You know, the older I get, the more I’m convinced I live in a fantasy world.
In this cheery little artificial la-la land where I reside, boys are young knights-in-training and girls are virtuous and feminine. Children do not long for new and creative ways to self-destruct, and they have no wish to create havoc in their parent’s home. And when everyone grows up, they court, get married and have babies (in that order).
People sometimes (with a straight face, mind you) accuse my husband and I of “depriving” or even “abusing” our children by homeschooling them in a rural setting. How, they wonder, will our girls ever adapt to the (cough) “real” world if they don’t have the socialization opportunities of school? What do you mean we don’t have television reception in our home? How will our kids ever learn what kind of behavior is expected of them unless they watch such intellectually lofty programs as “Glee” and “Gossip Girl”?
The implication is because our children are growing up valuing modesty, self-control, honor and self-respect, they are maladjusted little twits who will end up as drooling misguided troglodytes with the collective social skills of, say, wood lice.
Then I see a television program and realize why some people think our parental methods are destructive. We’re raising our girls far, far away from the “real” world.
In the “real” world of modern America, girls are raunchy sexual creatures whose sole purpose from toddler-hood on up is to dress provocatively, adorn their bodies with tattoos, piercings and make-up, and whose sole goal in life, apparently, is to find out how many boys they can bed.
Needless to say, boys respond to this blatant invitation with vulgar abandon. They no longer need to respect girls since, after all, literally nothing stands between a boy’s hormonal urges and completion of the act except for the girl’s virtue. Meaning, nothing.
As a result, courtship has become a prehistoric joke, marriage is frequently optional, and no one waits to have babies any more. (And it’s often insured that pregnancy does not result in a live baby at all.) When a school cancels a formal dance due to slow ticket sales because vulgar “grind” dancing was banned, you know things are bad. (Good for the principal for sticking to his guns.)
Since art reflects life, television shows celebrate these new standards. Or does life reflect art? Do television shows draw their inspiration from peoples’ behavior, or do people behave the way they do because of what they see on television? It’s a circular argument. (See Argument, circular.) But either way, the result is coarseness and vulgarity as the new norm.
Now we learn that television depicts underage girls “in a higher percentage of sexual situations than adult women.”
It’s not enough that women in general are debased on television. Now teenage girls have to be debased at a much higher rate than adults, portrayed as sexual beings utterly devoid of intellect, morals or (gasp) virtues. Presumably this is to get ratings. This is progress?
According to a new study conducted by the Parents Television Council, “Hollywood is shockingly obsessed with sexualizing teen girls, to the point where underage female characters are shown participating in an even higher percentage of sexual situations than their adult counterparts: 47 percent to 29 percent respectively.”
I have teen girls. Two of them. Are you telling me that I have to let them become raunchy little sexpots in order to be “normal” and “fit in” with current society? Gee, and here we thought feminism was supposed to free women from that old stereotypical “sex object” label. Silly me.
Hollywood, the mainstream media and my occasional critic would like to believe we are throwbacks to an earlier era that no longer can (or should) exist. They would like us to think all teens are raunchy, sexual twits.
But they’re wrong.
If people could only stop bathing in the river of slime issuing from mainstream media sources and Hollywood, they might see there’s a whole, huge subculture of teens who are growing up with old-fashioned virtues intact. This subculture is not only alive and well, it’s thriving and growing.
This is good news for the vigilant folks at the Parents Television Council. Unbeknownst to the Hollywood types who control the content of the idiot box, there are millions of people in America who don’t fall for it. There are over 2 million homeschooled children in this nation and many more kids who are educated in private and parochial schools. Most of these children will grow up with the values of their parents intact. They will court, marry and have babies (in that order) and so perpetuate another generation of children practicing the virtues of their families and their God.
If Hollywood could get its collective head out of an unmentionable body part, it might look around and see that there are millions of fresh-faced wholesome young people who deserve an accurate media portrayal of their lifestyles.
But it won’t happen. Wholesome lifestyles don’t make headlines or interesting plot lines. Mainstream people get bored by goodness and godliness. So I guess Hollywood and the media will continue to be locked in an unholy alliance, competing to see who can lower themselves the farthest in the name of culture. And the useful idiots who watch this will continue to criticize those of us who raise our sons and daughters away from the “real” world.
But I would argue that my world is what’s real. The debauched behavior that is so common today is merely a blip on the radar screen of civilization – and it will lead to the same end as Ancient Rome, pre-revolutionary France and the hierarchy of Nazi Germany.
It is the time-tested, morally sound principles by which Real America raises its kids that are “real.” And if you don’t believe me, ask yourself this: What is more likely to produce happy, balanced, contributing adults? The sexual excesses so common in society today? Or the prudish archaic morals and values that keep our children out of the “real” world?
And meanwhile, we “throwbacks” will wait in the wings, quietly raising our children the way we – not Hollywood – see fit.