Inspiration in Conservative Dress: Problems with Prom

Inspiration in Conservative Dress is a reoccurring series of posts of various modest and feminine outfits to inspire other women to dress modestly and resist society’s pressure to dress provocatively and subscribe to “hook up” culture. Through conservative dress, A Lady of Reason sends a message of resistance to the “sexual revolution” and radical liberal feminism, and the upholding of feminine virtue. Arguably, this could also extend to the support for social conservatism in general. How we dress signals who we are in society. I also want to state that this idea is not mine originally, but done on another religious blog called The Catholic Lady. I was inspired by hers to make a secular version for A Lady of Reason. 

Prom season is coming up for many young women around the country going into May and June! I remember my prom vividly. I didn’t go with any date, but it was a special occasion to get all dressed to the nines and do my hair just so and wear a dress that made me feel like a princess! Prom is a special time where you can celebrate the end of High school and look forward to a night of fun and having fun dressing up. Unfortunately for many young women though, prom is an excuse to go crazy and throw away one’s values in doing things like underage drinking, drugs and hook ups. The innocence of what prom is supposed to be is often subverted for more nefarious activities and worry many parents. Some families even go as far as forbidding their children from going due to those reasons, however, one does not need to go to such extremes!

Of course, the whole popular hook up culture associations with prom night doesn’t help much. The expectation of spending the night with your date and “doing it” and losing your virginity on prom night than your wedding night is obviously detrimental, but you don’t have to succumb to the pressure to “do it”. nor do you have to succumb to the pressure to drink so much you’ll forget the entire evening, or go to wild after parties and get in trouble. Many of my classmates during my prom drank and got busted, and had to be picked up early by their parents and missed the whole rest of the night! As with most peer pressure, peer pressure on prom night can be resisted in favor of your true values. One night is not worth the feeling of knowing you weren’t true to yourself and your values.

Another major pressure point for young women is the dress. Many prom dresses are very immodest and skanky, more appropriate for a Vegas showgirl than a high school prom or other classy event! Excessive cutouts, too high slits, plunging necklines and sheer fabrics are just asking for a wardrobe malfunction! There’s nothing wrong with

Illusion Floor Length Sleeveless JVN by Jovani Prom Dress at PromGirl.com
This dress looks more appropriate for a Vegas showgirl or a stripper! Doesn’t leave much to the imagination! I’d be surprised if most schools would even let it in the door!

showing a few curves or a little skin for a formal gown, but there’s a point where it’s too much! A formal event should be classy, not trashy, and the atmosphere of a strip club! Young women being told that they must wear provocative dresses at prom is just another part of hook up culture, and the whole radical feminist movement trying to “liberate” young women with promiscuity! Why not accentuate your beauty with the gown itself, not how much of your body is peeking out if it! The stunning gowns of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, as well as many historical prom dresses are ornate and modest, and focus the attention on a woman’s beauty, not her sexuality. They convey more of a sense of innocence and purity, reflective of a more wholesome society where sex and intimacy are expressed in committed relationships, and not vulgarly flaunted for the viewing public! Ladies of elegance and grace should dress tastefully and modestly, even during formal events. Formality is not an excuse to wear plunging necklines with boobs hanging out and excessive cutouts and up one’s butt mini skirts. Young women at prom should feel like princesses and ladies of elegance and grace in their gowns, not hookers tying to turn out tricks!

Now, many women say that it is extremely hard to find modest prom dresses, except at special stores and online for exorbitant prices. However, many mainstream retailers, like Kohl’s Burlington Coat Factory, JC Penny and Macy’s, for examples do sell modest formal dresses! The trick, to to expand your search. The Juniors department as well as prom stores for teens are often is the main culprit for the immodest prom gowns. If you look in the Women’s section in these stores, you will often find beautiful, yet modest gowns. Many of them, in my experience, are not frumpy, and look stunning! An added plus too, is that many are under $100 on sale, in places like JC Penny and Burlington Coat Factory. Many teen boutiques have dresses ranging in prices from $200 and up to near $1000! Just because all of the other girls are getting those $500 dresses, doesn’t mean you have to succumb to the pressure to buy the most expensive one just to fit in. Try to find the look, without the hefty price. You can get the same style, more modestly, from common retailers for fractions of those prices! Of course too, not all dresses for Juniors are immodest either, you just have to be patient and look around. The prom dress I got for my own prom was from a website for teens called Prom Girl, which has several options for modest prom dresses and great sales! Just because some dresses might be too immodest for your standards, don’t close your mind to the store or website and look some more. They often carry a variety of looks for all different people. Here are some ideas of modest prom dresses from various common retailers:

