How to take a stand against sexualization

Did you love Little Miss Sunshine? Too funny when (spoiler alert) she does that completely inappropriate stripper dance at the end of the pageant, which her grandfather taught her. Of course, the audience is shocked and her parents are aghast. That, at least, was an appropriate response. Could society have deteriorated so much in just the last few years, that when 7-year-olds do a highly suggestive dance in hooker attire in front of a crowd, the crowd cheers approvingly? Was no one shocked? What is the matter with these people? I guess they wouldn’t have gotten the joke in Little Miss Sunshine. For more on just what exactly is wrong with that video, see the post by Amy Jussel of Shaping Youth.

So instead of posting the video that is so, so wrong, I’m posting this one, because, frankly I’m just tired of being appalled and saddened, and I need to see something positive.

And then, I want to point out a few things to parents who might start to feel that there isn’t much they can do against the onslaught of negative and harmful messages to their children. First, remember that you do have an influence on your own kids, a very powerful influence, even when they become teenagers and peers start to exert a strong pull. So keep talking to them, and make time for them. Sue Scheff says teens want to spend time with their parents, so make sure you are available. If it’s a scary world out there for us, imagine how overwhelmingly confusing and frightening it might be for those who are still growing up.

Second, you can take immediate action on legislation currently making its way through Congress. As I posted previously, Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin has introduced legislation that is intended to help counter the effects on girls of sexualization in the media. The bill would provide funding for research, media literacy education, and to promote “healthy, balanced, and positive images” of girls and women in the media. Read what Melissa Wardy has to say about the bill on her blog, Redefine Girly. And then, get in touch with your representative in Congress and tell him or her that you want this bill passed, because enough is enough.

Click here to find your representative.
You can call, write a letter or email, but a call or a letter arriving by mail gets the most attention.

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