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The eroticization of children. - Page 6

post #101 of 155
I think educating our boys is a great idea. I have taught my son from a very young age to respect other people's bodies and boundaries. I think it is so very important. I also think it is very important to teach your daughters to stand up for themselves and not be afraid to tell someone to back off. So many girls worry about offending people or coming off as being "bitchy" that they don't stand up for themselves, I saw it happen dozens of times in my own high school.

When I was younger my mother never talked to me about these things - NEVER. I was not allowed to wear revealing clothing, so I would just wait until she left for work then change into what I really wanted to wear. I was not equipped to handle the attention I received and many older men made advances towards me. I was 13 at the time. I got myself into many dangerous situations because of this, luckily nothing bad ever happened to me. I always wished my mom would have just talked to me about this and told me what to do in these situations, I could have avoided so many of them. I also wished that she told me it was ok to be more assertive when it came to my own body and that it was ok to tell someone to back off.
post #102 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyratekk View Post
Things like this have been really upsetting to me. I see my 13 year old cousin dressing like well...a "hoochie"...and it just bothers me. She is 13, and wears skirts up to her hoo-ha, and shirts that show her [lack of] cleavage. Then is covered in glitter and makeup. THIRTEEN. I just can't let it go, when I was 13 (which wasn't even really all that long ago - I'll be 21 next month) I never dressed like that. I think the media is really hitting an all time low and our children are there to suck it all in :
I wanted and did (a little) dress like that. Not due to the media. It was 1982, what media? I didn't watch Charlie's Angels. Did Wonder Woman do it? Maybe. But I really LOVED the Bionic Woman and she did NOT dress like that.

I wore super cute (so I thought) short shorts and super cute tops (no belly showing). No make up (although I wanted to). While my mother frowned on it, she didn't ban it. I just liked the clothes. I wasn't looking for boys to like me or anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
Perhaps it's in the attitude. She's not really been about trying to get "boys" with her clothing choices. Ive never seen her "show off" her body. Ive only seen her experiment with clothing styles she likes that she feels good about. And I know she feels that way because we talk about it.
If you would have asked me then, I would have given you the same answers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
While it's an issue that concerns me when I see it I don't think that every pre/teen girl that dresses that way, listens to that kind of music, or plays with Bratz & Barbie dolls has "gone wild".
and thank you for pointing that out.

The reason I did stop wearing the clothes, as has already been pointed out, was due to unwanted attention. :

The neighborhood boys stood in a pack once and pointed at me calling me names (I barely knew them!) They basically called me a tramp. My feelings were hurt. I never did anything remotely close to that. Not kissed a boy or had any attraction to any of them. But I was being judged (harshly) on the way I was dressed.

Some adult men also doing cat calls... that that wasn't as frequent in my quiet, working class neighborhood. That was more of an issue when I wasn't dressed in super short shorts (only in the summer in my immediate neighborhood, where I felt safe). That was an issue when I went into NYC with my mom.

As a result of the above, I withdrew emtionally and wore BAGGY clothes for a long time after that. Very sad IMO. Because it wasn't my choice, it was a defensive measure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dechen View Post
Look, I hate the message that women (and girls) are only good for sex. But part of how we move beyond that disgusting idea is to stop pasting labels on other women (and girls) who dress in so-called "sexy" clothing. You wear these clothes, you wear those clothes, whatever. Your identity transcends what you wear. Your worth, intelligence, and compasion have nothing to do with what costume you choose to cover up with. I'm not going to perpetuate the sexualization of women by using such terms as "prostitot" and forcing adult interpretations upon childish desires to do what is trendy. I find the term "prostitot" far more apalling than any fashion trend.
Yep.

It would have been SO nice to have an enlightened, progressive mother like Unschoolma to help me through it, "No one has the right to do X (judge, speak rudely or touch you) based on your clothing choices." and so on... but my mother was very "old world" (an immigrant, literally) and of no help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jilian View Post
I think educating our boys is a great idea. I have taught my son from a very young age to respect other people's bodies and boundaries. I think it is so very important. I also think it is very important to teach your daughters to stand up for themselves and not be afraid to tell someone to back off. So many girls worry about offending people or coming off as being "bitchy" that they don't stand up for themselves, I saw it happen dozens of times in my own high school.