JC Penny:

One By Eight Short Sleeve Evening Gown Blu Sage 3/4 Sleeve Evening Gown

  Blue Sage Long-Sleeve Lace Formal Gown

Macy’s:

 

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Kohl’s:

My Michelle® Open-Back Lace Long Dress  found at @JCPenney Trixxi Juniors' Sleeveless Beaded Dress

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Burlington Coat Factory:

Juniors+Embellished+Ball+Gown Jeweled Lace Gown - Jr.

Prom Girl:

A-Line Tulle High Neck Long Prom Dress Long Blush Pink Sleeveless Prom Dress with Jewels at PromGirl.com

High Neck Teal A-Line Dress with Beaded Top at PromGirl.com Long Mermaid Style Dress with Sequin Accents at PromGirl.com

Other Retailers:

Primavera Couture - REGAL SEQUINED LONG SLEEVES BATEAU SHEATH GOWN 1747 Maci

Related image Colette CLM18333 Modest Prom

Bonus: My own prom dress!

You don’t need to splurge a lot of money on an elegant, modest prom dress, nor do you have to compromise your standards! There are plenty of elegant, tasteful gowns out there that show you are a lady of elegance and grace!

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When it Comes to School Shootings, Why Must Conservative Voices be “Shot Down”?

The Parkland shooting and many others that came before it has been on everyone’s minds lately. School and workplace shootings have become a sad reality in today’s society, and everyone is on edge. Was that just a balloon popping, or a gunshot? A car backfiring, a pane of glass falling, an unfamiliar face? We don’t think to look twice now just in case the our worst nightmare comes true. Now, people going out to eat, to the movies, to a concert, to church, to school, are all aware that could be their last outing. Safety is not a guarantee, never was, but certainly not now. Names like Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, to name some big ones, and now Parkland and Maryland now live in infamy and in the shadow of their tragic day. The obvious question is “what can we do to stop these tragedies?”. The Parkland shooting has become historical in that it spurred a new movement with more vigor and more attention with the nationwide school walkouts and the March for Our Lives rally in Washington DC. Their rallying cry was to do more than “thoughts and prayers”, then repeat when the next tragedy inevitably hits, but “policy and change” in hopes of preventing the next one.

On the surface, their goal is amicable. Why just sit around praying for some “divine” intervention or whatnot from Washington when one can help be the change and take action with our nation’s leaders to address the issue of school shootings. Why not draw more attention to school shootings than be complicit in the blasé  attitude of “oh, just another tragedy, ho hum…” It is a shame we have become so desensitized to mass violence, because it seems to happen every week! One would also think it is a very good thing the nation’s youth are a huge force in the movement, as it shows that it’s not just old middle aged policy makers who have a voice in our country. However, everything is not as simple as it seems.

If the March for Our Lives movement and that nation wide walkout were simply about raising awareness of school shootings and bringing to light the deep and complex conversations needed to think clearly on preventing the next one, then I wouldn’t have any qualms about joining in too. However, there is a huge part of the movement I cannot go behind and join in: the rampant Liberalism. I’m not saying just because liberals created the movement it automatically makes it invalid and that I must only listen to conservatives 100% and be in an ideological vacuum! No, the problem with the movement is that it is extremely one sided, and is anti-gun and demonizes the NRA. Their only solution is to place heavy restrictions and bans on firearms, affecting many responsible gun owners who use their guns for hobbies or self defense. Anyone saying differently is branded as a redneck ignoramus, or insensitive to gun violence and therefore demonized! The March for Our Lives movement is not a bipartisan organization, it’s not simply to honor the memory of the seventeen victims of the Parkland shooting. What it really is, is extremely liberal propaganda against any firearms and the NRA.

