Little girls skanked up by their parents in pushup bras, high heels, and underwear stamped “who needs credit cards,” and t-shirts for kids that say “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels…”
Not to mention kiddie bikini waxes, toddler tramp stamps…..
How can this even be a debate? Apparently the sexualization of little girls is the newest frontier in the “liberation” of feminist sexuality.
There was a brilliant commentary on CNN about the issue (thank you LZ Granderson for your insights….)
More than 4,000 comments were thrown in reaction to his thoughts on sexualizing young girls. I was surprised how heated the debate got. I was sad that there is even the slightest bit of room FOR a debate about the issue. After disturbing comments excusing this behavior, I would like to comment on a rebuttal I found on: http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/564926/cnn_polices_little_girls_for_dressing_like_’tramps’/
(italics are copied and pasted directly from Melissa McEwan’s comments. Items in bold are from me:
1. Scolding “parents” for their children’s clothing is effectively, by virtue of how most families still work, scolding mothers. There are, of course, two-father families, single father families, and two opposite-sex parent families with stay-at-home dads or dads who do the clothes shopping for kids, but in the vast majority of households, mothers are the primary purchaser of children’s clothing and are primarily responsible for getting kids dressed every day. AND? Does it matter who we’re ‘scolding?’ This issue isn’t a judgment on the family structure. It’s an issue of protecting little girls from becoming sexual objects. I don’t read LZ’s comments as an assault on mothers. True love sets boundaries and limits, and does not enable crazy behavior (or style of dress).
2. This article would be garbage in any case, but it is even more garbagey by virtue of its utter failure to acknowledge the difficulty of finding a variety of clothing styles for young girls in department stores. If you live in a small town with one department store or Wev-Mart, you’re stuck with whatever they put on their shelves, unless you’ve got the time and talent to make your kids’ clothes. The internet has opened up options a bit, but if you’re shopping on a budget, it can still be difficult to find variety at low cost. I’m sorry, but this comment makes me really cringe. I’ve shopped in small towns. I’ve driven through tiny villages. There is NO way the only options for dressing small children is sexy clothing. Whatever happened to jeans and a t-shirt? And I’m not following why the article would be “garbage” in “any case”…? So the argument here is that parents “need” to over-sex their children’s appearance because there’s absolutely NO other options? What is the lesson we are teaching our kids here?
3. Families who can’t afford new clothes for their kids are dependent on whatever’s being gifted or whatever they find at second-hand stores. Shaming “parents” without a caveat to acknowledge how many US kids wear hand-me-downs is absurd. Find me a family who’s ONLY options for hand-me-downs and second hand clothing is super sexy styles. I’d really like to know if this is true and what a family’s experience with this is. In my brain, this sounds like an excuse.
4. How girls dress would be moot if we didn’t live in a culture that sexually objectified female people. And that’s ultimately my biggest problem with this article: It tasks individual parents with the impossible challenge of successfully navigating a systemic dilemma. Don’t dress your daughters in a way that will make people look at them in a way no one should be looking at them in the first place. You can blame the system, you can blame the government, you can blame society for creating a culture, but at the end of the day- parents are the one making the CHOICE. I would suggest that it is on the parents to choose appropriate clothing for their children, regardless of what cultural ‘norms’ dictate.
To the author: I would implore you to speak with adult women who have come out of an oversexualized childhood. Talk to us. Look at the patterns we’ve lived throughout our lives. Look at our brokenness. Listen to our stories.
My wish now as an adult woman is that someone would have come to my defense as a child when I did not have the information or the ability to choose for myself.
I will not make the same mistake.