Girls and Dolls

My little sister Lisa and I had a real little girlhood thanks to Mom.

I feel sorry for little girls today who are expected to leave childhood behind in about first grade. There’s not much room for innocence these days.

Ten years ago, our older daughter Mary came home from her private Christian school at age 6 and announced that her new friend had the Backstreet Boys on the cover of her notebooks and folders and asked if she could please have some, too. (She had no idea who the Backstreet Boys were, but wanted to be like her friend.) The boy band du jour was apparently considered essential for first grade girls’ school supplies. (This fall they were selling pink notebooks with the terms “Eye Candy” and “Love  Muffin” on them.)

Marketers came up with the clever term “tween” for purposes of making money. It’s what we once called childhood. Little girls are expected to dump their baby dolls by kindergarten and buy Slutty Barbie and Smokin’ Hot Ken dolls. Or maybe just the ugly and appropriately named Bratz dolls with their little hipster clothes and attitude. By age 7 or 8,  it’s time to actually dress like Slutty Barbie, which explains the summer clothing items, and I do use the term loosely, hitting the racks this spring in the girls’ department.

My mother didn’t have any use for Barbies for little girls. Not having a television when we were little, we weren’t inundated with ads promoting what everybody else was getting, so we didn’t miss them. At a school gift exchange once I got a cheap Barbie knock-off, but lacking any Barbie stuff, I was uncertain what to do with the skinny, straw-haired creature with the big bust. I don’t know what happened to it.

I had a sole baby doll for several years when I was little. Her name was Sally, and I lost her in a park in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was a very traumatic event for me, and I still remember the horror of not being able to find her anywhere. Mom replaced her in the toy department of the JC Penney at Capitol Court shopping center. Not having a room full of dolls, shopping for a new doll was a big deal to me.

I’ll never forget how thrilled I was to look into the glass case ( they kept the dolls in a glass case which made them seem even more special) to pick one out with Mom’s help. I spotted the lost Sally’s replacement immediately. She was a sweet baby doll lying on a white blanket trimmed with pink and white gingham ruffles. That’s the one I brought home.

When I loved a doll, I really loved her. Nobody else’s doll could take her place. Some friends of our family once delivered a huge box of battered toys and broken crayons from their 5 kids who had all outgrown them. I remember seeing some very rough looking dolls in the box, the objects of some other little girls’ affections. They weren’t for me, as they had already lived out their dolls’ lives. With eyes askew, hair half shaven off, minus any clothing, they couldn’t touch my heart. It was already taken by my new Sally doll, clean and pristine in her pink and white blanket.

When I was nine or so, I got a wonderful surprise. I may have loved Sally, but by then, my heart was capable of adding one more. I got a Crissy doll for Christmas. She was the size of a real nine-month-old and you could pull a long pony tail of red hair out of the center of her head. I was enchanted. Sally gained a sister that Christmas Eve, and Crissy and I had many hours of fun. Lisa got one just like it the next Christmas and named her Carrie. We played house for hours on end.

Girls are wearing make-up now at an age when I still enjoyed dolls. Little girls have their own pop celebrities they follow, wear fake tattoos, talk about their boyfriends and message each other about the latest gossip. Looking “hot” is a grave concern for little girls at an age when my sister and I were still oblivious to the concept. I pity little girls, some of whom will never have many memories of that time “before”—before advertisers ruled childhood, before the male-female dynamic and peer tyranny filled their thoughts night and day, before celebrity freaks in the music world and Hollywood imposed their values or lack of them.

Is it possible to provide a real little girlhood today? I would say yes, but only if you’re prepared to really fight for it. The power of peer pressure is toxic from an early age now. For that reason, Tom and I feel strongly about kind of influences we want Emily to have, and what kind we do not want her to have. Popular media is the enemy of innocence and little girlhood. Advertisers and show producers are only going to continue stooping lower and lower to make a buck. To put it bluntly, that trash is not welcome in our home, because it is antithetical to the values we are trying to instill.

Parenthetically, I stood at a store the other day and observed that Cosmopolitan magazine is now directly at eye level for little ones. “30 Sex Moves” said one headline. “Woman on Top” said another. I felt a slow burning rage hit me at what we have allowed our culture to become. How many children had read those headlines standing there while tired, complacent parents just shoved their stuff onto the conveyor belt to get home. It makes me sick to my stomach, because I have a little girl who deserves a childhood, and shopping with her mother shouldn’t be the enemy of her innocence.

Our girls will only have a chance at self-respect, decency and every other virtue if we are willing to carve out a safe space for them to be little for a while, jettison the entertainment media and toys that teach them wrong (yes, wrong) values and actively protect them from a culture that devours little girls and spits them out.

Emily is very interested in babies right now. She has a baby doll and a bottle with fake milk that she plays with a great deal. The doll fell out of her arms today and I saw her stoop down and carefully kiss the doll’s head. “It’s OK,” she murmered tenderly. “I take you to the doctor and get medicine.” Atta girl, Emmy. Enjoy your little girlhood while you can.