The issue of gun violence should transcend petty political feuds. School shootings affect conservatives and their children just as much as the liberals! We need to come together as a nation to address real solutions, not bicker in petty power struggles over who’s on the “right” side! The movement spurred by Parkland only succeeded so far in dividing the nation further, with its anti-Trump, anti-gun and anti-NRA rhetoric as the only solution to gun violence! Conservatives like myself who also wish to end gun violence feel alienated and cast out from the movement, as our solutions are portrayed as foolish and ignorant to the real solutions, the liberal solutions! Conservatives say arming teachers to protect students from the next shooter is a way to deter more shootings, but of course, the liberals think it’s ridiculous and ignorant. It’s an opinion that could only be held by die-hard NRA propagandists and rednecks! All they see is chaos and disorder, as if trained people who are taught properly how to handle guns and have had vast experience would somehow act like a buffoon once in school! That idea got “shot down” so to speak, so we proposed having security in school that are armed and even more trained in firearm usage. The reasoned response: get hysterical and accuse conservatives of draining funds away from education and putting schools under martial law!

Then not long after Parkland, there was a shooting in Maryland. Another horrific day, another school full of innocent people. However, there as a twist in this tale! Unlike the Parkland shooting, where the security guard stood outside as seventeen students got massacred, the security guard in Maryland responded within minutes and shot the shooter dead. Two victims died. Two. Not seventeen. Within minutes, the situation was contained. If I had doubts about the March for Our Lives movement before, they solidified then. You see, now there was concrete evidence a conservative solution worked. The security guard with the (gasp!) gun, contained the situation within minutes and there were drastically less fatalities. Two is still too many, but one must admit, better than seventeen. Even the extremely liberal media had to acknowledge the heroism of that brave security guard who did his duty and protected the school. Of course, CNN still did a pitiful attempt at twisting the story around to be consistent with the liberal agenda:

Gaskill’s actions were praised, rightly, across social media. But some — most notably, the NRA — held him up as an example of the “good guy with a gun” theory. The theory goes, that bad guys will always find a way to circumvent whatever gun laws are in place. And “to stop a bad guy with a gun,” as NRA head Wayne Lapierre said, “it takes a good guy with a gun.” (Lone Resource Officer’s Quick Action Stopped the Maryland School Shooter Within Seconds) CNN

So, they take a story that was supposed to commend the heroism of that brave guard, and twist it into an anti-NRA message that the NRA is pushing a false “good guy with a gun” agenda. But, wait a minute! Isn’t that what happened? A good guy with a gun saved the day! CNN and other liberal news sites couldn’t ignore the glaring evidence against their anti-gun thesis, so they are now grasping at straws to undermine a solution of ours that worked! All I can say is perhaps if there was a “good guy with a gun” beforehand, students across the nation would have walked out for two minutes, not seventeen.

It is quite clear, the March for Our Lives movement does not welcome conservative voices in the discussion to end school shootings and other gun violence. If you are pro-second amendment, an NRA member or supporter, or simply disagree with their virulent anti-Trump, anti-gun rhetoric of denial instead of defense, the Parkland movement is not for you. Of course I want to end school shootings as much as any liberal, why do you think other conservatives are speaking out too? We all want our children safe in school, for it to be safe to go out in the word without the ever present fear of mass violence. We as much as the liberals do, want a safer, happier, more just world. People like my family and I just think that we also need to face reality. As distasteful as it is, often might does make right. The person with the gun will not be stopped with a stern voice. If you don’t fight back, he will mow everyone down like lambs to slaughter. Why do you think the Parkland shooter managed to kill seventeen people, while the Maryland shooter only got as far as two? Here’s a hint: which one used a gun? Armed teachers and extra security are not ideal for what our schools should look like, but it is the sad reality we must all face until we can come together to make changes and address issues together as a nation, not on one side of the political aisle or the other.