When I was younger my mother never talked to me about these things - NEVER. I was not allowed to wear revealing clothing, so I would just wait until she left for work then change into what I really wanted to wear. I was not equipped to handle the attention I received and many older men made advances towards me. I was 13 at the time. I got myself into many dangerous situations because of this, luckily nothing bad ever happened to me. I always wished my mom would have just talked to me about this and told me what to do in these situations, I could have avoided so many of them. I also wished that she told me it was ok to be more assertive when it came to my own body and that it was ok to tell someone to back off.
So important and bears repeating. ( How do I teach my son NOT to tickle his sister. He doesn't listen. I try and try and keep trying.)

Somewhat when Madonna came along I was thrilled. I saw early on that she was using her sexuality as a form of power, which I think our culture needed at the time. A lot of people will disagree, that's fine. I remember Joan Jett saying that in one of her early concerts, she sat on stage strumming a guitar while being spit on (over and over). She didn't get off the stage. For some reason, some boys/men hate women. So Madonna coming along when she did, IMO was powerful.

There is a really great book on this topic that everyone should read:

The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls by Joan Jacobs Brumberg. It's a fascinating look at how drastically girls have changed (their interests and looks). It goes hand in hand.

http://tinyurl.com/y2bd63
post #103 of 155
I must admit that I cringe a little when I hear the words 'power' and 'sexuality' used in the same sentence. Maybe not as much when used in the context of 'women', but particularly when applied in discussions about young girls.

Our 'contemporary' culture (through media) teaches girls that 'empowerment' derives from an overt display of their sexuality (Think Brittany Spears and Christina Agularia, among others). Pop icons such as these, use their bodies in attempts to challenge traditional notions of women's sexuality. They basically say "hey, I'm a sexy woman, I know I am, therefore you can't objectify me because I already see myself as a sexual being". The problem is that these 'bodies' are typical stereotypes of male desire (slim, blonde, highly sexualized, porn-star looking....kwim?).

So, it makes me nervous to see young women accepting that their 'power' comes from perceiving themselves as sexual objects. I would much rather see a trend of young women developing healthy body images, and rejecting the normalized 'one-size, fits all' version of female sexuality.


And I totally agree that as parents, we ought to be paying closer attention to the messages our young men are receiving about girls/women, and challenging their attitudes and behaviours. Part of me feels that men really need to step up and speak to the younger generation about these issues.
post #104 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
I must admit that I cringe a little when I hear the words 'power' and 'sexuality' used in the same sentence. Maybe not as much when used in the context of 'women', but particularly when applied in discussions about young girls.
In this current climate, I can see why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
So, it makes me nervous to see young women accepting that their 'power' comes from perceiving themselves as sexual objects.
Did I give that impression about myself? Because as a teen, I did NOT feel that way about myself after seeing Madonna. I did not rush out and try to dress like her or anything. Or thought to myself "that's the only way to be powerful, influential, successful." I have never used my sexuality to get ahead in life (as if that were the only way to achieve power). Ick. So just because that was "out there" doesn't mean young girls/young women will go that direction.

Young girls might go that direction for any number of reasons... low self esteem (family dynamics waaay before media is introduced) to name one. Or maybe no other interests have been encouraged/cultivated in them (if a young girl is told how "pretty" she is all her life and... that's it... what then?)
post #105 of 155
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanibani View Post
Did I give that impression about myself? Because as a teen, I did NOT feel that way about myself after seeing Madonna. I did not rush out and try to dress like her or anything. Or thought to myself "that's the only way to be powerful, influential, successful." I have never used my sexuality to get ahead in life (as if that were the only way to achieve power). Ick. So just because that was "out there" doesn't mean young girls/young women will go that direction.

I grew up during Madonna's heyday too. I remember dancing around to 'Like a Virgin', much to the mortification of my mother! And no, I didn't think that that was the only way to be successful, but she did represent a certain kind of 'power'. However, and maybe this is just my 'grown-up' self talking, but yesterday's Madonna seems tame by comparison to today's icons.

