I read about the shock and awe we all feel when we listen to the lyrics of songs our children and grandchildren listen to. The concepts and the raw language we are subjected to are common fare everywhere on television, on MTV, on comedy shows, in movies.
We live in a world that has blurred all lines between adult fiction, and smut. Even very alert parents will not be alert enough to catch all that is going on. I remember when we screened what our children were exposed to. All of us did. Once, when my baby was very little, and I was still nursing her, we took her to see a rated R cartoon. I forgot the name of it; but we were refused entrance because of the child; and we sheepishly left, went home, and swore to ourselves we'd be better parents.
We are losing that battle. My concern is how our girls view their roles, or are coerced to take up roles to be popular, to remain in the group, to appear 'with it'.
I like Dr. Mary Pipher's thesis in Reviving Ophelia, a New York Times Bestsellers for years. She studied the problems girls are having with depression, anorexia, suicide attempts, and connects them to the way girls see their roles represented in the culture. Girls continue to struggle to find their true selves, playing different roles for different people and feeling as though their lives do no matter any more unless they please others, unless they look a certain way, unless they have certain things.
We all need to become advocates for healthy life styles, and healthy relationships. We must speak out whenever and where-ever we see sick practices.
The poisoning starts in adolescence and doesn't end there.
I read blogs of adult women still trying to be 'good', 'non-complaining', 'cheerful'. We are not fictional characters, people. We are made of flesh, blood, bones that break, muscles that ache, and are surrounded by families who, without skipping a beat, have enjoyed Mother in the role of the Martyr. Mothers have accepted such roles and feel guilty for not having achieved Sainthood, or lost enough weight to look as they did when they were in high school, or control every single drama life throws at the family. We are socialized to be everything to everybody.
Feminists, where have you gone? Why aren't educators doing more? Why are we not promoting mental health?