Another point as well goes beyond guns. The March for Our Lives movement is not solely the creation of the millennial generation! Militant liberal groups have funded them behind the scenes, just like the Women’s March who want to push their own agenda aside from gun control. The March for Our Lives movement, I argue, is not so innocent. They exploited the Parkland tragedy and the seventeen lives lost, and the survivors, using them as propaganda tools for their own liberal anti-gun, anti-NRA and anti-Trump agenda. The national school wide walkout was more about grooming the next generation of snowflake liberals who will be mindless pacifists than honoring the seventeen victims. I think of the irony that they had those seventeen minutes to waste that day on liberal propaganda because no one came to those victims’ defense, unlike in Maryland where we could all have been waiting two minutes, not seventeen had there been another gun involved. The most disturbing thing was, it wasn’t just the student’s choice either to walk out. School administrators jumped on the fad and literally goaded students to do it, and of course, everyone fell into group think. I commend any student who stayed inside and followed their own convictions despite the backlash I’m sure they got. This wasn’t simply an exercise in learning about school violence, but one of telling the nation’s students to hate guns, the NRA and Trump. I don’t know about you, but such blatant partisan politics shouldn’t be allowed in school!

All I have to say about the whole fiasco is I weep at the state of society for these rampant school shootings, and want them to stop as much as anyone else. However, solutions conservatives offer are “shot down” ironically, by the anti-gun lobbyists! We have a voice too. We have ideas to help protect innocent lives before more are lost. Do we want more Marylands, or more Parklands in the next inevitable shootings yet to come? Why don’t the liberals let us have a voice too? Deny reality, and it will be more than just ideas getting “shot down” in the near future of our country. Change can start when people open their minds and see the reality of the situation. Awareness is half the battle!

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The Many Faces of Who We Are: On Intersectionality

The radical left has come up with all sorts of esoteric PC liberal jargon that points at the pure lunacy these people have, and the eerie seriousness they take their ideology to be! Words like “transgender”, “cisgender”, “internalized misogyny” ( For women who disagree with the feminist movement, because only a victim of the patriarchy would have a different opinion, right 😉 ), “patriarchy”, “microaggression”, “safe-space”, “triggered”, “bias incident” and many, many more! Most of these terms are laughable, some even barely comprehensible without detailed explanation and context for the more sane generations among us! However, there is one word in which I feel we can acknowledge and apply to ourselves and our identity as conservatives: intersectionality.

The word intersectionality came about in the context of some liberals feeling that they weren’t just oppressed by one facet of their identity, like race for example, but many. For example, a black woman feeling oppressed due to racial discrimination and fighting against it, only to have her male peers of color shun her and devalue her voice solely because she is a woman. In that instance, she is in a way “double oppressed”, by her race, but also her gender, even by members of her same group. Therefore, she would feel that women of color must face prejudice in not one, but two areas of her life and fight both. Add sexuality, religion, disability, gender expression, and so on to make a whole amalgam of oppression! Now, I’m not saying everything liberals with multifaceted identities say is valid in claiming they are “oppressed”, or that it still isn’t laughable when someone asks for a “safe space” or that they were “microagressed”. My point is though, to take away the liberal “I’m oppressed! Give me special privileges!” context of the word and strip it down to a more generic definition. That is, for our purposes, intersectionality means having a multifaceted identity.

The deal is, conservatives face issues of intersectionality as well, not just liberals, and do in fact, face discrimination because of parts of their identity. For example, the main image many conjure up as the stereotypical conservative is the standard white, Christian, straight, Republican, able bodied, cisgendered male in his 50’s and over. However, many conservatives including myself do not fit into that neat little mold, yet nevertheless choose to identify as conservative. There are black conservatives like Walter Williams, a brilliant and insightful man. There are indeed gay conservatives, who prove not all conservatives are “anti-gay” and believe that their sexuality should have nothing to do with their politics. Not all conservatives are Republican. Some, like my Uncle are independent, some are Libertarian, for instance. Some conservatives do have disabilities. Others come from other faiths than Evangelical Christianity, or no faith at all. Not everyone is conservative because their god told them to be! Many conservatives are our millennial generation, who see through the liberal brainwashing, just as many radical liberals are in their 50’s and over. There are plenty of women who voted for Trump, and do not buy into the radical feminist agenda and wear pussy hats and call themselves “Nasty Women”. The point is, there is truly no one size fits all mold for what makes a conservative.

