Friday, July 16, 2010

Why Do We Like Golden Girls?, Part 3

The Four Strengths (/Chakras)

I suppose the same could be said of a lot of characters, but particular strengths just tend to stick out. As an ensemble of lovely older women, each of the Golden Girls embodies a particular strength and form a balance worthy of study.



Dorothy, for instance, is headstrong. She knows what she’s after, she’s educated and eloquent, and she is the voice of reason that guides everyone else through their problems. She can seem overbearing at times because of her strength.



Dorothy’s mother, Sofia, is matriarch of matriarchs. Her strength lays in her tongue (and no that’s not some sort of make out testimonial). Due in part to a stroke, she says things other characters would never say. She’s quick-witted and full of comebacks. She also has sage advice on the tip of her tongue in the form of stories from Sicily.



Rose also tells stories with the best of intentions; however, her tales of St. Olaf aren’t all that effective for getting her point across. It's telling, in this, that she has strength of heart. She would do anything for her friends with a sweet, though sometimes vacant, look on her face.



I don’t say this to be crude, but Blanche is sex strong. She’s been called everything from slut puppy to outright whore and everything in between. That said, she’s confident in her sexuality, priding herself on her appearance and her charisma.

Balance and Unity

Without a doubt, one of the main reasons this show remained popular for so long was because we identified with the characters. “I’m totally a Dorothy.” “Rose reminds me so much of my mom.” “We’ve all been out with at least one Blanche.”

They’re all things I hear often in the gay community. Many of us take note in the strengths of women—everyone from pop stars to politicians—but I think this speaks a great deal to our own world view.

Those are strengths that we want to see in ourselves, so I think it only wise we get in touch with those parts of ourselves first understanding, then finding balance, then finding unity in these strengths much like one would the System of Chakras. Within this system, there are a set of “energy centers” in our body (the chakras)—the focal points for reception and transmission of energies associated with communication, digestion, reproduction and other functions of the body.

This model also serves to understand the role of the four main characters in The Golden Girls: Dorothy’s head-strength signifies reason and drive, Sophia’s tongue-strength provides the group with wisdom and wit, Rose’s heart-strength results in compassion and tenderness, and Blanche’s sex-strength symbolizes confidence in sexual identity.


In all things, one must find balance. Each of these values has consequences associated with excess and deficiency. The vapid guy whose only contributions to conversation are sarcastic remarks could probably use more compassion , and the guy who just sleeps around willy-nilly could definitely would probably benefit from reason more than a carton of condoms.

Ultimately, the goal is balance and unity. As we go through this period in our lives searching out ourselves, it’s important we come to understand our own strengths and weaknesses and surround ourselves with people who even us out, people who we’ll be able to say twenty years from now, “Thank you for bein’ a friend.” I’m lucky to have found many people just like that.


Rob said...

Intriguing! And all the more so because I think I may have seen one or two reruns of Golden Girls in my entire life and the show never really interested me. Once again, I buck trends I guess. But thanks for sharing some fascinating insights.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

@Rob: I hope I didn't hype it up too much. I will say that the writing for that period is probably only rivaled by Cheers.

Joseph Charles (J.C.) said...

great writing

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