Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Girls! Who Raised You?

I think I would use the word 'heartbreaking' to describe Meagan Daum's article, "Raunch is Rebranded as Confidence."

There are other adjectives. Disgusting, discouraging, or even perhaps, unsurprising or no big deal.

Read the article.

And as I read it, I wondered about the mothers of those daughters who train for Spring Break, who work out, wax up, and even save up for pre-break surgery: breast implants.

What were their parents telling them before they went?

"Focus on raising your alcohol tolerance, Sydney!"

"Isn't this about time for the nose job?"

"Sweetie, you'll do better during break about ten pounds slimmer. Forget studying. You should really go to the gym."

Spring break isn't something that just happens, that pops out of nowhere. These young women live in a culture (micro of family and friends and macro where we can snicker at Hilary's thighs and pass by porn dozens of times, daily) where hyper-sexualization can be a real achievement.

Me? Dr. Feminist Studies will be discussing this ritual and all others like it with all of her children, male and female.

Even at 9, Scarlett doesn't understand peers who "dress too teenager, with their tummy showing." She is not allowed to wear things that say "princess" or "hottie" on the bottom (or anywhere else). Better yet? She hasn't shown the slightest interest. In fact, I wish she would wash that sweatshirt she's worn for a week now.

And if 12% of these partying teenage girls felt pressured or coerced into having sex, as God-Buddha-Allah and Cher are my witnesses, my sons will be the young men stopping their peers if they see trouble. It's okay, Stryker. You can hit him.

Just a tiny bit worked up.


Anonymous said...

Go Matron, Go!

I have a 'thing' about girls ageing too quickly - I too, am a gorgon who polices what they choose to wear.
There's plenty of time for insubstantial garments when they are older.....much older!

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

I really don't get that kind of spring break, and I wasn't always miss goody goody either.

Just seems sad to me, backwards and twisted.

Mary Alice said...

It all makes me want to throw myself down and weep.....it isn't JUST the young girls though.... I have seen 40 year old women out to the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner wearing little tops that are cut so low you can see the bottoms of the breasts... let's all get a grip and some decorum. I think we should be celebrating our minds at every age – instead of showing off our assets.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Those are the girls who end up drunk on Girls Gone Wild.

Mrs. G. said...

Sad. No wonder so many young women don't want to call themselves feminists-it's not nearly as attractive as silicone breasts and crotch shots to the guys cruising the beach. I keep waiting for the tide to turn.

Irene said...

I see the same thing happening here in the Netherlands and was shocked at the words printed on my 14 year old niece's school agenda. I won't repeat them here. Incredible!

It seems that these children live in a totally sexualized environment and that the parents don't have the sense to say: enough is enough already!

We live in an overly tolerant society and are the victims of overcompensation for our own restricted upbringings. Alas, the pendulum has swung too far to the left.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What more is there to say? It's very discouraging.

I talk to my boys and girls about this all the time--where is the respect--for themselves and one another?

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Don't even get me started on the clothes that say "Juicy Girl," don't even get me started. I'm right there with ya, Matron, right there.

P.S. "Cher" as your witness? INSPIRED!

JCK said...

I'm afraid to read that article, but I will.

Your post is SO right on. I hate those "sweet" words on the bottoms of girls' underwear. Really creepy and absolutely feeds into the whole sexualization of our little girls. Crazy stuff.

Thanks for putting this out there and raging about it. It needs to be spoken about.

Anonymous said...

I think that when children are fed a diet of TV and particularly celebrity reality/talent shows - they soon get to thinking that beauty and sex, and wearing not a lot - well get you what you want, whereas studying hard makes you boring and invisible.

I try to keep my children away from TV and grounded in the world in which we actually live. I think that as long as the real world feels good - a bit of excitement and fun but mostly safe and with things to look forward to and aspire to, they don't need to lose themselves in all that other stuff. Like your daughter, my daughter never asked to wear those cropped tops or anything with unsuitable logos (and now at 19 she seems to have her head screwed on OK). Just stick at it and make her everyday world feel good.

Anonymous said...

I. Have. No. Words. Am. Shocked.

Bonnie said...

Who ARE these people anyway? My daughter is not allowed to have a Bratz doll (I know, I suck!)