Talking about It

Dear Society,
Stop telling our girls that feminine equals sexual.
This Fed Up Girl

So I’ve been reading, working through, praying through a lot of stuff lately about women and girls and society and femininity and sexuality~ And honestly, I am more than a little discouraged.  Our society can not even define these things for Our Girls. 

This is what I got when I tried to find a definition:
Main Entry: feminine
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: girlish
Really?  That’s all ya got? 
How about purity?
Main Entry: purity
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: the state of being pure
Great, that’s not even kind of helpful.   

There seems to be no real clear concept of divine beauty and sacred femininity anywhere except maybe in a Christian bookstore.  And everywhere I turn there is sex. It seems girls are growing up with little to no idea of what exactly it means to be a woman other than being wanted for sex.  They are being lusted after and objectified, by too many, when they are too young.  How can they maintain their identities as beloved daughters and brides when they are being seen, viewed and yes, treated sometimes as sexual objects?  When they are being teased with the concept their own sexual power, how do we teach them how sacred it is? 

I have two little girls and I am determined to help them understand these concepts despite the fact that an alarmingly high percentage of clothing, movies, music videos and toys even that are marketed for them are sensual, sexual and suggestive.  I mean, what is the freaking deal?  Somebody please explain to me what the point is of sexualizing girls, because the point can not really be what I think it is.  Or is it? 
Maybe, just maybe the only point of exploiting the sexual innocence of young girls is for profit margins?  Do we find that acceptable?  In Sex and the Soul of a Woman, Paula Rinehart says “How many sectors of our society are lining their pockets on the commercialization of sex?  Who is profiting from catapulting women into sexual expression and license that masquerade as freedom?  I guarantee it’s not you or any women you know.”  I don’t believe profit margins are all some people are after though.

Are short skirts and tighter shirts and slinkier dance moves more popular just because sex sells?  Or is it more than that?  I think it might be.  I think it might be that it is not just money that some greedy people want from Our Girls.  I have thought that the point of the complete sexualization of femininity at younger and younger ages was so that by the time those young girls were women they would have no clue about the beautiful, sacred gift that their femininity was.  But what if that the point of the complete sexualization of femininity at younger and younger ages is so that young girls have no clue about the beautiful, sacred gift that their femininity is? 

What if we can’t define what they were created to be and they can’t either?  What if it’s all too murky for anyone to define clear boundaries?  What if we don’t have any absolutes because we haven’t taken the time to work them out?  Then we leave our girls to flounder and figure out how to be girls and how to be feminine and how to stave off the constant pressure that they be at least a little bit sensual if not explicitly sexual to gain attention or really even be accepted in society?

We could just leave it alone right?  Because who wants to work all that out?  Is it even possible?  Is it too big of a system, to monstrous a lie to fight?  Keep quiet?  Let it go?  No way, that is how sexual abuse happens.  And that is how it goes unreported. 

Did you know that 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18?
Did you know that nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under?

Who wants to talk about that stuff though right?  Me.  Because I believe if we are not careful we will become desensitized to this issue, we are becoming desensitized to this issue.  Because do you know what is increasing at an alarming rate?  (And I am quite certain you don’t want to talk about this.) 

Child sex trafficking.
  And don’t even get me started on all the ways that can be defined. 

The whole issue then is not just- how do we help our girls understand purity?  Not just can we better understand sexuality, but can we change, reverse, transform the way the world understands sexuality?  Maybe.  Maybe it all starts with talking about the unmentionable stuff.  Maybe we start with beginning to work through some of these issues for ourselves so that we can revolutionize the way the world sees Our Girls, and really, aren’t all girls Our Girls? 

This is a pretty dark clip about a pretty dark issue:

I know this is big, weighty, controversial, tough stuff, but… 

These are things I can't ignore. 

So I don't know… 

A conversation is all I’m trying to start (for now)…

2 Comments to “Talking about It”

  1. You are so, so right. Being a mommy of two beautiful, sweet, innocent girls is terrifying. Good for you for speaking up!

  2. Wow, makin’ me cry. Thanks for sharing that, Amber. May we be a LOUD light in the darkness of lies society tells.

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