Wednesday, September 15, 2010

COMPASSION: DOMESTIC ABUSE AND THE AMERICAN WOMAN



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DOMESTIC ABUSE AND THE AMERICAN WOMAN

Are women expendable and repaceable? Are we just sex objects until we're 25, and then considered over-the-hill and useless? I have spent years mentoring teenage boys and girls, and this seems to be the prevailing viewpoint; this is what they are telling me.

A 7th grade girl at my kids' school was caught in the boys' room performing a sexual act on an 8th grade boy. A gifted young Indian girl has decided to become sexually active because she doesn't think she's pretty (or blonde!) enough to get a boyfriend. All the preteens I know are obsessed with sex, and using language that makes me faint. These kids are aspiring to become lap dancers. When did pole-dancing become a degree-requiring profession! Sex, sex and more sex - this is the prevailing value in our culture these days. Thanks to Britney, Miley, Lindsay, Paris, Kim Kardashian and TMZ! Actually  we must thank MTV and advertising. My motto is: All human suffering is caused by Victoria's Secret! 

That's why I'm trying to become a virgin again in more ways than one. How can you find your soul in a pornographic world? I tell these girls that mystery is appealing; that keeping your clothes on is provocative. We don't need to create any more men of entitlement. There is already an army of men cheating on their wives and using women like paper towels, as Tiger Woods did.

In our culture it seems that women are being sexually objectified more than ever. I am a product of the 80's, and as a sex symbol I had to dumb myself down to fit into Hollywood. I also had to wear short-shorts and skimpy costumes on TV and pose in a sequined bikini to promote Too Close for Comfort.  

We are obsessed with sex in America in a very immature way. We have made something natural seem titillating and taboo because of our Puritan nature. Advertisers jumped on this, seeing the potential in creating a plot to keep women thin and insecure. I am not blaming men for all my problems, but they did invent makeup and war and high heels. Do you know the historical purpose of high heels?  To raise women up for easier insertion!  It's true! I'll tell you the history later.  

My son's friend Tommy, 14, came back from Europe this summer and said the people are so genuine there. He said they seem to value relationships more than "stuff" and looking "hot." My stepson is obsessed with having "cut abs" on Facebook. God Bless him. I have tried to tell him it's inner strength that matters, but he looked at me like I was an alien. 

I have been wondering if the greed era, circa 1980-2008, in which capitalism has been allowed to run amok -- is responsible for creating so many sociopaths and narcissists in our country. What are American values? What do we value?

Please post your opinion for an article I'm writing. Thank you.

More on my personal experiences with domestic violence angle in the next issue.