And, you're right, not all girls will be influenced in the same ways by the media's representation(s) of women's sexuality. But, it seems to me that there is an embracing of sex=power by young girls today that didn't exist a generation ago. (Girl's wearing t-shirts emblazoned wiith 'porn star', MILF in training, etc...across their chests).



Quote:
Young girls might go that direction for any number of reasons... low self esteem (family dynamics waaay before media is introduced) to name one. Or maybe no other interests have been encouraged/cultivated in them (if a young girl is told how "pretty" she is all her life and... that's it... what then?)
Yes, this is a good point. It's a difficult terrain for young girls to navigate. I don't know anyone, myself included, who hasn't been affected by 'body image' issues.
post #106 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyratekk View Post
Things like this have been really upsetting to me. I see my 13 year old cousin dressing like well...a "hoochie"...and it just bothers me. She is 13, and wears skirts up to her hoo-ha, and shirts that show her [lack of] cleavage. Then is covered in glitter and makeup. THIRTEEN. I just can't let it go, when I was 13 (which wasn't even really all that long ago - I'll be 21 next month) I never dressed like that. I think the media is really hitting an all time low and our children are there to suck it all in :

WHAT is the possible advantage of dressing one's daughter that way? Really, would someone bother to answer this for me? Is it...

a. Vicariously living through one's daughter's youth?
b. A desire to profit from one's daughter's later career as a whore?
c. Desire to be a grandmother at age 30?
d. NO maternal huevos and congenital inability to say the word "no"?

Really, what?
post #107 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
b. A desire to profit from one's daughter's later career as a whore?
You know, I think this attitude is a problem, too.

A 13-year-old who dresses too maturely for her age is destined to be a whore? Or are miniskirts and low-cut tops inappropriate for any age, so everyone who wears them is dressing like a whore?
post #108 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
WHAT is the possible advantage of dressing one's daughter that way? Really, would someone bother to answer this for me? Is it...

a. Vicariously living through one's daughter's youth?
b. A desire to profit from one's daughter's later career as a whore?
c. Desire to be a grandmother at age 30?
d. NO maternal huevos and congenital inability to say the word "no"?

Really, what?
Holy cow.

None of those is the answer I would give, but I suspect you know that already.

I feel that I don't need to say "no". I feel that just saying "No, you are not allowed to wear that." isn't really going to move me and my kid in a positive direction. I'd say a lot of other stuff though.

I think calling someone or deciding that someone will have a career as a "whore" based on her clothes isn't productive either.
post #109 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
I think calling someone or deciding that someone will have a career as a "whore" based on her clothes isn't productive either. [/COLOR]
I don't think it's productive either. Actually, it's just dismissive of the real issues.

Problem is that sooooooo many people adhere to this kind of thinking, and that is part of what worries me with respect to my own daughter. She's only 7 right now so we are not dealing with clothing issues, but we will be heading down that path soon enough.
post #110 of 155
heres the little promo for the "baby brats" dolls...

Before the Bratz™ were everybody’s favorite fashion friends, they were the Baby Girls with a Passion for Fashion™! And these Babyz™ demand to be lookin’ good on the street, at the beach, or chillin’ in the crib! Check out these funkalish fashions and you’ll agree, far-out fashion sense is born in new Bratz Babyz™!

post #111 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorGirlfriend View Post
You know, I think this attitude is a problem, too.

A 13-year-old who dresses too maturely for her age is destined to be a whore? Or are miniskirts and low-cut tops inappropriate for any age, so everyone who wears them is dressing like a whore?

And how would you define it? Seriously, what does it look like to you? Choose any profession you feel is more appropriately indicated by that kind of clothing than the one I've listed.

I honestly feel that this type of clothing on a thirteen-year-old girl (or younger!) is wholly inappropriate and smacks of sexual exploitation, particularly since this clothing is often accompanied by the behavior that goes with it, as the article indicated. I think it encourages girls who are essentially children to see themselves (and have others see them) as sexual objects. In what way is this healthy, much less moral?