Women for Sale – Cheap

Explaining modesty, as the report says, as being ‘no longer a virtue in contemporary society’ the annual Romance Report by publisher Harlequin showed a clear focus on technology’s involvement in romance today in both the survey’s themed questions and results. From the article, New Study Reveals Increasing Number of Women ‘Sexting’

What`s love got to do, got to do with it
What`s love but a sweet old fashioned notion
What`s love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken…

~Tina Turner, pop song from the 80’s

The continuing collapse of Western culture is nowhere more evident than in the shambolic state of women today. There is a UK newspaper that reports continually on the new breed of female teacher/predators who target young boys for sexual thrills, leaving damaged and ruined lives in their wake. There are so many stories like this that it feels surreal to scan headlines anymore. It’s like a tidal wave of debauchery has swept over our country, with women at the leading edge.

Women are now, according to a new study, sending naked photos of themselves, over their cell phones at a startling rate. We’re not talking about 15-year-olds here, we’re talking about grown women. (Perhaps that’s where the teen girls got the idea?) Whether you are 60 or 6, the mantra of the New Millennium Woman is “work it, baby!”

As a member of Generation X, I stare around in bewilderment sometimes. The Baby Boomer females were the women who were declaring their total liberation from male “oppression”, getting abortions when they conceived children in their newly liberated state, burning their female undergarments and claiming the ultimate triumph of women over men. They were women, they said, and everyone was supposed to hear them roar.They were no longer just going to be toys for boys, no more staying at home to rear children, it was all going to be a new world with she-warriors über alles.

I once babysit for a very strange household of liberal academics. There were 3 adults in the house, and only later did my innocent teen mind slowly realize that the dynamics were not normal, to put it kindly. One night I was browsing the bookshelves of the house for reading material when I pulled out a black  book of feminist poetry.

“Eve stands for evil,
God stands for good,
So much for male, patriarchal authority…”

The poetry went downhill from there. The hippies I was babysitting for were the archetypal feminists, shunning make-up, with long stringy hair, the radical UK magazine Prime Rib on the burlap covered coffee table. There wouldn’t have been any sexting in that household.

My generation of females seemed to have lost that feminist vision somewhere in the 80’s. “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was on the radio, pink hair and florescent gel wrist bands were in. Madonna showed up on the scene, and flaunted sexuality became the norm in teen music and film. The Prime Rib crowd seemed a long ways away.

Fast forward to today’s young girls who are sending naked photos of themselves in middle school, while their 40 and 50-something mothers are getting injected with toxins and having surgery to maintain their “hot” looks, Their mothers have, after all, their own provocative photos to send to their latest “boyfriends.”

The term “cougar” was coined to describe older women going after young men in movies. The idea has now been applied at a very local level like the Christian school rocked by the pervert female charged with sex abuse of her young male student. Cougars. Real progress, women.

It isn’t hard to diagnose the problem. Erase God and His laws from the homes of America, deny His image stamped on humanity, take His gift of sexuality and tear it away from the marriage covenant, descend to the level of beasts of the field in living by your glands, and you will achieve the smoking ruins around us.

I don’t care if I offend any feminist reading this post. What has happened to womanhood is a tragedy and an outrage. I admire men and the masculine traits that set them apart. But I love being female, because I believe that we bring something unique and equally special to the world. By nature, God made us more nurturing, more gentle, and those emotions females are often criticized for are what make the world a habitable place. We have the “feel” of a situation that men often lack. That’s because God gave that intuitive gift to women. The world would be a bleak, utilitarian place without it.

The protective instincts, the tenderness and love of a woman is something that make a home what God intended. Whether or not you have children or a husband, a woman brings beauty and love and care to others that men simply cannot duplicate. Because they are men.

To see a nation of girls and grown women turn themselves into sleazy p-rno pin-ups, aborting the children of their wombs for convenience, surgically altering their bodies to suit some fake celebrity ideal, spending hours texting and tweeting sexy pics and behaving like empty-headed bimbos is sickening. It’s a perversion of God’s design, and our society is paying an enormous and unaffordable price for it–because our daughters are watching and emulating what we do. And one glance at the headlines will show how well they are doing with this brave new world.

Girls are led to believe being loved, the word so cheaply thrown around by teens today, is provoking a lustful response in males. They are being lied to by every aspect of our culture, and often in their own homes by parents who fail to truly love each other. Girls are used up and discarded like trash, many arriving at Tina Turner’s jaded conclusion by the time they are in high school. (“What’s love got to do with it?) Being a sexual provocateur is considered arriving at your female destiny, and God help the girl who isn’t considered “hot” enough to be “loved.”

I tremble to be raising daughters in this climate. We mothers and also fathers need to do whatever we can to protect our girls from the mindset of the age. One of the best ways to do that is to model for our children true love in our marriages that allows us to find the full and healthy expression of our gender according to God’s perfect plan.

I intend to write more on this in the near future.