If this is the sexual revolution, consider me a counter-revolutionary
I spent an hour or so last night discussing my negative feelings expressed in the post below with my husbad. We both came to the same conclusion. Bear with me while I get to it.
When it comes down to it, it's not the book deals or celebrity status that bothers me, and it's not jealousy or bitterness that is giving rise to my exasperation with the story. It's about women and girls and the way we view ourselves.
I probably would not have written what I did last night if I were not still reeling from what I read at Joanne Jacobs's site the other day.
Friends with 'benefits': "Hooking up" -- a no-strings sexual encounter that may range from kissing to oral sex to intercourse -- is more common than dating for affluent suburban teen-agers, according to a New York Times Magazine story. Girls in eighth or ninth grade perform oral sex on boys. Kids don't like commitment. Some go to online sites where they can "post profiles, exchange e-mail and arrange to hook up" with strangers. The trend toward ''hooking up'' and ''friends with benefits'' (basically, friends you hook up with regularly) has trickled down from campuses into high schools and junior highs -- and not just in large urban centers. Cellphones and the Internet, which offer teenagers an unparalleled level of privacy, make hooking up that much easier, whether they live in New York City or Boise.
Basically, these young girls hand out blow jobs like candy. No relationship, on hand holding; just some teenage girls giving relief to horny boys. What do the girls get out of it? I can't figure that out. Do they get the satisfaction of a job well done? Do they get some deep down pleasure at having fulfilled their friend's sexual needs? If so, why? Why would a young girl give of herself like that so freely?
Do you see where the two stories are connected? Actually, there are two ways I connect them. The first is that the media loves girls who put out. Apparently, that holds true whether the girls are fourteen or grown women.
My daughter is fourteen years old. This is not what I want her to learn about sex. It's not a commodity. It is not a bargaining tool and it is not to be used as leverage.
What ever happened to self-worth?
One of the things I talk to my daughter about when we have conversations about sex is self-esteem. I emphasize this: If a guy says to you "if you really love/like me, then you'll do this for me" the best thing to do is run. Fast. Never, ever let a guy make you feel that doing sexual favors for him is how you prove your feelings. It's a lie. Remember that you are worth more than what your hands or mouth can do for him. Respect yourself as a person and demand that whatever boy you are with does the same.
It's my contention that girls who give in to boys who are only looking for a short burst of pleasure and nothing else will end up with little self-worth and a warped view of sex. Trust me on how I came to this conclusion. It was not an easy lesson to learn and I'll be damned if I am going to let the same things happen to my daughter. I certainly don't want it to happen to your daughter, either. The only thing a girl gets out of a quickie behind the school playground is a bad reputation and small rip in their self image. The more the girl continues to be a playground toy, the larger the rip becomes.
Do you know what your daughters are doing? Do you know what your sons are doing? I wonder how many parents of boys give them the same talk as girls are presumably given, that females are more than their breasts, more than the sexual pleasure they can give you? When I was a teenager, it was standard procedure for the girls to get the burden: boys will be boys, so it is up to girls to say no.
So what's different today? What has the sexual revolution brought us? Not much, from the looks of it. Girls are putting out a younger age. The definition of sex is fuzzy. Half of the girls that are in junior high today will end up with a lot of regret some day.
I'm not saying sex is bad and teenagers should never think about it. It's part of human nature, especially in the early teen years. I don't want my daughter to ever think of sex as something inherently bad. But I don't want her to see it as a tool, either. Giving a friend a blowjob is not having sex in the full meaning of the word. For most girls - one can presume this after reading article after article about middle school sex - it's just currying favor, which makes the giver a bit of whore.
So how many of these girls who are doing "favors" for male friends or putting out to prove their devotion to a boy are going to end some day like Jessica Cutler, putting a price on their booty or using sex as a way to get what they want, be that money, fame or a husband? Is that the way you want your daughter going through life? Hardly.
Self-worth is sometimes all one has. To have that taken away, little by little, just so some boy who was never taught by his parents to respect girls can have a few moments of orgasmic bliss is a very sad thing.
You can blame the media, which goes to great lengths to give the sluttiest women the most coverage. You can blame the fashion industry, which seems to believe that little girls should dress like the sluts the media thinks they are. Or you can blame parents who teach their kids the basics of sex, but don't teach about the emotions and necessary respect involved.
This is not well thought out, it's simply off the cuff comments stemming from a very depressing conversation last night.