by anna at 09:46 PM on May 22, 2003
Today I had to be at work on time. I ironed my clothes last night and everything. So I'm on the road and what do I encounter but the dreaded school bus. Just before it comes to a stop I whizz by it.
Lo and behold there'd be another gaggle of kids waiting for the bus at the next intersection. Traffic is such that that I have a chance to observe them. Two girls are behind a shrub changing their clothes. Both emerged just in time for the the bus's arrival, looking like miniature Christina Aguilera clones. I assumed that their mom-approved outfits were stuffed into their bookbags, along with their sensible shoes.
This disconcerting sight got me wondering about a number of things. These girls are my son's age, and I wondered if they intended to entice the likes of him. Or if they were just innnocent and ignorant of the effect such outfits are bound to have on young boys such as mine.
We see the sexualization of young hussies everywhere you look, from the The Lizzie McGuire Show to The Amanda Show and the resulting movies. I guess my question is whether this is a good thing and if not, what can be done about it?
I do not think it is a good thing. This past October my teacher friend and I made the mistake of volunteering to chaperone the homecoming dance. It ended up being absolutely horrendous. We were the only teachers watching the dance floor for the first 2 hours and we were simply blown away by what we saw. Keep in mind, I'm 28 and my friend is 24-it hasn't been that long since we were in school. Not only was there one-on-one grinding and humping that is somehow supposed to resemble dancing going on, but groups of guys would surround one or two girls and grind them in an orgie like fashion. The girls skirts were so short and the boys pants hang so low-I am sure at some point there was actual penetration, especially when the girls were getting ground (grinded?) from behind and were practically bent over at a 90 degree angle. From the friction alone many a boys had to change their shorts when they got home. Becca and I tried to stop it-especially when it started to resemble gang-rape scenes, to no avail. We talked to the security guards and they said that was what all the dances were like.
As I have said before, I teach at a very diverse school, socio-economically and racially. This type of dancing was not limited to one group of kids-everyone was doing it. This was not dirty dancing-this was boys being playas and girls being hos and was extremely degrading.
Another pet-peeve: 14 year old girls coming to school with low-riding skin tight jeans and a very obvious thong hanging out.
by Shannon at May 23, 2003 10:53 AM
I don't really have a clear theory worked out on all of this yet. Speaking as one who likes to bare skin to some degree (my drummer just asked me if any of my pants actually cover my ass), I think it depends on the self-image of the person doing the baring. If they are 14 and think they have to act like complete whores to even be liked, and they have low self-esteem, I think it's bad. These girls would probably not say that they feel demoralized or whatever, they would probably just say they are having fun. Maybe what is changing is the value people place on chastity and on selectivity in a sexual sense. Maybe this is just the ongoing cycle where each generation thinks the next has lost all its marbles. All of my internal voices are saying "14-year-olds with thongs, bad! 14-year-old girls with 5 guys grinding them? bad!!!" but I am trying to step back & be objective here. Maybe we have cheapened sex so much with Playboy and movies and MTV that people just can't take it seriously anymore. Where is Chris the scientist commentor? I am curious what he'd say to this.
by Linz at May 23, 2003 11:13 AM
I think you got it right when you mentioned self-esteem. Recently I was wondering if I were an absolutely gorgeous woman, would I be content to sit alone in the garage and work on my motorcycle, or would I want to be out in public where others could see me and infuse my sense of self with their attention. I was thinking about this because there's a cafe near my house, that beautiful people walk by on their way to bars, clubs, and restaurants. When some of those women walk by, the effect is palpable. Every male head not directly staring is trying hard to look busy or not distracted, and the women look too. So for the head turners I wondered how much emotional currency do they get from turning heads? Would it be painful for them to be alone most of the time, not tickling others with their invisible tendrils of attraction. As a man, the world ignores me by and large so my sense of purpose, and self-esteem derives largely from other things, only some of which involve social interactions.
Shannon's experience is disturbing, because we want kids to learn ways of distinguishing themselves that are unique to them and somewhat independent of sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is non-specific, fleeting, and as adults we can see that it's hard to build reliable self-esteem simply by alluring others, and that dancing in a large mutual masturbation horde might be fun for the moment, but sets up expectations that won't hold out in the long run.
My Anna-like experience came while riding my motorcycle one day and pulling up to a crosswalk with a bunch of grade school kids (some junior high?), and among the crowd there were these three girls who had just recently emerged from their little girlness, and they were looking at me as they walked, in a way that is hard to describe. I wondered if they were looking at my bike or my leather jacket, but they were looking straight into my helmet, with some kind of curiosity and it was like they were just figuring out that they had some kind of effect on men. It was surreal. Soemthing scientific to say? I don;t think so.
by chris at May 23, 2003 5:00 PM
Some real interesting comments on this touchy subject. Let me also say that my Aguilera simile didn't really do these girls justice. As Chris alluded to, there's a quality to them that is very off-putting and alien. Aguilera just looks like she's relishing her whorish shtick and getups, whereas these girls honestly looked like they hadn't a clue. Yet I'd be surprised if their school didn't send them home. Girls, they wanna have fun?
by anna at May 23, 2003 6:44 PM
Hungry eyes... I feel the magic between you and I...
by lockheed at May 24, 2003 1:10 AM
My goal is to make sure that my 2 boys know about wearing rubbers when they get to high school and aren't stupid enough when their blood goes South not to use them.
