Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How they're done wrong

Robin Summerfield reviews Jean Kilbourne's new book in the Calgary Herald, So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids. I've ranted before (here, too) about sexualizing childhood (it's not new) and agree that as parents there is much to be done to ensure children are able to play with toys that don't "eroticize shopping early on". Consume, consume consume. A commenter to the article asserts:

It's the parents that buy into this, a preschooler does not walk into a store and slap down her credit card. I am raising two daughters without resorting to buying them these stupid dolls, and they are very aware of the sexualization issue, we discuss it frankly. They know how badly skewed advertising is and how retouched the photos in magazines are, and they choose to believe beauty is as beauty does.
It's true, it is indeed parents who influence, educate, and provide entertainment to kids (It's not just girls that are impacted by sexy little girl dolls. Boys are given the message that girls are sex objects and need these issues address as much as girls do). Sheltering kids is not the only way to deal with the issue. But for families where parents do not provide this guidance, are sexed-up 12 year old big headed sleeze balls something children should be able to resist on their own? Are they safe to be on television in homes where programs aren't monitored? What about censoring by networks? If parents don't say no and change the channel, who is held accountable? Scholastic has pulled Bratz doll ["those ubiquitous half-naked, big-eyed, pouty-lipped plastic dolls, a tarty Barbie replacement for seven- to 10-year-olds weaned on a star-studded TV diet laden with celebutantes like Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears."] books from the discount catalogue. I disagree with the pejorative headline tag word, "BANNED". Scholastic acted in response to angered parents. The books aren't BANNED in the schools, they're just not offered at discounted prices. Cudos to Scholastic. Action works. Revolution revises.

37 comments:

Lisa @ Corporate Babysitter said...

Ahh! A rational response to the Bratz censorship fiasco! Thank you!

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