Friday, April 6, 2012

What We're "Supposed" to Be...

This is apparently the week of various things that I see in the mainstream media bothering me until I write a blog post about them to get the bubbling over ideas (and annoyance) out of my system.  Here's the inspiration for my latest unstoppable train of thought:

A few days ago I had a rare moment when I actually was able to turn on the morning news for a few minutes and watch a couple stories while picking up toys in the living room.  On came a story about that young bride who was paralyzed at her bachelorette party, and I'll admit, whenever her story comes on I'm instantly sucked in, because what happened was so sad and yet her attitude through it all has been determined and cheerful and I love seeing how far she's come.  This time they showed her standing with help and I smiled and went about cleaning, listening as one of the interviews began talking with her about what she's working on at the moment.

Talk turned to her book, and the interviewer gushed about how much she loved the working title, which was then revealed.  The title, Hot, Sexy and Rollin on 24s, made me pause, but as the description of the book continued, I felt a sadness slip over me, for both the young woman who was talking about her topic, the reporter who was excitedly asking questions, and for women and girls everywhere who have been brought up to believe that their main value in this life worth is their sex appeal.  This beautiful and strong young woman went on to talk about how you can still be sexy and confident in a wheel chair.

We've spent a couple decades now telling young women that they can be anything that they want to be, while simultaneously having a culture that demonstrates that what they most should want to be is brimming with sex appeal.  We've embraced the mentality that turns women and sex into a commodity and we think it means that we're free from some old-fashioned constraints that have gone out of style.  And then we wonder why men don't treat us with respect.

Sure, two wrongs doesn't make a right, but we've raised up a new generation of men who have been saturated with images of women in highly sexualized outfits and poses.  Is it any wonder that they view women differently then their predecessors or act in a drastically less respectful manner.  They've been raised looking at images that tell them that women are made for pleasure and little else.  And there is something very wrong with that.

It's sad that a young woman, who's so amazing and strong, feels the need to write a book telling the entire world that she's still sexy, rather than sharing the incredible well spring of strength that has propelled her on from a horrible accident into the present (I do hope her book contains that too, it's just too bad that being "sexy" is the main focus).  

Let's teach our daughters to be strong and kind and good.  Let's tell them their beautiful and smart.  But let's throw out this notion that women are supposed to parade their sex appeal down the street on a daily basis, and that their worth is somehow damaged if the whole world doesn't think they're "sexy."


  1. I dunno, sex appeal has a certain intrinsic value, though I find myself to be a classicist on the subject, so most of the modern "sexy" is just trashy to me. You don't need to be showing so much cleavage that your bra is showing and a skirt that practically counts as a belt to be sexy. It's a lot about attitude, propriety, and nice dresses. But I digress, and hapen to be one of those new generation of men.

    Difference between me and Paulie D? I know hot to not be an ass about it.

  2. I've known young women who, after each child, starved and worked out frantically to restore their near perfect figures as if they might lose their husbands if they ceased to be that perfect 10 they were at the wedding.

    I compare that fear with my sense of security in the love of my husband where the c-section scars don't matter, and he is pleased with me as long as I am healthy and happy.

    I agree with your article very much!

  3. Ann--I've heard of women whose husbands put in the PRE-NUP that gaining more than a certain amount of weight was grounds for a divorce.

    And they say gay marriage will ruin society...

    Zachary--I agree that sex appeal does have a certain value, but there's a lot to be said for leaving something to the imagination! You know who I found absolutely sexy? The old actresses back in the day like Katharine Hepburn. Pure class.


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