Children and The New Sexualized Medias of Popular Culture

I wanted to write a little in response to the growing concern over raising children in our ever changing sensationalistic culture, I would like to share with you all because I love and highly esteem all the children we walk with, we share existence with, those we are so blessed to be parents and caretakers of, those who are our friends our companions, the next generation.

Recently I was on the phone with a long time friend, and she was speaking to me about many of the difficulties in her life as of the present, my heart went out to her, and soon I began to realize that not only had the difficulties influenced her as a parent, but that her children were also a part of the ongoing discussion of them, and that they were listening to her speak to me on the phone. Necessarily, we as parents must express and dialogue about our issues with other adults, yes, it is essential to have sounding boards. I know at times I feel, that “Oh, he will just be in his child bubble and not feel what I am feeling or speaking about, and it wont bother him ” Other times I rationalize myself further away from my responsibility as a parent, thinking “Well he needs to experience healthy adult dialogue so he learns himself how to be deal with difficulty.”  However through out all the books I have read on child development, specifically within the framework waldorf education, like Rahima Baldwin and others, the way children carry the heaviness of the modern world and adult culture is very interesting, they do not carry it the way that we as adults do.
I will try to bring this to a conclusion quickly. (I did not succeed in bringing it quickly to a conclusion)
The child is best when he is certain of his life, 100% certain that he/she is in the right place, that everything is in its right place, that the universe is moving beautifully and perfectly, and cradling him.

A good example is as follows, there were twin girls and both their parents had passed away, they were being cared for by their uncle and by their grandmothers,  it was discovered that the uncle was sexually abusing them, one of the young girls went to one grandmother and the other went to the other grandmother. The first grandmother responded as most of us will respond, “Oh my God! I cant believe he did that, what kind of mother have I been oh my God!! You poor poor thing, this is terrible!” She was crying and just in the depths of dispair, the little girl was crying. The second grandmother, had heard on the phone of what had happened, she had had a deep cry herself prior to her granddaughter arriving, when her granddaughter arrived she took her in her arms hugged her and told her firmly and lovingly. “Come lets go and wash.”, she gave her granddaughter a hot bubble bath, she washed her all clean, put clean clothes on her. “It is all finished now, we are so so safe now, everthing is well, lets read your favourite story, and then we can have lunch.”
The first girl grew up and became further abused, she never had children, and suffered many situations of difficulty, namely prostitution and abortions, tragically she died young.
The second girl, grew up, went through high school and university became successful in her trade and married, she had 3 children of her own, and is happily living to this day.

For me when I heard this from a teacher who had been actively involved in these girls lives, I not only felt myself like crying, but something deeper. It is my limited experience that the world as it seems to us, is full of what we might term as scary or difficult, but that within that there is an immense and incredible harmony, that we can be observers wondering in the incredible experience of the chaos and harmony, and remain safe within, and what is more share that with our children, the strength and safety in the certainty that everything is as it should be and everything is changing, peace is coming after hardship and hardship is met with nobility of character, strength and peace.

When the culture in multitudes of different ways (news, sex, music, advertisements, consumerism) shows to us human smallness, it shows us simple vulgarity, minamalist and limited, deluded and fleeting superficial fantasies of sexuality, or power, the posturing of the egos gratification as the ultimate success, sexuality and power as a commodity, which is in fact demeaning of the real human reality and condition.
We are invited to become part of that with the distraction of our thoughts, our feelings, and we can choose to let that influence us in fear or worry or we can choose to see that we are given this wonderful opportunity and that we are in fact not touched by it, we are powerful in the beautiful array of countless moments in which we can teach our children to feel good and victorious in and of themselves.
In a world of media, where deeper focus on and promotion of; even the glorification of the ugly aspects in sexuality exists, and becomes more and more immediate and unavoidable when we venture out shopping driving… etc. It is essential that we realize that it is really not this that is most important, the more that we realize and understand that this is only distraction, and affirm this, having no fear of it, the more we realize the superficiality of it, and our children will too.

The term sexualized media, is scary, but sexuality is not, that sexuality is beautiful and good, and a noble characteristic of human existence, something to enjoy and rejoice in as it grows and naturally occurs in us, each one of us differently, some sooner than others, the more we are comfortable with that the more the child naturally feels no sensationalization of his/her maturation.

quick mention, when i had my first period, my mother gathered all the women she knew together, they made a feast, they brought roses, and had made me a beautiful white dress, they sang songs, and washed my feet, they braided my hair, and told me things they wanted to be told at the time of their coming into womanhood. I was very uncomfortable with all the attention, but it was thus I felt that this womanhood was something to be deeply treasured, regardless of the immediate pressure to become the ultimate bimbo, and give in to sexualized medias.

And so I will try to conclude in saying that it is my experience, that when the child is listening to us, we are its experience and we are its certainty, the child is interpreting everything through us, our upheavals and difficulties are not something the child understands, or even can process and rise above, they are forming their bodies and thought patterns, and we are the organic matter with which they are creating. If we can be happy and content matter, certain and nourishing, the child will grow into the being that we can see within them and we know is there, shining and overcoming all difficulties with ease and calm. We as adults can find special timing away from children to expand and let ourselves go, to ride the currents of our heavy emotive and difficult realities, in adult space in adult time, coming through it, finding solutions, being renewed through the transformation of the burden being lifted, and meeting the children again within the certainty that everything is meant to be, that we cannot ultimately change what is coming toward us, but we can meet the events with our gifts, these gifts and their development being so essentially the major proponent of the reason for waldorf education, creativity, resourcefulness, all the protective virtues, certainty nobility patience, love and so much more.

please forgive me for this being so long, as you can see this issue is very dear to me. The children are so dear to me, and the space they have to be children so so dear to me.

