Saturday, January 30, 2010

Doing Good Versus Looking Good (Another oldie but goodie)

I found this in my archives Richard and it's a good example of what I was talking about in our previous discussion.

Also it surprised me how many other issues I had forgotten about that are touched upon in my should lead to many interesting comments...

Doing Good Versus Looking Good

This was an interesting article about the genesis of young girls acting out like brain dead, boy-crazy idiots from about the age of 10 or so (and continuing right through well into their adult years as evidenced by Brittany Spears, Jessica Simpson, ALL of the women on Sex in the City and many others whose names escape me right now).

On how most of the media (as well as many of the adults these young girls come in contact with) instill the insidious idea that the ONLY time girls are doing anything worthwhile is when they are either chasing after a boy or having a boy chase after them.

This starts early as the article notes and has the effect of young girls wasting ALL of the time they should be putting into their education and future career for instance; instead focusing on what they should wear that can attract some boy’s attention to them, how they should ‘play dumb’ as that works to attract boys, when is the right time to lose your virginity and even pitching the outmoded idea that every boy who wants to have sex with a girl is in love with her.

How can you say, “leading to a lot of early sex, disappointment and low self-esteem” in their young lives.

The author was located in Australia but this could be found throughout the western world. Even Disney, which is supposed to be a family entertainment channel has many childrens’ series where the ONLY apparent thing girls focus on in school or home is boys.

How to meet one they like (usually the captain of some sports team), how to dress to be in the right crowd of girls (again, the entire goal being to meet boys). How to get that after school job: again, the central goal usually to raise money for more shopping, of course, the reoccurring theme to get the attention of a boy.

Many of the main story lines focus on parties, who gets invited versus who doesn’t.

Again the whole reason for the party is ALWAYS to meet boys. The most significant thing that ever appears to happen to the girls is not whether or not they get into the school of their choice to get a science scholarship or something that mundane, but who tried out for the cheerleaders squad and either made it or didn’t. But never any discussion about any educational goals or focus on ANYTHING other then how to meet boys.

Well is it any wonder that girls grow up with the idea that the ONLY thing of substance they will EVER accomplish will be meeting Mr. Right with everything else being secondary until Mr. Right comes along. Well, Shades of Sex in the City where even the most professionally successful women is doing nothing (at least in that series) but marking time until they meet the man of their dreams.

Well you want to know where that attitude starts, read below.

Frankly I even find that attitude throughout the blogosphere.

Where most of the womens' blogs (even the supposedly more serious ones) function as little more then places for women to post snarky remarks, along with their picture, the main function obviously being to attract the attention and approval of men.

Meanwhile the mens' site are taking care of serious business.

Someone posted a survey a while back that stated MOST bloggers were blogging in order to meet someone. Or as they delicately put it to get laid.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think a male blogger or commenter on one of the mens' sites would turn down a decent opportunity to get laid if it was presented by a young woman, but yet I don't see their sites as allowing any untoward focus on women to distract them from their stated mission.

That's why personally I'm in favor of the two-lane highway concept that Congress has been debating for the internet.

This way people who have serious blogs can pay the extra fees and get the public access; while the ones who are using the free blog service as an enhanced dating mechanism can instead join one of those internet dating services.

AND we won't be bogged down with hundreds of women cluttering up the blogosphere when their main purpose is just to meet a guy.

Sorry there are better and more efficient ways to do that.

Why should serious women bloggers lose what is a newly forming and potentially wide reaching forum for us to get our ideas out to the public, so that some of you can keep your dance card filled.

The Age

What is your daughter reading?August 10, 2004

The emphasis in Australian magazines aimed at teenage girls is on sex, writes Christopher Bantick.

For many parents, seeing their daughter curled up with Dolly or some other teenage magazine seems innocent enough. But perhaps parents should take a look inside these glossies to see what is on offer.

The emphasis in most magazines directed at teenage girls is on sex. Articles in the August editions of the four market leaders - Cosmopolitan, Girlfriend, Dolly and Cleo - advise how to do it, get it and have more of it.

Magazines for girls are aimed at the 12 to 18-year-olds. But the readership is often far younger. Children on the cusp of adolescence regularly read up, not down. Parenting expert Michael Grose has described this shrinking childhood as "adolescent creep".

Dolly declares that its core readership is 16-year-olds; Girlfriend's is 13 to 14-year-olds. Cleo and Cosmopolitan aim for the 16 to 20-year-olds. But the readership of such magazines by those between 10 and 14-years-old is growing - something that the American Psychological Association has warned is dangerous.

