive; females simply are not. Through virtually all the mediums of a didactic nature that we offer as a society (television, the entire entertainment industry, language, government institutions, public school text books, and history to name a few) the message is clear. The two gun men from Littleton experienced ridicule at the hands of the athletes at their school.

[They] fought with [the] athletes who ridiculed them. (Dallas Morning News) Each very manhood was attacked. There were repeated, documented, incidents of problems between the Trench Coat Mafia (of which the gunmen were a known part of) and the athletes at Columbine High School. According to the Dallas Morning News, a few months ago, the Trench Coat Mafia and the jocks agreed to fight each other on a baseball field. As a man, what recourse do you have to defend yourself against ridicule and teasing. (The exact nature of the teasing is unknown.

I was unable to locate any specific information concerning what words were exchanged. I suspect, though, that many a barb may have included assaults on their sexuality through the words fag and gay. I deduce this through my experiences in high school and the exchanges I witnessed between the athletes at my school and those they considered different. ) The only solution, it would seem, would be violence, and males are predispose to acts of violence. At this time, I would like to discuss why some choose violence and some do not.

It is a cumlination of outside affects such as parental influence, economic situation, peer group, religiosity and personal disposition. Each situation is different. Each person is different. The influences that they have and their individual morality may lead them down different paths. These specific perpetrators had the background and framework that made violence seem like the most obvious option. Their gender sealed their fate.

For them, their takeover of the high school, was a natural choice of retaliation. 327.