Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The State of Girlhood

My heart breaks at articles like this and this (warning: descriptive content). So many little girls have lost, or perhaps never experienced, the privilege and joy of being just that: an innocent young girl. They are merely victims of a culture gone mad. Really, when we take a good hard look at what we feed our children—the entertainment we offer, the playthings we buy, the role models we uphold—what can we expect? Likewise, how can we encourage our little girls to be "sexy", teaching them to "flaunt what they've got", and then be surprised at the amount of child molestation and sexual abuse that goes on?

Little girls—and their present, future, and eternal happiness—are very, very close to my heart. Maidenhood—and all the purity, loveliness, innocence, wonder, and charm that goes with it—must not be lost. And this is precisely why I distribute a special book for young girls through my movement.

In contemplating all of these thoughts today, I went running to one of my favorite books: The Privilege of Being a Women by Dr. Alice von Hildebrand. This little book is brimming with pearls of wisdom...

"The fearful sexual decadence that we have witnessed in the course of the last forty years can be traced back, at least in part, to the fashion world's systematic attempt to eradicate in girls the 'holy bashfulness' which is the proper response that women should give to what is personal, intimate, and calls for veiling."

"The fashions of the day are all geared toward destroying women's sensitivity for the dignity of their sex... The state of our contemporary society sheds light on the fact that when women 'no longer know how to blush,' it is a portent that this society is on the verge of moral collapse."

"If little girls were made aware of the great mystery confided to them, their purity would be guaranteed. The very reverence which they would have towards their own bodies would inevitably be perceived by the other sex. Men are talented at reading women's body language... Perceiving women's modesty, they would take their cue and, in return, approach the female sex with reverence, instead of with today's brutal irreverence which unleashes lust and impurity."

The state of romance today is a troubling one because the state of womanhood and of girlhood is a troubling one. I'm not saying that the pervasive misunderstanding and abuse of human sexuality is all our fault, or that men bear no part of the guilt. We both do. But we women have to come to grips with and teach our young girls this simple truth: we can't hope for or demand respect when we don't have it for ourselves.

A maiden of 1902... and today


Alice Gunther said...

All so sadly true. As a mother of six daughters, this issue is on my mind everyday.

The comparison of the two photos is particularly astonishing given the resemblance of the two girls. It almost looks like the same child.

Anonymous said...

The stark contrast is astonishing! The first little girl looks sweet, happy, pretty, and full of innocence (like she should be)…the second, tainted and provocative…the innocence gone at probably about 10 or 11! How sad…
What happened to little girls dressing like princesses and enjoying their girlhood…our culture has first stripped women of her dignity and now little girls…
And the root cause? Abortion, the murder of the innocent…in their pain woman have degraded themselves, and let others use them…and it just continues the cycle - immodesty, lust, impurity, abortion…
May life once again be given dignity and honor! May this be our prayer and our passion!

deb said...

Even the stance of the second girl seems provacative. What parent in their right mind would allow their daughters to pose like that?

One of the many reasons that we homeschool is to protect my two daughters innocence. I briefly had my second son in public school during the fifth grade. Girls that age were asking boys to date and getting emotionally upset by breakups!

Because my oldest daughter-11-is not exposed to that atmosphere, she has time to develop a passion for piano and reading. This might be hard if everyone around her was trying to get her to feel abnormal because she wasn't allowed to date in the sixth grade!

Sylvia said...

How sad...we see true femininity butchered every day in our culture.

I will have to check out that book; it sounds quite good!!


Taylor said...

True and very sad.