Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sexualization of Our Children

Have you been shopping for your little girl lately?

It is scary. Even for toddlers, much of the clothing is tight, short, glittery and cropped. Suggestive graphics are everywhere. I'm appalled that any mom would knowingly let her child wear anything with the word "juicy" on it. Apparently, there must be quite a few moms who do because the manufacturer seems to be thriving. And how about the rest of it? Make-up, nail polish, heeled sandals, temporary tattoos, "ghetto gold" jewelry. It goes on and on. Think back for a moment to little Jon Benet Ramsey. Even her father admitted that her mother liked to dress the little girl up like a "little woman".

Laura Ingraham calls it the pornification of our culture. Did we all fall asleep over the last thirty years and allow the fringe to become mainstream? Porn stars and porn peddlers, once relegated to the shadows, are now full blown celebrities. Hugh Hefner has a popular reality series. Cosmopolitan magazine was once considered racy. Now, it has a spin-off entitled "Cosmo Girl" with piece (no pun intended) titles such as "How to Get That Guy" and "Are You Sexy Enough?". It never ends.

The hardcore left, the if-it-feels-good-do-it- generation, the so-called women's movement--they have all had a hand in this porn culture. Somewhere along the line women were told that true liberation is synonymous with unfettered, sexual freedom. As such, have sex whenever, however, and as much as you like. Just protect yourself against pregnancy and STDs. Otherwise, darling, the world is your sexual oyster. Have at it. At least that's what Helen Gurley Brown would have you believe.

Do boundaries even exist any more? Unmarried, sexual encounters are now casually referred to as "hook-ups". We've been told since the Clinton era that oral sex isn't really sex. And yet we wring our hands with angst when we hear of thirteen year old girls performing "non-sex sex acts" on boys in bathrooms. As a culture we seem shocked and dumbfounded by the fix that we're in with our over-sexed children. And yet when you really think about it, how we landed here should not be such a mystery.

The last scene in Little Miss Sunshine really hits home. Shy, 8-year old Olive sexes up her pageant routine to the point of absurdity. We're initially offended by her awkward gyrations to Rick James' "Super Freak"...until one realizes, of course, that the outlandish immorality of it all really is the point. And from Grandpa's point-of-view, if you're gonna go out there and do it, then do it! Why hide behind the sham of pageant charm and talent? Go out there and sell yourself like the rest of kiddie meat on display. But at least be honest about what you're doing. It's an uncomfortable thing to watch. But I got the point.

In the public schools, students and teachers are forbidden to talk about God. Yet, when I see what some children (and I mean young children) wear to school each day, I'm aghast. We send our girls to learn, to build their minds, to teach them that they are worthy and deserving of an education. Meanwhile, that message is seriously eroded by the provocative and demeaning way our girls are allowed to present themselves. Even at Mass, pre-adolescent girls teeter on high heels while exposing every available piece of skin that they can possibly get away with. Shame on MTV, shame on Paris Hilton, and shame on any and all of us who allow our kids to have access to any of this stuff. In the end, first and foremost, we parents own it. Period.

And it's not easy. Trying to shield Ethan from the lure of Zach and Cody is a daily challenge. I would have never allowed him to watch that show but it started last year when he was in the hospital. There was a limited TV repertoire and the kid was going bonkers. So, I caved and gave him the OK to watch The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. It was on the Disney Chanel. How bad could it be? The fact is that it's tame compared to a lot of other stuff on cable and network TV. But it is still not appropriate. The amount of thinly veiled sexual references is really rather surprising. And these boys just are not the role models Ethan should be aspiring to. Remember, this programming is on the Disney Channel.

Some might tell me that I need to relax. Maybe I do need a few deep breathing exercises now and again but that doesn't mean I'm off base on this one. The problem is so many of us have lost perspective on what is truly profane. I was beyond shocked a few years ago while watching the sitcom Scrubs. After a vigorous sexual encounter, one of the female doctors dramatically and breathlessly declared that she needed a vagina transplant. This was on prime-time, network TV! Last time I checked, that was dialog for a rated-R movie. Shrek 2, ostensibly for kids, made reference to Pinnochio in a thong. Walt Disney is rolling in his grave.

Suffice it to say, we parents are challenged. We simply cannot defer to the culture's definition of what is acceptable, what is decent. More importantly, if we want our daughters to grow up with true self esteem and with clear regard for their gifts as people, not as objects, then we have to say enough is enough. Sure, I want my daughter to enjoy her femininity. But that can be done in so many graceful, elegant ways that have nothing to do with vulgar clothing or actions. In the meantime, my little girl will dress like a little girl. I think that's a good place to start.

1 comment:

Tyrone L. said...

I wholly agree with your opinion about children. If you want to know why it's being done, look at the novel Brave New World and how they play the game "Find the Zipper" as children. Now, take that, and apply Orwell's 1984, where the Marxists in charge have taken away the right to "free" sex after allowing it for decades in Ingsoc.

The Marxists (and they come in a variety of colors, from "progressives" and "liberals", to communists, Nazis, and fascists, to other such Satanic-influenced labels...) have allowed sex to be the main topic to distract the populace, thereby being able to move in with un-Constitutional measures to destroy a few generations to re-establish slavery, especially amongst the white people, for some kind of payback for something, somewhere, and they're doing it by using the white people themselves as the useful idiots.

If you read Confessions of an Economic Hitman, you'll see why this is the plan.