In February, the APA attacked American advertisers for pitching to and exploiting the under-14 market, saying these readers "inherently lack the cognitive capability to effectively recognise and defend against commercial persuasion".

A casual thumb through the August editions of Australia's top four girl glossies is revealing.

Girlfriend advises in a response to a correspondent who is asking about a boyfriend insistent on having sex: "I am sure he really does care for you. It's pity you don't believe him coz maybe he really does love you. Negotiating sex is so much easier with your clothes on."

A casual thumb through the August editions of Australia's top four girl glossies is revealing.

Dolly, in a lead story titled "Losing Your Virginity" offers 11 helpful ideas based on real-life accounts. These range from "It's Totally Nerve-Racking" to "It's Messy" and "You Might Bleed".

Both Cleo and Cosmopolitan are in an altogether different league. Both have sealed sections. Cleo this month teases: "Bizarro sex habits that will freak you out"; Cosmo, not to be outdone, offers: "Cosmo's Sex-Fantasy Decoder", where girls can explore their fantasies of being a "Sex Slave" or perhaps a "Naughty Nymph-O".

But besides the heavy emphasis on sex - and problematic sex at that - teenage girls' magazines capitalise on adolescent insecurity. Cosmo offers, "Your Erotic Thoughts Explained" and tips on "Surviving a Sex Drought". Dolly examines, "Bad Boys: Good Fun or Heartbreak?" Girlfriend asks, "Do You Really Want a Boyfriend?" Meanwhile Cleo explores "Ex Sex. Would you? Should you? Will it work?"

Still, as much as girl teenage magazines might be questioned in their emphasis on sex, they may still fulfil a need. In so far as sex education is taught at school, research has shown that this largely fails.

Teenage girl magazines are seen by their market as sources to trust. This is worrying. The information can lead girls to doubt themselves if they are not sexual beings at a young age.

A British study published last month found that teenage girls benefit from being taught about sex and contraception by their peers. The source of the information is largely through magazines. Thirty-five per cent of girls taught by their peers are less likely to have sex before 16, compared with 41 per cent if taught by their teachers.

Another British study, by the girl teenage magazine Sugar and published last month, found that 78 per cent of the 500 13 to 18-year-olds surveyed said that sex tutoring from teen magazines offered "information they were unable to get at school".

Apart from the heavy stress on sex in teenage girl magazines, there is also an unwavering reinforcement that self-esteem and identity is inexorably linked to having a boyfriend.

This dependence on male attitudes to women should be strongly challenged by magazine editors. But instead, they are complicit in presenting girls as dependent on boys for approval and success.

Cleo covergirl Jessica Simpson declares: "I've played dumb all my life. Guys love it." Cosmopolitan, in a section called "Man Manual", tells "What Guys Want in a Girlfriend". What they want includes: "Fill his car with petrol", "Be ready when he rings the bell" and, at the video store, "suggest you rent Bad Boys II instead of Chicago".

The problem with teenage girl magazines is that they give highly suspect information, they create misconceptions about sexuality, they reinforce stereotypes about male and female behavour and they show craven irresponsibility in their disregard for the emotional maturity of their readers.

Do you know what your daughters are reading?

Christopher Bantick is a Melbourne writer.

posted by NYMOM | Saturday, June 17, 2006
Post a Comment


virago said...

NYMOM, I agree with you 100%.

PolishKnight said...

NYMOM, aren't you embarrassed by "metoos?"

Anyways, the notion that young women are obsessed with men but not vice-versa is laughable. Haven't you ever heard of porn? In addition, young girl's magazines and tv shows are obsessed, as you stated, with GLAMOUR (literally, that's the title of one magazine) and boys are associated with that since they are expected to help foot the bill for such a lifestyle. But most of these magazines are full of pictures of other women, without men anywhere in sight, wearing expensive outfits and makeup. This is why retail stores at malls have such high security to watch teenage girls who have little money, but extreme desire, to swipe such stuff. Boys, of course, could care less about the difference between a Prada bag and one from Ross...

The problem with girls throwing sex at boys has to do less with women being obsessed with boys such as much as the young girls not having a way to "find" or offer something to men BESIDES sex. Instead of suggesting HEALTHY ways for young women to relate to men, you suggest them going into a nunnery so to speak.

virago said...

"Cleo covergirl Jessica Simpson declares: "I've played dumb all my life. Guys love it."