Sex is less and less of an issue- it's inevitable. I remember when I was a kid, I used to think- hey, if they show movies on TV now with naked people (HBO back when HBO was just another channel on your TV- no box yet), when I get older, they'll have people really doing it on TV. Well, lo and behold! It came to pass.
To me, if sex is more wide-open as it is now, then the discussions of how to avoid stupid mistakes have to be the same way. I never ever ever had any kind of advice in that way from either parent. My boys are gonna know all about it.
by Tom at May 24, 2003 9:52 AM
I wonder if the old double standard still applies. I didn't like it one bit when my (now grown) stepdaughters' boyfriends would stay over. Yet I really don't know how I'd react were I to walk in on my son (now 13.) You'd feel the need to act all Parenty and Concerned but on some level you're like, YES!!
by anna at May 24, 2003 10:04 AM
Yeah, I guess it's a bit easier having boys. I just want to make sure they know how not to get into trouble. I'm not going to encourage it, but I'm more concerned with keeping them from impregnating some girl than I am from keeping them from "doing it" with her. You have to pick your battles, I guess.
by Tom at May 26, 2003 10:35 AM
We see the sexualization of these young hussies everywhere you look...what can be done about it?"
Well, let's see. We can stop selling every product, from cars to beer to cleaning detergent, with images of nearly naked women who live to serve men. We could stop buying popular music, stop watching t.v., stop purchasing tickets for movies that all sell themselves by showing women's bodies, the younger and more nubile the better. We can stop thinking that the only women who are attractive are age 25 and under. We can stop telling our children that the only way to have value, that the only way to count in our society, is to be sexually attractive. Not intelligent, not kind, not funny. No, just fuckable.
After that, your sons will be fine.
by jadedju at May 27, 2003 1:01 AM
JadedJu, we haven't always seen eye to eye but I have to say I'm in total agreement. I blame the media/enetertainment industry for our current predicament.
by anna at May 27, 2003 7:52 AM
Does anyone know where i could find info/statistics on how young girls are acting, dressing, drinking inappropriately? the discussions on it have been great.
by Gale at March 7, 2004 2:26 PM
i think this whole thing is soooo stooopd personallty like god i hate girls who dreess like there 20 it pisses me off and then if they actually had a chance to b sexual they would freeze up and not do it so ya w.e its dumb to me
by kelly at May 24, 2005 12:04 PM
Its sad to hear comments like "Its inevitable. They are going to do it anyway". I'm a product of parents who did not think so it was inevitable. I did not mess around with girls while I was in school and its been only in my late 20's that I've been mature enough to handle relationhships in any semblance of a mature responsible way. Sexual relationships are dangerous, as we can all I feel agree, even if the only risk was that of an STD, they are dangerous and simply education on wearing protection is not going to cut it. I was advised to abstain from sexual involvement prior to marriage - advice that I am and was glad for.
The youth culture of today thinks itself indestructable, if its willing to skate down handrails at the risk of cracking their heads open what will they do with the risk of an STD? Youth may ignore warnings on sexual activity but some wont. When advice is ignored and consequences come then the advisor gets respect doesn't he?
We don't have the attitude of "well my kid is going to touch the stove anyway, so I'm not going to warn him against it." - When he does he will remember that mum advised him correctly last time.
Would you prefer a child coming to you saying "Mum I messed up, I slept with my boyfriend" or "Mum, why didn't you warn me?"
I'd rather be right and sympathetic than just plain wrong.
by David at June 13, 2005 8:11 AM
Why do you even care i mean let them be sexy if they can it will help beacuse it will help them find there soul mate! and let kids sakte board down handrails if the would dose not make mistakes by them self they will not repeate it if they find out by them selfs you can keep them safe for ever and if you to up stong and tell them what to to there hole life they will do drugs and stuff join gangs i have see so much in my life but do as you plase but i warn you dont make a mastake of making them run away beacuse they will not come back.dont over do it with yelling at them or you will pussh them away from you and it will happen but find out for your self. bye for now
by just wandering at September 25, 2005 4:26 AM
You wouldn't believe how young all this BS starts nowadays. I believe the store Abercrombie and Fitch carries a line of thongs in sizes for 9-12 year olds with phrases such as "eye candy" and "wink wink" on them. It amazes me how all these activists out there are hell bent on shutting down things like the video game industry and yet they seem to have no problem letting their 10-year-old daughter wear a thong. What I find more disgusting than the kids who are doing this are the parents who allow them to. My parents were pretty old school. I wasn't allowed total freedom over what I wore until I was 16. I'm not that old either, I'm 17. It's natural for a past generation to rant about the crazy things the new generation is doing, but seriously, with kids becoming sexually active as young as 12, one has to wonder, where does it end?
by The Vampire Champion at May 30, 2006 6:30 PM