Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Their Mess, Not Ours

Echidne of the Snakes, a feminist, economist, martial artist, beautiful woman and wonderful person, in her blog today is outraged about the common assignation of responsibility for dealing with the country's sexual distortions to girls and women, while simultaneously noting their origins elsewhere. An NPR show offended her: (Post: 'Selling Youth Sexuality')

She's right, of course. The logical conclusion would be that it's others' job to recognise the existence of the mess in the first place, and its origins, and demand that it be cleaned up.

I'm just an old fuddy-duddy, i guess, but I'm increasingly flabbergasted by the evolution in girls' clothing, sometimes quite young girls' clothing, towards ridiculous sexual extremes, the Halloween costumes, front/back cleavage and so on, the exaltation of movie/celebrity/popstar/models as role models, and the simultaneous demand that girls/women deal proactively with the consequences, as if it's All Their Fault. A useful comparison is the boys' embrace of athletes and pop stars who, er, don't always exhibit model conduct towards women, with little if any questioning of that.

My daughters deal with all that, as they do with all the baggage of coming of age anyway. Went to a couple of school-sponsored father/daughter dances with 'em. Some of the girls came in entirely remarkable ensembles, took pictures with their dads. The little strumpets...

All of which said, far too much of all this is, in fact, about the fact that all too often, all we seem to know how to do interpersonally and socially in this country these days is buy and sell, and there's indeed a price to be paid for that. Milton Friedman famously said that the only social responsibility of a corporation is to make a profit. That could be questioned even for corporations. Many say pretty much the same about individuals. That's not only questionable; it's outright obscene.

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