Interesting story about Jessica Simpson. Originally, she recorded a gospel record, but her gospel career never took off. The christain perverts who ran the gospel music industry said she was "too sexy for gospel music".
Why? Back than, Jessica was a 14 year-old girl who just happened to have a big chest early on. Her parents did everything to "hide her chest". They put her in thick, turle-neck sweaters with vests and blazers over that. It didn't help. No matter what they did, they couldn't disguise the fact that Jessica Simpson was a teen-age girl with double D's. I've seen video footage of Jessica Simpson wearing all these clothes from neck to heels, and it's true, they couldn't hide what God naturally gave her. Of course, the good old christian patriarch perverts couldn't get over that fact, and Jessica ended up leaving gospep for pop out of frustration. Of course, she dropped all the extra clothes, but she still looked like she wore clothes compared to Britney and Christina. Instead, she was known as the "anti-Britney", and she was a self-professed virgin who wanted to wait for marriage, blah, blah, blah. Unfortunately, the record company said she "wasn't sexy enough". They demanded that she wear revealing clothes and sing in this slurry, breath, throaty sound that doesn't sound anything like her natural voice. Anyway, she came out with a remake of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are made for Walking". The video was seen as risque, and she was slammed for looking slutty ESPECIALLY by born again Christains. They thought a former preacher's daughter shouldn't look so slutty, and she was going to burn in hell, blah,blah,blah. Can you believe the hypocrisy? The mainsteam media is almost as bad as the chritain pervert patriarchys. They are always focusing on how big this girl's chest is and how sexy she is. Yet, they simultaneously bash her for it. The problem is that the patriarchy created this stupid virgin/whore dichotomy centuries ago, and it still expects women to live up to it. There's never any in between, and no matter what they do, women are still criticized for it. Jessica simpson's dad is just as bad. Back in her early career, he was always spouting off about her virginity and her christain values, blah, blah, blah. He was so obsessed with it that he even commented on her reality show "Newlyweds", "Now that she's married, she can do it until she's blue in the face." Than when Jessica went for a sexier image, creepy dad, Joe Simpson, was always making remarks about his daughter looking sexy in a teddy for cripe's sake. Some former preacher. Anyway, I think this is a good example why women can only be criticized so much for their role in this. It's our patriarchal culture that is largely to blame with how women are being portrayed in the media and how girls are expected to dress and act. And yet, men still want to blame women for and suggest we should be the one to fix the problem that they actually created. What men need to do is come up with HEALTHIER ways to relate to women as human beings instead of as sex objects or some kind of virgin saint. One of the first things they can do is stop thinking that it's okay for them to pick up hooker or frequent strip clubs and internet porn. That's where the real problem lies.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with a sister who was very close to my own age and I have few illusions about female "horniness" or the lack thereof.

Teenagers are awash in hormones. They're never closer to the animal world than during that time. What you see males and females doing has crap to do with "patriarchy." They're just displaying whatever the other finds sexually attractive. Girls show their physical assets. Guys fight, play sports, flaunt their cars and stuff to impress.

Same as in "nature." A male who feels like fucking will fight with his rivals in front of his target to show how dominant he is. A female will simply show her backside and move her tail to the side.

Patriarchy shmatriarchy.

The challenge isn't to change the basic instincts, which we probably can't, but to prevent kids from breeding during this dangerous time until their higher brains and sense of judgment have a chance to mature.

Previous generations did this mostly by keeping the sexes apart except under supervision and by imposing drastic social and economic stigmas on unwed sex and procreation. But you all decided that was too controlling of your sexuality (barf).

Currently middle class parents try to keep their kids involved in so many activities that they have far less time for such mischief. That and keeping the carrot of education, success and stuff before their faces at all times.

So what else can you do?

BTW, PK, I replied to your post on the other thread but you have to click Post a Comment in order to see it. The view changes after 200 comments.


PolishKnight said...

Hating consistent paradoxes...

I find V's recent response another example of paradoxical and projection thinking: Possible religious right concerns about Jessica's breasts are a sign of their pruditry, but at the same she bashes young girls for reading cosmo? And she claims it's the evil patriarchy that came up with the madonna/whore complex? When you gals stop saying that it's going to take centuries for women to stop loving the patriarchy so much because of all the oppression you claim patriarchy did towards women, then you'll be in a position to lecture us about pardoxes!

Also, apparently, V's never heard of Dolly Parton. :-)

Richard, there's a saying that girls mature earlier than boys and in many ways it's true. There's a funny Seinfeld episode where Elaine tells a young 14 year old boy at his bar mitzvah that she doesn't really view a man as a man until he's got a great job and a nice car so, at best, sex for young men is purely recreational. For girls, however, they may feel that they can obsess over sex in it's full blown procreative form because they have everything they feel they need to get started. It's also rife in this very blog that all it takes to be a great mother is just squeeze out a kid.

That very notion is dependent upon a patriarchy that produces breadwinner, protective men. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!