Friday, November 02, 2007


I read this article from yesterday's WSJ while I ate breakfast this morning and it soured my stomach. I am so angry about it it brings tears to my eyes. I'm not sure why I'm reacting so strongly to this. Maybe because I also have three daughters.

It's about the whole casual s*x thing. How teenagers are ditching homecoming and the like for hanging out in dark basements. The demise of romance and chivalry.

This enraged me:

"Young women are longing for romance," says Laura Sessions Stepp, author of "Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue S*x, Delay Love and Lose at Both." She interviewed girls who considered it empowering to be dismissive of romance and casual about s*x. Later, many were beset with regrets.
Obviously, boys no longer have to call girls on Wednesday for a Saturday date. Now, college boys seeking weekend ho*kups send girls "U busy?" text messages at 2 or 3 a.m., and girls routinely rouse themselves and go, according to Ms. Stepp's research. Many girls spend the next day clutching their cellphones, waiting in vain for the boy to call.

Why in heaven's name would he call? The girl just demonstrated that she has zero sense of self worth. It would be more empowering for her to take money for such an act.

On the one hand I'd like to take these girls by their shoulders, shake them and yell, "Why are you so stupid?" On the other hand, I feel sympathy for them that their options are so bad, that's the choice they go with. It angers me very much that pop culture is telling them that ho*kups are empowering. I can't imagine anything more degrading. At least, I can't imagine anything more degrading that is put out there as acceptable and even normal. As in, there is something wrong with you if you have a problem with ho*kups.

I thought I would feel better after posting about it. Maybe I do a little bit, but not much.


ave said...

The article is a wake up call, unfortunately the ones who need it will not be reading the w.s.j.
If mothers are going to buy their 5 yr olds thong underwear, sweatpants with writing that says "cutie" on the butt, and dolls that look like street walkiing tr@mps, then these girls have little chance of acting decent I think.

ave said...

I guess what I mean is that our society is training girls from an early age to prepare to act badly.

Calandria said...

Yes, I agree. But the worst is that society trains girls to act in ways that will make them very unhappy. Like going to service some guy at 2 am in answer to his text message. Yup, that's women's lib right there.

Auntie Lee said...

In America people still believe that marrying well will get them out of their problems. They still belive knights and shining armours.
The s*x bit is only a manifestation of a larger problem. Here in this country young women have s*x as much or more than American young women but getting an education and learning to be independent first is a higher priority here. Women who start college usually finish. In comparison to the U.S. there is extremely low teen pregnancies but the pop culture is the same. Americans also do not attempt to learn from other cultures like they do here. That is not to say there are no problems here - there sure are - but pop culture is only a part of a larger cultural problem and some of those problems are much smaller here than there. So I guess the question should be why is that?

Calandria said...

When I lament the demise of romance and chivalry, I'm not talking about knights in shining armor. I'm talking about respect and courtesy. Decency. I'm also talking about the excitement of falling in love and hopefully finding someone you can share the rest of your life with--not that that is going to solve all your problems. Some people may think that it does, but that is an entirely different issue.

I think most young women do want romance and I don't see that there is anything wrong with that. I don't believe that is incompatible with planning for a career and pursuing higher education. They are not mutually exclusive.

I can't believe that a young woman would prefer skulking off to service some jerk in his dorm room to having a respectful young man take her out on a legitimate date. Why has that gone out of style? Why are these young women choosing such debasing behavior?

athena said...

if that text message was ever made to one of my daughter's cell i would answer it by turning up with a gun and pointing it to his privates.

athena said...

the problem with homecoming in the first place is that you can't go to one unless you have a date. it seems to be that way with most everything. francoise wanted to invite some of her friends over home. most of her friends are guys and one of them is a mormon. his reply was that he will ask his mother because he had never been asked on a date before. francoise scoffed at him and said it wasn't a date, but hanging out with friends the way they do at school. this dating thing is really weird.

athena said...

one more comment. :)

i don't understand this dating thing of boy with girl, girl with boy. the parents in our ward preach about it all the time and yet their own daughters are driving to seminary alone with boys and vice versa. one father asked if i wanted his son to pickup my daughter for seminary every morning. that's one thing olivier and i will not do -- be in a car alone with someone of the opposite sex that isn't our spouse (or very close family).

Calandria said...

Athena, it would just be another Charlie's Angels opportunity for us. :-)

I can see why you are confused by the whole "dating" thing. It is an obsolete U.S. custom that I don't think was practiced in other countries. Most of the church members with teenagers Francoise's age are from a generation that really dated. The guy asked the girl out to dinner, dance, movie or what have you. The guy came over and picked the girl up in his car and off they went. In our church, teenagers have been discouraged from this one-on-one dating until they are sixteen. Now, of course, no one "dates," but the parents are still looking for ways to enforce the no dating rule. It's weird.

I think you are right that it's lame to make Homecoming a couples-only event. Around here, dances are getting cancelled because kids are boycotting the no-freak dance (simulated s*x on the dance floor) rule.

Our church dances in this area are hugely popular. Lots of kids go who are not members of the church and they have a lot of fun. However, I really wish we did dances here like they do in Mexico where they are family events. The dance styles are so much more fun, too.

My problem is not with kids not dating in high school, as the guy who wrote the article complains. I wouldn't want them to anyway. What scares me is that teenagers older people in their twenties are having very unhealthy, degrading interaction and this is seen as normal and desirable.

athena said...

What scares me is that teenagers older people in their twenties are having very unhealthy, degrading interaction and this is seen as normal and desirable.

you're right, that kind of behaviour degrading. and i agree about making dances a family event.

athena said...

one more thought and i promise i will shut up. :) i was thinking about this the other week when montse wrote about immodesty using britney spears and madonna as examples and fearing for her daughters because of these examples. for some reason this article and britney spear's immodesty don't worry me as much. maybe my head is in la-la land but i tend to think of these examples as extreme cases. britney spears is a trashy example for immodesty so our children don't go there. i wrote on montse's blog that when it comes to immodesty how i'm more concerned with subtly. by that i meant classier ladies and admiring their beautiful dresses. their dresses are beautiful but are still not appropriate for an LDS woman to wear. so while this article is degrading and disconcerting, i'm at peace knowing that while it does happen, i know my children won't go there. i hope this doesn't make me sound like an ignorant mother.

Calandria said...

No, I don't think that sounds ignorant at all. And I don't worry that my daughters would be involved in something like this. Maybe what is really making me angry is that girls out there are falling for this. For some reason that is enough to make me livid.

The only thing that used to bug me in college (this sure seems mild in comparison!) is that the women used to cook all the time for the men. I found that so annoying. They would use their cooking skills to attract men! They would spend all this time cooking and then an apartment full of boys would come over, gobble it up, and take off. There was something so pathetic about it. None of my roommates did that but I knew of others who did.

athena said...

if the young ladies enjoy doing it then crudos to them. i know i wouldn't do it but then i know married ladies who do that and invite others to come gobble their food. which will bring me to my next gripe about american culture. you invite a family over and they eat and then leave, which is why we prefer inviting french families. we hardly see each other but when we do we stay to enjoy each other's company for a long time. it's like being with family.

boy, what a tangent i go on! :)

Julie said...

Thank you. Excellent article for discussion -- especially with youth.

That is really, really sad, isn't it? It will be good to make our own children well aware of the problems out there and encourage them to do what is right!

Julie said...

Now that I've taken time to go back and read everyone's comments I just want to say you have made some very good points. Thanks again!