If I have offended anyone or if what i have written does not seem right to you, please forgive me, and i would be happy to learn more, I am young and still have alot to learn.
peace and light and all good things

Yasmeen, a Mama

7 Comments

  1. I absolutely agree with everything you have written.Children are so special and need to be thought of, not as little dolls, who cannot think and feel, but as humans. They are sensitive and much more intelligent than we often give them credit for. We need to guide them, nurture them, inform them, parent them, or they will never reach the pinnacle of the potential they were born with.
    My best wishes to you and your family, and your friend who is having difficulties.

  2. Your subject is topical in France, since this week a parliamentary report denounced the Hypersexualization of the children:
    “The phenomenon, increasingly now seen by specialists in prepubescent children under 12 years, is defined not only by the sexualization of their dress codes but also their expressions, postures and interests, deemed too early for their Age. Driven by the fashion industry and media, by the return of stereotypes in toys and sovereignty of the appearance in the reality shows, the Hypersexualization trivializes violence and pornography. Consequence: it weakens the children in their psycho-emotional balance and their identity. The intrusion of early sexuality causes irreversible psychological damage in 80% of cases. ”

    Can we expect that with so many alarming observations our institutions, for the natural benevolence of children and adolescents, will take all measures to sanitize, to clear of mines the public sphere that, with greed, wants capture the attention of young people, stun them?
    Mother hen and father rooster must ensure more than ever today, it’s certain.
    « …when the child is listening to us, we are its experience and we are its certainty, the child is interpreting everything through us,… »
    Totally agree, children’s education can not escape to the nest of confidence; to the example set by parents. That is why they must pass… : so it is the parent’s responsibility to scratch the surface and the Glitter of this decadent reality that you describe very well, in order to show more and more evident to the eye apprentices reality of this pseudo-freedom which never brings peace inside, but you made a little more each day, as materialist, renounce the ideal.
    Finally, it is by understanding the value of their being that they will naturally want to protect from all stain (even only in thought); and then will appear as essential rampart: body modesty – for who wants to protect his soul protects its body.
    So true love, free from covetousness, can awaken …

  3. Hello and thank you for sharing your thoughts and words – they are inspirational and heart warming to read!

    I wanted to respond to what you describe as ‘the sexualised medias of popular culture’. My remarks are neither intended as a rebuke nor designed to be inflammatory. It is out of a genuine desire to share what is, at present, a quiet success over the most subtly erosive force at work in society today – namely the hijacking of our sexuality.

    The true consequences of the sexualisation of our society are so poorly understood as is evidenced by our use of ‘sexualised’. A more accurate description would be ‘Pornification of Media and Popular Culture’. It is the messages portrayed in adverts, on billboards, on TV shows, in celebrity magazines that ‘sex’ is not just the aim of life, but IS life. More specifically that sex with multiple partners and casual sex is desirable. Our perceptions and that of a whole generation of children have been altered by pornography’s influence; that of self-centred sex and self-gratification. As you note this has NOTHING to do with our true sexuality.

    It is no metaphor to say that societies are being undermined and eroded by the pornification of everything; from music to clothing to dating to life styles. Neither is it a metaphor to say that sensual imagery and pornography are addictive. In ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’ Norman Doige writes of the phenomenon of pornography and how it is literally driving a cultural shift. With regards to Yoann’s quote:

    “The phenomenon, increasingly now seen by specialists in prepubescent children under 12 years, is defined not only by the sexualization of their dress codes but also their expressions, postures and interests, deemed too early for their Age”

    The average age of exposure to internet porn is 11. That is a generation of children being taught about sex by pornography.

    Of course all of the above would be fine and acceptable IF it brought about true happiness for those involved. The complete opposite is the truth with the pornification of our society bringing nothing short of needless misery and suffering to ALL concerned.

    However because of this cultural phenomenon there is great hope, learning and healing that can be read in the multitude of testimonies from both men and women who are reclaiming and discovering their true sexual identity.

    I am not advertising any product nor advocating a particular belief but I AM happy to share a 100% ‘organic movement’ (Organic in the sense that it grew of its own volition, and, movement, for want of a better word) that is taking place.

    The story of the website http://www.yourbrainonporn.com is little known but should be told – a whole forum has sprung into being with men and women, over a broad spectrum of ages, helping one another to overcome addiction to pornography through shared experience. The insights are incredible and the changes occurring to those who choose to be free are truly inspirational.

    The two chief lessons are:

    1) There is a great power for change when people use their collective experience and
    2) The influence of pornography IS surmountable.

    No child, or adult for that matter, deserves to have their sexuality hijacked or their hearts and minds enthralled by such things.

    I hope this does not seem too great a leap from your post and that its relevance is understood within the context of the changes we are seeing in societies around the world, and lastly that it might be of benefit to any one struggling in silence.

    Peace be with you.

    Mike

    P.S. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so openly and for the music you make:)

    1. Thank you for sharing, it is wonderful to share our sincere hearts wishes with one another, and I want you to know that I understand and sincerely respect what you have written. This time of information sharing is healing and educational as well as so so necessary for our collective well being.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s