However, the liberals like to think conservatives are all just one type of human being to fit their narrative of the “other” while they cry for more recognition of the many dimensions of who they are as people. Just another liberal hypocrisy… When we don’t fit into their little preconceived prejudiced notions, they fight back and declare us “inconsequential” as they feel one part of ourselves means we ought to be liberal! Oh yes, the liberals can be anyone, but apparently not the conservatives! The point is when others outside the stereotypical conservative are known to exist, it contradicts the liberal’s thesis that anyone but white males are oppressed! How do men like Walter Williams, who is black, get to be conservative and call out imperfections and flaws in the black community when he is so oppressed by white privilege? Certainly an intelligent man would realize when he is being discriminated against arbitrarily! How do women, who are oppressed under the patriarchy, vote for Trump, the “sexual predator”, or gays under homophobia, become conservative, or immigrants that are Hispanic but don’t want illegals in the country come to exist? Certainly they are not all stupid, or doormats to oppression and injustice! There must be some reason they decided to take conservative stances. What is a liberal snowflake with an agenda to push to do???

This is why intersectionality matters for us too. If a conservative does have an “oppressed” identity, then liberals who are in their group too will shun them and deem them inconsequential. Race traitors, internalized misogyny, in the case of conservative women, doormats to oppression, etc… These conservatives face more challenges than others to speak out in their own communities as many are overwhelmingly liberal and do not like dissenters of their own kind, as again, it dismantles their “us vs. them” narrative they want to play on. Other identities also work the opposite way. For example, it is easier for me to come down hard and frankly on women’s issues from a conservative viewpoint since I am a woman. A man making the exact same argument would attract far more vitriol. I am considered more of a strange anomaly, but less “evil” than a man who feels the same way, for instance. A black person could criticize aspects of the black community like welfare and ghetto culture with far more leeway than a white person. Our identities intersect and affect as as a whole when we express our opinions and advocate for change. They can help or hinder us in how people perceive us. It is almost paradoxical, an identity can hinder us and make the liberals dismiss us and treat us as traitor or inconsequential, especially to other members of our identity, but conversely can make our voices heard as they are coming from an insider, and not the evil “other”.

Sometimes, our identity might also put us at odds with fellow conservatives! For example, many conservatives are people of faith, mostly Christian. I however, am an atheist and do not look to God for my moral reasoning or judgement on what is right or wrong, beneficial to society or detrimental. Some conservatives feel that being conservative means being religious and secular people are all liberal “anything goes” snowflakes. However, that’s not true in my case! We must also remind our fellow conservatives and ourselves, not to stereotype who we are! A conservative, like a liberal, can be many things, not just one image. I say, welcome all conservatives. Take an ally where you can 🙂 That said, there is far more backlash from liberals, so the rest is for them:

I am a woman, but do not buy into the hook up culture, promiscuity as empowerment, the idea men are patriarchal and oppressive for speaking their minds too and being strong and masculine. I am not a “Nasty Woman” who wears pussy hats and dresses like my nether regions to make a point. I’m not a #metoo hysteric who infantilizes women into little children and succumbs to coercion. I believe in dressing feminine and embracing womanhood, with no man forcing that choice down my throat! I want to be a lady of elegance and grace, the ones our grandparents were instead of vulgar radical feminists! I choose modesty in dress without a man forcing it on me. I choose to wait until marriage instead of hookups like a “liberated” woman. However, I am deemed an inconsequential woman, one victim to internalized misogyny and patriarchal brainwashing instead of a strong woman capable of making up her own mind!

