Final Project Probe Essay

1516 words - 7 pages

Conflict among genders can encompass a wide range of actions and activities depending on how many people are involved and the status of the relationship those people may share at any given time. The situations created by two people alone can present a challenging task for the average observer who may witness something. Looking at one of ABC’s more famous programs “What Would You Do?” clearly highlights how people of all creeds and backgrounds could react to awkward situations. The purpose of this project was to emulate the style of this show and attempt to illicit reactions from people based on the situations of gender violence we created. Unlike the heated moments of the show, there were no moments of outside intervention when people were faced with gender conflicts. Despite only filming two situations due to time and difficulty with actors, the responses we acquired from the instances we did shoot were enough to ponder the motives as to why people behave in certain ways when two people of different and same genders react to conflicting and semi-violent situations.
The overall lack of intervention that people of varying backgrounds gave to the situations Kristen and I staged was frightening in the sense that even though we caused quite a scene, we felt that at least someone that was a student would try to diffuse the situation. The verbal reactions we obtained from some people varied greatly with the situations we filmed. Looking at the situation where a boy and girl were fighting with the girl as the active aggressor, most male passers merely shrugged it off with a lethargic smirk. One even subtly referred to our male actor Aaron in the case as a “little bitch.” Despite me filming, I wanted to intervene myself and find out why of all things he would say that.
Laura, the girl we were able to interview after this incident, reinforced her belief that it was a couple’s argument, and that she should have nothing to do with it because it’s not her business. Resident Assistant Zach Wilkinson reaffirmed this opinion as well, even though he is an RA and sat through the whole ordeal. I would agree, I do not have the personal experience nor “valid credentials” to resolve couples’ arguments. In addition, I would be pretty disinterested in a couples’ argument as well. I believe the lack of intervention in this situation was due to a valid reason for bystanders to be bystanders. I believe, for the most part, people are mentored to not get involved in relationship business unless it has some absolute relevance to their lives. Two strangers is just two strangers, why should other strangers be involved?
The girl on girl fight we filmed had more interesting results given how we let our actresses get a little more physical in their argument than the first situation. Even with these parameters for this part of the experiment people still refused to intervene. As bystander Alex described, his reasons to not get involved primarily focused on the fact that he...

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