More pernicious is the underlying assumption here that we're all supposed to refrain from drawing reasonable conclusions based on reasonable evidence. So sorry to any and all who choose to do this, but I respectfully refuse to participate in a conscious negation of my capacity to think and to judge. I find the notion that we're not supposed to "judge" to be profoundly anti-intellectual and ultimately a misogynistic attitude for women to take toward other women.
Bottom line, if a child dresses in clothing which suggests she is sexually active or (in some cases) sexually promiscuous, it is absurd to make any other conclusion than that she either is sexually promiscuous or wants others to think so. I am eager to hear an alternate explanation.
post #112 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by kewb View Post

Sadly, I have friends who allow their dd's do exactly what these girls did in their talent show. When my friends dd was 8 she was enamored with Bratz, had her whole room decorated with Bratz stuff. Her mother would complain about all the stuff. I pointed out that she did not have to buy all the stuff. I was corrected and told that I will see when my dd is older. *sigh* .
Okay, maybe I'm speaking from ignorance because my daughter is only 6, not 8, but it seems to me that you're right and the other mother is wrong. What happened to the word "no"? What happened to the concept that the parent doesn't have to buy something (or, in your example, a great many somethings) she theoretically doesn't agree with? What is the motivation here for buying these things if she doesn't find them appropriate? I just don't understand.
post #113 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

And where do you draw the line? Her house is a safe haven against the eroticism of girls but what do you do when your daughter is invited to a bratz themed b-day party by her best friend? When another one has a "spa" party w/ full makeovers, mani/pedis, facials and massages? And yet another's father hires a limo ( ) to go and see the Cheetah girls? She is feeling the stress of always saying no.:
I'm sorry, but best friend or no, I'd have to put my foot down and weather the storm that followed, explaining that this party was not appropriate for our family. I'm so sorry she has to deal with this. Cheetah girls? I assume those are strippers?
post #114 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Individuation View Post
(I also only allow "clothing with words" in the house on a case-by-case basis, giving me the opportunity to explain why "New York City Ballet" is OK on a T shirt, but "I Love Daddy's Credit Card" is not.)
.

See, as far as I can tell, this is little more than misogynistic propaganda that ends up exposing women and girls as utterly complicit in their own unequal treatment. What else does this say than, "I don't earn my own money. I spend other people's money. I am dependent on men (Daddy) for money." The obvious subtext is that money is being traded for love (in the case of Daddy) or sex.

And just how is trading money for love or sex much different from being a literal whore? I realize some people on here were offended by what I said earlier, but I respectfully refuse to retract it, particularly given evidence such as this.
post #115 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Bottom line, if a child dresses in clothing which suggests she is sexually active or (in some cases) sexually promiscuous, it is absurd to make any other conclusion than that she either is sexually promiscuous or wants others to think so. I am eager to hear an alternate explanation.
I'd like to see the intellectual basis for the notion that the clothing a woman wears indicates her level of sexual activity. I would guess that you are making an emotional connection rather than an intellectual one.

On the other hand, if you can provide convincing data that clothes are an accurate predictor of sexual activity, I'd love to see it.
post #116 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
And how would you define it? Seriously, what does it look like to you? Choose any profession you feel is more appropriately indicated by that kind of clothing than the one I've listed.
Why would a 13 year old girl's clothing be some kind of predictor of her future career? I haven't ever looked at a buttoned-up teen and thought, "Aahh, future librarian there." If you'd seen the way I dressed as a teen and through college, you would have never guessed I'd turn out to be a public school elementary teacher. I, on the other hand, always intended to acquire said position. Even while wearing short skirts, lots of earrings and very black clothing.
post #117 of 155
Here we go, let's play a game, in regards to this clothing = sexual activity.
Meg, I'd like you to look at this picture, and tell me whether this girl is dressed like a whore.
http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/inde...geID=831046554

What about this one, is this "dressed like a whore"?
http://s41.photobucket.com/albums/e2...00653_2123.jpg

I'd honestly like to know your opinion on this. Would you guess this girl is sexually active, or has a history of promiscuity? What do you think her personality is like? Number of lovers she's had? Age of loss of virginity? Average length of relationship?
post #118 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dechen View Post
I'd like to see the intellectual basis for the notion that the clothing a woman wears indicates her level of sexual activity. I would guess that you are making an emotional connection rather than an intellectual one.