I am an atheist, but don’t believe that traditional virtues are outdated in society. I feel that there is objective evidence for the detrimental effects of hook up culture, promiscuity, XX and XY  based sex determination for humans that correlates with gender expression as the norm, not just another “choice”, decry a society with no accountability and anything goes mentality. “Any family is a real family” propaganda, normalization of divorce and broken homes, sex as a handshake and not a milestone, the value of marriage, and other issues many religious conservatives tackle, but I don’t need God to tell me these things are absurd and wrong. I can just look and see how far our society has fallen.

I am not of European descent, yet have experienced the same “privilege” as my white parents who adopted me as a baby. I have never faced the racial discrimination other races including mine purport is rampant. Just because I have white parents, if I’m living independently or going somewhere on my own, no one knows that fact about me! Why wasn’t I then “oppressed” like others of my kind? I have no “white privilege” on my own all by myself, yet have reaped all the opportunities and benefits of being white! I can also see the lunacy of other minority groups who vie for special privileges saying white people have kept them down, yet I have had all the same privilege as my white family and friends! Sure, I might have had advantages and opportunities others have not in life but I think we can rule out whiteness being one of them! So, there’s no contradiction in me agreeing with my fellow white conservatives. Just because I’m not the same ethnicity, doesn’t mean I have to have a different opinion based on facts and observation! I have seen the struggles whites face against liberal snowflakes in being conservative, and the liberal regime on them, such as giving their money to welfare, and being silenced by liberals based on race, which in my book, is racial discrimination! Just as I am privileged in some ways in my family, I am also oppressed in others the same way they are for being conservative.

I was adopted, but advocate for the nuclear family. My parents were happily married, coming from generations of stable loving marriages and two parent homes. Adoption does not mean I have to jump on the “any family is a real family” bandwagon. Single parent homes, divorced homes, same sex parent homes, stepparents, grandma and grandpa instead of mommy and daddy, other relatives, “guardians” and caregivers, mommy and live in boyfriend, etc… none can be the standard the married two parent home is! As much as we like to delude ourselves into thinking it’s fine and dandy, kids in these homes grow up with issues often landing them in therapy. Men don’t have fathers to turn them into real men, daughters don’t have fathers to guide them to be ladies. Mom #1 and mom #2, or dad #1 and dad #2  cannot give a child what the other parent of the opposite sex could give in raising a child! Grandparents and other relatives cannot replace mom and dad. A child raised in two homes will have divided loyalties and feelings and no stability! Yes, I wasn’t conceived in the traditional way by my parents, but I grew up with all the privileges of the married two parent home and turned out much better than my neurotic, depressed, anxious, suicidal, peers in therapy and have daddy issues. Being adopted did not damage me or give me daddy issues, anxiety, depression, and neurosis. Being adopted had nothing to do with my personal growth in a loving two parent family! I’m not a hypocrite for advocating for the traditional nuclear family, as how they got me is inconsequential compared to how they raised me!

So, those are my identities that are outside the stereotypical conservative box, what are yours? A conservative can be anyone, as long as they think for themselves. Let’s embrace our many identities, without succumbing to identity politics. Identity defines who you are, not what you think! 😉

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Just for Laughs :)

The absurdities of the radical liberals and radical feminist movement have become more unhinged nowadays than in previous generations! From extreme paranoia and hysteria over smaller issues, inconsequential actions, ridiculous political correctness, “safe spaces”, “trigger warnings”, (insert your group here)- phobia etc… more and more people are speaking out as the pendulum is swinging too far. Even though the majority seems to be with the more radical liberal crowd, with control over most of the mainstream media and social controls such as jobs, schools, and such, there is a silent majority who are more moderate, and acknowledge even their own side as having gone too far off the deep end! More optimistically too, although many conservatives still face stigma in openly expressing their views, there has been a conservative backlash against some of the more radicalized parts of liberalism. The issues we face and fight back against are heavy, and have wide reaching social implications. However, this does not mean we can’t get a chuckle out of issues at hand in their complete and utter lunacy! 🙂 Many braver conservative voices than I have made some hilarious cartoons lampooning our current society’s liberal bias! Have a laugh, (and possibly cry at the same time at the state of our society too…)!

