Despite my best efforts, time continues its relentless, methodical march forward. My baby girl is another year older.
This week has been pretty emotional already. We said goodbye to our new Marine once again as he went back to begin specialized weapons training and then off to his Amphibious Assault Vehicle School. We won’t see him again until Christmas—hopefully.
As we watched him walk away, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the little five-year-old that wanted me to play Star Wars with him. In the blink of an eye he became a man.
So when my daughter’s birthday hit, I was incredibly sensitive to the feeling of time quickly slipping away.
I look at her now and see the adult that she will one day be. I can still see traces of that cute, little baby she was, however that is all but shadow now. She is growing up to be a beautiful young woman.
And as that march continues forward I find myself becoming very aware of the culture that we live in, this culture that continues to debase and degrade women. In many cases our society celebrates young girls and women. I think about phrases like “Girl Power” and it makes me smile because I know that my daughter really could do anything in our country.
Look back to the last election. Say what you will about Sarah Palin and Hillary Rodham Clinton but the fact that we had two strong female candidates for President of the United States was a huge teachable moment in our family. We did not let that go by unnoticed to our daughter. The lesson she took away from that was she really could be President if she desired so.
I love that about us! I love that there are so many strong female role models for my daughter. I love that she can look around her and see her mother and aspire to be her. I love that she doesn’t have to depend on a man to do anything that she wants in life. I love that she has opportunities that many would dream of in life. I love those things because I love her.
But let’s not kid ourselves. It’s not all peachy out there for young girls/women today. According to The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, The White House Council on Women and Girls, And the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women,
One in six women and one in 33 men will be sexually assaulted during the course of their lifetime. However incidents of sexual violence remain the most underreported crimes in the United States, and survivors who disclose their victimization—whether to law enforcement or to family and friends—often encounter more adversity than support.
We live in a culture that continually praises women and lifts them up with one side of its mouth and with the other tears them down and paints them as nothing more than playthings for men. Don’t believe me? Think I’m being over protective?
Look at the porn industry.
In 2007 CBS news show “60 Minutes” did a segment on the porn industry in the United States. It reported that porn is an estimated 10 BILLION dollar industry! It is so prevalent and accepted in today’s society that big name brands like General Motors, Marriot, and Time Warner are raking in the bucks peddling erotica to a hungry audience.
10 Billion dollars spent on a product that claims to help marriages but does nothing but degrades women. It reduces them to fantasy toys for the pleasure of men. I abhor what pornography does to people and marriages and specifically women.
Watch a Hardee’s commercial. They have the women eating a burger as if she were making love to it. Advertisers use body parts to entice people into buying a product that most often has nothing to do with the commercial.
And THE one that drives me to a wall punching fury is the retail industry. We walk into a store to buy our daughter clothes and we search and search and search for something she can wear because apparently all the retailers are interested in is making my daughter look like a whore. Shorts that scarcely cover her underwear are available for girls that are barely out of their toddler years, midriff shirts designed to sexual children are everywhere!
Abercrombie & Fitch even has a push up bikini top made for seven-year-olds!
What is going on?!?
When did it become ok to turn our little girls into prostitutes?
When did it become ok to parade girls around like they are for sale?
And when did we parents allow this happen?
I don’t blame companies for trying to make money, I blame parents for being too weak to stand up and say “NO”! I blame us. It’s our fault. If we decide that our daughters will not participate in this culture it won’t happen.
When I think about these companies and commercials and industries in light of my daughter, I feel like putting on some MMA gloves and throwing haymakers! She is far too precious to be subjected to such filth and she is much too valuable to be degraded to a pervert’s plaything.
I would bet you feel the same about your daughter.
Stop what you’re doing and look at your daughter. If she’s not with you, look at her picture or just think about her. No matter how old she is, she will never cease to be your baby girl. No matter where you are in life you will never stop wanting to protect her. No matter where she goes you will never stop loving her.
She’s your daughter.
Isn’t she worth fighting for?