Forever vs. Rainbow Party

The Atlantic Monthly reviews that horrid book Rainbow Party, comparing it with Judy Blume’s books of a past era. The author discusses the s*xual health of today’s teenage girls, rap and p*rnography, mentioning what sounds like a terrible Frontline episode (*s added by me):

What’s most worrisome about this age of blasé bl*wjobs isn’t what the girls might catch (one can contract an STD through oral s*x alone; however, the risk is lower than for most other forms of s*xual transmission), it’s what the girls are almost certainly losing: a healthy emotional connection to their own s*xuality and their own desire. In this context all the unflinching medico-s*xual naughty talk is but a cowardly evasion of a more insidious problem — one resistant to penicillin.
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As a parent, I am horrified by the changes that have taken place in the common culture over the past thirty years. I believe that we are raising children in a kind of post-apocalyptic landscape in which no forces beyond individual households — individual mothers and fathers — are protecting children from p*rnography and violent entertainment. The “it takes a village” philosophy is a joke, because the village is now so polluted and so desolate of commonly held, child-appropriate moral values that my job as a mother is not to rely on the village but to protect my children from it.
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The modern girl’s casual willingness to perform oral s*x may — as some cool-headed observers of the phenomenon like to propose — be her way of maintaining a post-feminist power in her s*xual dealings, by being fully in control of the s*xual act and of the pleasure a boy receives from it. Or it may be her desperate attempt to do something that the culture refuses to encourage: to keep her own s*xuality — the emotions and the desires, as well as the anatomical real estate itself — private, secret, unviolated. It may not be her technical virginity that she is trying to preserve; it may be her own s*xual awakening — which is all she really has left to protect anymore.

It’s a long article, but worth delving into.

Atlantic Monthly review (on Powells.com): Are You There God? It’s Me, Monica

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Comments Off on Forever vs. Rainbow Party

Filed under feminism, pop culture, writing

0 responses to “Forever vs. Rainbow Party

  1. Why do my moral values have to be “child-appropriate?” Is the question I would ask. But I don’t think she is talking about moral values. I think she is talking about something else. I think she is talking about something that used to be very common indeed: shame.

    The truth is, just as many teenage girls were giving just as many handjobs and blowjobs to their boyfriends in the 1950s as today. The difference was that girls were taught to be ashamed of what they were doing. It was shame that kept girls from admitting to risky sexual behavior. It was shame that prevented open, honest education about sexual behavior and it was shame that inhibited detection, treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

    I don’t know if this really has anything to do with feminism rather than the natural evolution of a society. People tend to become less concerned with what the previous generation considered taboo or shameful.

    The question this woman should be asking herself is ‘If I’m so bothered by something like teenage sexuality, am I mature enough to be a good parent?’

  2. E

    Um, Nate, did you read the whole article? Because that’s not what I got from it at all. She says in the article that she wouldn’t mind her kids having oral s*x. I just picked my favorite parts of the article, but there is much more to it.

  3. That was a fascinating article. I have to admit, I assumed the whole preteen oral s*x craze was an urban legend too, despite seeing it on Oprah. It’s just so hard to imagine my junior high self or my friends, who could be so giddy at the idea of holding hands with a boy, ever becoming so blase about s*x. It makes me feel old.

  4. E

    I’m with you, Kandis.