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A Modern Update on Plato’s Allegory of The Cave

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Inspiration in Conservative Dress: Are Heels Too Sexy for Younger Girls?

Inspiration in Conservative Dress is a reoccurring series of posts of various modest and feminine outfits to inspire other women to dress modestly and resist society’s pressure to dress provocatively and subscribe to “hook up” culture. Through conservative dress, A Lady of Reason sends a message of resistance to the “sexual revolution” and radical liberal feminism, and the upholding of feminine virtue. Arguably, this could also extend to the support for social conservatism in general. How we dress signals who we are in society. I also want to state that this idea is not mine originally, but done on another religious blog called The Catholic Lady. I was inspired by hers to make a secular version for A Lady of Reason. 

It’s a heated topic on both sides, liberal and conservative: the sexualization of young girls. Both agree that over sexualizing young girls is detrimental to their self image and confidence, and also promotes destructive behavior such as acting out sexually too soon and running into harm. As a woman who advocates for the virtue of modesty in dress and behavior for women and girls, and condemns hook up culture, I also agree that teaching young girls to view themselves in solely sexual terms is unhealthy and detrimental. However, I believe the movement to prevent such occurrences has reached the stage of hysteria and moral panic, ironically doing what they claim to stop: sexualizing young girls and women. A prime example of what I mean is a raging debate around heels for girls and young teens. Some feel that heels are inherently sexual and over sexualizes them, while others see it as part of a harmless way to just express femininity and be girly. My personal stance is that it all depends on the shoe in question, and the context its worn.

A cute pair of little girls’ kitten heels are in no way sexual! Whoever thinks they are I believe, is sexualizing that child and being hypocritical in their aim not to. Who hasn’t dressed up in cute little heels as a child? Small, wide heels on little girls are adorable! Related imageSome arguments range from the fact that heels on adults are often viewed in a more sexualized way and women can wear them to “send off signals”, to a feminist message that it makes little girls care more about their looks than abilities, or they can’t play as ruggedly in them like boys. They claim little girls ought to be more rough and tumble than ladylike. Other concerns are about health in that wearing them constantly is not healthy for properly developing feet, and indeed, adults can have issues if they wear heels too often.

To address the first concern, I argue that unless it’s some sort of 6 inch stiletto with a pump, it’s not sexual and does not look like you’re a prostitute or any other questionable woman. Tiny wedges on little girls cannot be compared to that image and shouldn’t be! Even wedges and smaller regular heels for tweens and teens are perfectly tasteful for special occasions or school if it’s not too fancy or impractical. Sexualizing what was once innocent, like little girls in cute feminine shoes, or a cute wedge for summer only contributes to the toxic over sexualization of our culture in general. In our toxic hook up culture, nothing is ever “innocent” anymore! A hug from a male relative is dangerous, a

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Okay… these are impractical, dangerous and inappropriate for any age…

boy-girl friendship is sexualized, a note from a teacher is a come-on etc… Sexualizing moderately heeled shoes is just another thing in the list of innocent things turned sinister. While some, and I emphasize only some women might wear heels to send off indecent signals or be in questionable professions, the vast majority including myself and many other modest and upright women do wear heels tastefully to work, parties and other events in society. The key is moderation and knowing what is appropriate for when. I myself as a grown woman do not appreciate the implicit implication that adult women wearing heels is a sexual act in arguing that little girls shouldn’t wear them because of that. I’m sure other women do not appreciate being sexualized in that manner any more than you would want your daughter to be by others! Wearing heels as women can be simply an innocent expression of our femininity as women.

