Earlier this week I posted a piece discussing the disturbingly horrific ways that our young girls are being seen as sexual beings before they have even hit puberty. The responses I got back were mixed. On the one hand, I met with a lot of support from different mothers and fathers but I did meet quite a few that assumed I had crossed the line. The uncomfortable fact is that in today’s super sexed society, everything we see and view in the media has been carnally charged at some point. How this affects the next generation is up to you to decide. On any given day if you ask me how many kids I have the number may change. That is because I consider every child, my family at some point. I am that neighborhood mom that will take in anyone. I have also been known to discipline my close friends and family’s kids. Extra chores, timeouts, taken toys, and yes even the occasional spankings were common in my home. I like so many of you, took my role as parent serious enough that it extended to all of those under my roof or presence. I say all this because although I only have two biological sons, I have daughters too.
As a young girl, I was molested. It started when I was 12 and continued for years after that. I internalized that pain and still tried to go on like nothing happened. Grown men around me took notice of my blossoming body before I knew what having a body meant. I remember how horrible that made me feel. My torment did not end at home. When I was 13 my first summer job was cleaning apartments. The manager took me into one f the bedrooms and asked me to have sex with him. I refused and ran home crying and told my mother. He lied to her when she called and said that he was only testing me. No police were called and the memory of that moment and my torment at home destroyed my self-image. I was ashamed of my body and yet I wanted to be a young girl like everyone else. I wasn’t allowed that luxury and for years I struggled because of it. This is the reason I am so concerned by the way that our daughters view themselves. This is why I ask that we all please join the fight to allow our daughters to be little girls first.
Sure we are a super sexed society… Sex does sell but our daughters are not FOR SALE. Stop allowing our daughters to buy into the sexy culture that is the now. Just because they make tube tops and hiphuggers for six-year olds doesn’t mean we should buy them. One point of view was that pedophiles will look at our kids no matter what they wear. I thought about that for a moment. According to Child Lures Prevention, “Approximately 400,000 convicted pedophiles currently reside in the United States, according to Department of Justice estimates.” This is only the number of convicted felons. What about the ones like my demons? Neither of the men that touched me as a kid were ever convicted. The fact remains, that some men and women may not view themselves as typical pedophiles, in my opinion. I am sure we have all heard people talking about how much more mature this or that child is than others. Is it that much of a stretch to assume that some people can be swayed or comforted in thinking that because young Jessica seems to be so mature, she can handle the sexual advances being turned her way? Because she is so mature, she can handle sex? Because she is so mature, she won’t be permanently scarred by her lack of childhood. Because it is just sex it is no big deal right?
What if I told you that in the past two months, I personally have talked to four girls in their teens to early 20s that were all either raped or molested at as early as 11? What if I told you that for three of them their mothers were aware of the abuse and turned a blind eye? What if I told you that they all were told that they looked or acted mature for their age? Do you see a pattern here? What about those little girls that are desensitized to sexuality because it is so common. Sure it is more comfortable to say that it is society’s fault or bad parenting. Guess what? We are SOCIETY. We are the PARENTS. Most of us are not bad parents only misguided. We have gotten not necessarily comfortable, with this new sexy culture but we accept it. We see our daughters twerking and don’t see it as bad, considering everyone is doing it. That is where I start to get Uncomfortable. If everyone is doing it, does that make it any less sexy? This girl is popping and gyrating her hips in ways that are very sexually stimulating. Does this mean that based upon her age some men or women will not be swayed by the movements of her body? Think so? Go to some of these middle and high schools and see if you can guess the ages of some of the girls there. See how many girls are wearing high-heeled shoes and short skirts. How many girls are wearing shirts that show their midriff . How many have body piercings or tattoos ? While living in Florida, I went to pick my son up from school and this girl was being sent home for showing her shoulders. Surprisingly, over half the girls in the school had on shorts or skirts that left little to the imagination, but shoulders were too sexy to see.
Being the nosy mom of teen boys, I was appalled by the aggressiveness of some of the young ladies in my community. They would walk around wearing nearly nothing, or make sexual gestures or innuendos. I witnessed these girls walking the streets, and was shocked that even I could no longer tell which of them was actually of age. I cautioned my boys, more and more, on the dangers of unprotected sex, and prayed that they listened. I began asking girls why they dressed the way they did, only to find out in some cases she was imitating mom. If this is the way things have become how far will it go? Nothing against teen moms, but when will this be taboo again? It is not that these girls are bad.Far from it. They are simply babies with babies. Can we at least agree on that? Can we also do what we can now, to at least change the image of women, so that girls can again play with dolls and not try to be Barbie? Can we make her comfortable in her own skin, before she starts showing it to the world? The mantle of Maturity, should be earned, in my opinion, not implied. Let her be young enough to make mistakes, but guide her to understand why mistakes happen. Teach her to be a young LADY. Understand, that it will not be easy to raise an individual little girl, but it is worth every bit. Sure we will have to contend with the media and the newest trends in clothing. Parenting is not meant to be fun all the time. The time is now to remember that. We are the PARENTS. We are the mature ones. We are the ones responsible for our children. We can not shift the blame to Society because WE ARE SOCIETY. Sometimes the only way to protect what you value most is to go back to the basics. We only get a chance to be young once, don’t let your angel’s childhood be filled with regret.