On the other hand, if you can provide convincing data that clothes are an accurate predictor of sexual activity, I'd love to see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dechen View Post
I'd like to see the intellectual basis for the notion that the clothing a woman wears indicates her level of sexual activity. I would guess that you are making an emotional connection rather than an intellectual one.

On the other hand, if you can provide convincing data that clothes are an accurate predictor of sexual activity, I'd love to see it.

I think it's being more than disingenuous to imply that the clothing a woman wears has no relation to her possible level of sexual activity or does not indicate that she wants others to make inferences about her level of sexual activity.

Data? Well, let's take a look at this thread, for starters. Here, I've quoted examples of people equating type of clothing with possible or probable sexual activity (as indicated by words such as "slut" or "prostitute" or "hoochie," each of which connotes a woman who is sexually promiscuous). Please feel free, of course, to ask the original posters to provide additional data.

1. From Merpk's original post quoting the NYT article:


" ... I’m sure that many parents see these routines as healthy fun, an exercise in self-esteem harmlessly heightened by glitter makeup and teeny skirts. Our girls are bratz, not slutz, they would argue, comfortable in the existence of a distinction. But my parental brain rebels ... "

2. From Pyratekk:

Things like this have been really upsetting to me. I see my 13 year old cousin dressing like well...a "hoochie"...and it just bothers me. She is 13, and wears skirts up to her hoo-ha, and shirts that show her [lack of] cleavage. Then is covered in glitter and makeup.

3. From Kewb:

So disturbing. I don't get the prostitot look at all. I don't wear clothes like that, why would I want my child to dress like that?

By the way: Props to Kewb for the neologism "prostitot." Is that original with you?? Funny and economical skewering of this trend.

4. From Cappuccinosmom:

All the young girls in our neighborhood dress like that too (though, more "slutz" than "bratz"


Okay, shall I quote more, or are four examples sufficient? I was finding examples equating sexual behavior with suggestive clothing on average of every other post.

Moreover, I'd like to look at commonsense reality for a second. One can convince oneself that clothing doesn't matter, that it doesn't necessarily indicate anything at all about a person, that one shouldn't judge a book by its cover (or, in this case, the lack thereof). Enjoy yourself -- it's a free country, thankfully. However, I think this is a kind of willed and dangerous naiveté that depends, often inaccurately, on the often faulty assumption that everyone else thinks the same way.

They don't.

Even in this country -- to say nothing of the rest of the world -- our clothing has a rich tradition of being signifiers of economic status, gender, religion, political affiliation, or (in this case) sexual promiscuity. Oh, sure, you can have a rabid Democrat dress in red-state drag; sure, you can have a rich person dress down in t-shirt and jeans; sure, you can have a virgin dressed like a whore, but one does so at the risk of being greviously misinterpreted by everyone else who believes that people choose their clothing for a reason: to act as a signifier.

The unfortunate reality is that people can't have it both ways: you can't dress as a Republican and have everyone assume you're a Democrat; you can't dress like a poor person and have everyone assume you're rich, and you can't dress like a whore and have everyone assume you're a virgin.
post #119 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redifer View Post
Here we go, let's play a game, in regards to this clothing = sexual activity.
Meg, I'd like you to look at this picture, and tell me whether this girl is dressed like a whore.
http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/inde...geID=831046554

What about this one, is this "dressed like a whore"?
http://s41.photobucket.com/albums/e2...00653_2123.jpg

I'd honestly like to know your opinion on this. Would you guess this girl is sexually active, or has a history of promiscuity? What do you think her personality is like? Number of lovers she's had? Age of loss of virginity? Average length of relationship?

Redifer, I'm guessing that this is either your daughter or someone you're close to. With all due respect, I refuse to engage in what very likely could be taken as a personal attack on someone you love or care about.
post #120 of 155
On the subject of toddler mini skirts, all of the skirts I have seen for toddlers are short. It makes sense to me as my 28mo is jumping, running and climbing. They keep her cool in the summer. She has several WAHM skirts that are beautiful and well above her knees. Most dresses are also short. Even Hanna Andersson. I have no problem with it.
I don't intend to control what my children choose to wear. My daughter doesn't yet care so I put her in whatever is most comfortable. I remember cringing when my son would insist on wearing a super hero halloween costume out in public in the middle of the summer. C'est la vie.
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