|i started to realize this was a problem when the thong became really popular. my eye would be drawn to some chick's thong, and i would enjoy (i make no excuses, although i admit it's trashy of the girl) and then one day, my eye was drawn to this thong, and the thong was attached to a girl with little or no breasts. what's the deal?|
I was talking with one of my female friends and she has babysit an 8 year old girl. According to this friend, whom I vouch for (in terms of reliability), this 8 year old girl's interests include: shopping, make-up and boys. 8 years old, and obsessing over boys.
She also has this weird obsession with being a teenager. She is looking forward to being a teen so much, that she has idealized being a teen. She has been quoted as saying, "It's gonna be so much better when I'm a teenager". I find this fascinating.
My generation, born in the eighties, looked to adulthood and idealized it. Their generation, born in the nineties, is looking to the teenaged years and are idealizing it, turning it into myth before it has happened.
Being a teenager is now not a source of nostalgia, but the ultimate goal for children now.
Statistically, girls are hitting puberty earlier and earlier. They are losing their virginity earlier and earlier. (I will come back later with the statistics, so hold on)
This article on Salon articulates exactly what my problem is. Preteen girls are measuring their worth in terms of how many boys like them.
Here's a selection from the article that uses a selection from the book in question ("FCP" stands for "Female Chauvinist Pig", the title of Ariel Levy's book):
"Levy talks to Erin and Shaina, two sisters who have a pile of magazines like Playboy and FHM on their bedroom floor (they share a room at their parents' place). Erin's been known to make out with another girl in public cause it "turns guys on." (She thought it would be like being on TV, but the real experience wasn't as sexy as in her fantasies.) Shaina thinks that getting your ass slapped at a bar by a stranger isn't harassment -- just flattery. Although Erin feels "conflicted being a woman" and tries to "join the ranks of men," she owns a copy of "The Feminine Mystique" -- but she would never try to push her ideas on someone else. The meaning of feminism for today's FCPs is a private affair. Another FCP, Anyssa, a struggling actress, likes to fantasize about what it feels like to be a stripper, with dozens of eyes on you. When Levy suggests that stripping was more a parody of female sexuality than an enactment of it, Anyssa's friend Sherry snaps. "I can't feel sorry for those women," she said. "I think they're asking for it."
Don't think I'm leaving out boys here too. Boys are guilty of helping these girls into their position, whether that be making out with other girls, or relinquishing their "honour", if you get my drift.
But it's not the children's fault. I blame the media partly. I think the media, including Hollywood and television and music videos (regardless of genre) are propogating this image they feel they must match and maintain, this image of cool with ease, this image of sexual powerhouse.
Movies like American Pie demand that the children lose their virginity before prom. Videos like "Stacie's Mom" show children masturbating. Television has shows like Desperate Housewives, where sex is a main topic, or even, more obviously, Sex and the City.
Western culture was marrying off girls at 13 to older men back in the day (being the long ago past). Then when they established the US as a country, that standard got older and older, girls were marrying by choice, and later. Then the teenager started to appear, sociologically speaking, in the forties, a direct correlation to the babyboomers. The preteen has only existed, then, since the second half of the twentieth century. Now, we are going back to the olden days, when girls were losing their virginity. But NOW, they're doing for pleasure (although I can't see how enjoyable sex is when your fourteen. I mean, sex at eighteen wasn't even that great. Imagine being even more clumsy and ignorant of foreign sexual organs!)
This book has a chapter devoted to my topic here.
(By the way, I'm no Puritan. I am a product of this problem; I lost my virginity at the tender age of 15. Let me be honest: it wasn't that great)