When did we trade our Barbies for thongs?
So much to rant about and so little time….
Remember the old days? When kids were kids as long as possible and the idea of growing up was a threat we gave to our parents? I do. I was innocent for a long time. I remember finding out about sex from my cousin Terry. I thought she was lying.
I was 12 years old and we had just come home from watching a Pink Panther movie (Peter Sellers not Steve Martin. With all due respect Mr. Martin, Peter Sellers rocked!) We were in the kitchen of our house and we were talking about something or nothing like kids do. And she blurted it out. I think it had something to do with the topic but shock and 30 years have erased the context of the conversation. I remember the shock and disbelief. The worst part was that I had nothing and no one to corroborate her assertion.
So, why the walk down traumatic memory lane? Paul and I have been having discussions concerning the change of society and how our cultures define our experiences. (We’re really deep, I know.) In our day, we could play outside without fear of abduction. We understood physical activity without specifically defining whether we were doing cardio, resistance or core training. We played. We would jump and run and scream without the need for replenishing electrolytes or checking our heart rates. Sports were fun and not a means to an end. And for most of us, puppy love was fleeting and a cute memory.
I am truly concerned with the permissiveness of our culture. We have made boundaries so lax that innocence is confined to infancy and experimentation is the norm. The children are bombarded with sexual images and pressure to be in relationship earlier than we ever were. Parents are forgetting that movies are rated for a reason and excuse a campy comedy as having undertones that kids will miss. Parents, if you learn anything from these posts it’s that KIDS MISS NOTHING! They are picking up innuendos and double entendres but lack the foundation to understand the full meaning. They want to experience things earlier to be part of our society since we place so much value on things like sex, drugs and maturity.
One of the areas of permissiveness is obviously sex. We have redefined sex to be intercourse and everything else seems to be free game (thanks President Clinton!) Even though the average age to lose one’s virginity seems to hover between 16-17, many kids are engaging in oral, anal and mutual masturbation at a much younger age. Then you have same sex experimentation which has taken on a life of its own. In the old days our sexual confusion was something we worked out in our little heads. Now, because of confusion and poorly defined boundaries, you get to sample the faire. However, for many people, that sampling becomes a source of shame and guilt that affects future relationships. It ultimately exacerbates the confusion because, if you haven’t noticed, sex feels good. Sexuality isn’t about what type of sex makes you feel good; it’s about who you relate to.
You have Katy Perry singing “I kissed a girl” but forget that she sleeps with men. It’s become passé and normal but those images stick to our kids. I am not saying anything about homosexuality. I’m talking about BOUNDARIES! They have made girl on girl or guy on guy action a punch line which must be a kick in the pants to all the brave men and women who have worked for equality. There struggles for justice have not been a joke or a dare. For them it’s for keeps. I respect these individuals and know when they see kids “playing gay for a day” or telling people that they are bisexual at the age of 15 (duh, we’re all bi at that age!) that its like having insensitive people go to Black History Month events in black face.