The other major concern concerns the feminist agenda. What is wrong with teaching our daughters more lady like habits and activities? While little girls should be allowed to play more roughly at younger ages, I feel as a girl grows older, they should be taught more lady like elegance and grace in their activities. While at 5, they can tumble in the mud with their brothers, at 15 I’d hope they would be more lady like! Heels are a way to teach little girls to enjoy more feminine things. While I do feel that heels should not be worn on very young girls all the time, for special dress up occasions they are a good way to teach them how to carry themselves like little ladies. As long as they can wear them safely and not trip and fall every step, it’s fine. The feminist argument that little girls shouldn’t be taught to conduct themselves more daintily on certain occasions, like parties and special events or learn to act more feminine in heels such as not running wild is mostly an attempt to masculinize them. Little girls have plenty of time where they can play outside and roughhouse alongside the boys in sneakers and overalls, even historically, but on special occasions, they were taught to act like ladies in dresses and cute shoes. Why can’t we strike that balance today? Freaking out over girls doing feminine things, like wearing light make up and cute heels crying “sexualization!” may also have the undertones of the radical feminist’s fears of traditional femininity and what womanhood used to be. For ages, little girls pretending to dress up like mommy, and envision herself as a grown up lady by trying on her mother’s shoes, clothing, and yes, makeup, was considered cute and an important part of any girl’s development towards embracing womanhood. Making it into something damaging and perverted only speaks to our sad state of affairs of how our culture handles sexuality. In this world of sexual hysteria and #metoo, where Girl Scouts are told not to hug their male relatives, women are infantilized into helpless victims, messages of vulgarity and promiscuity are labeled as empowerment, no wonder the innocence of a girl wishing to be a woman someday is also now perverted!

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When did this sentimental image of a little girl wanting to become a lady become perverted and damaging?

 

Hypersexualizing cute little kitten heels, or wedges, or mommy-daughter make up or nail sessions only serves to sexualize the little girls you claim to want to de-sexualize. Whatever happened to the innocence of a child wishing to be grownup? Most children are not thinking in sexual terms when they wear mommy’s dress, or try on mommy’s make up, or wear mommy’s shoes. They just want to be like mommy! If what they’re doing is inappropriate, maybe mommy needs rethink how appropriate those things are for her to wear and what kind of a role model she’s being for her daughter to imitate! Wanting to be grownup has been a part of everyone’s childhood since childhood was a thing. Why don’t we stop sexualizing childhood by sexualizing adulthood? Monkey see, monkey do…

It’s On Us: To Stop Sexualizing Childhood, We Must Stop Sexualizing Adulthood

The sexualization of childhood, especially girls has been a heated topic on both sides of the political spectrum. Many decry and argue that young girls especially are too sexualized with provocative outfits, shoes, makeup, songs etc… They claim that girls are growing up too fast, with younger and younger girls wanting to be adults or older teens. They also feel that the solution is to suppress all of the above. They say that we must teach our girls to want to just be kids, and not be obsessed with sexual things like romances, hook ups, and sending off signals. I agree for the most part that conditioning girls to act sexual is detrimental to their development into healthy adults and we should address it. However, I think they aren’t getting to the real roots of the issue: it’s not just girls who are the victims of sexualization. It’s our entire culture!

Hook up culture, which I’ve condemned before is rampant. Sex is just a handshake, a social activity rather than a milestone. Personal responsibility and accountability is gone, it’s just do whatever you want consequence free. Have sex whenever and with whomever. Dress as provocatively as you want and not be held accountable for the attention you receive. Movies, TV, books, etc… are permeated with cheap messages about “flings” rather than serious relationships, promiscuity instead of modesty in action and dress, divorce and breakups and cheating instead of marriage, commitment and loyalty. Obviously, our children are also absorbing these damning messages from society.

However, locking them up in their rooms until they’re 18 and suppressing any exposure to the outside world only raises repressed kids who will go wild and crazy once let out of the dungeon! Parents who think they’re stopping it by locking their child up and not letting them have any freedom in what they do, how they dress, or what they see at 15 for example, will only have a 20 year old who will rebel and do all those things they weren’t allowed to before! For a parent whose goal it is to raise a healthy adult who will combat those messages, I would argue promiscuous behaviors and inappropriate attire at 20 is just as detrimental as at 15. The key I believe is not hiding these thing, but exposing them out in the open for what they are to your kids. My parents always talked openly and let me be exposed to such messages, and I was forewarned, and forearmed as they say. Also, as your kids get older, you may run the risk of suppressing their own natural sexuality as they go into their teen years if you try to erase any trace of sexuality from your home! Sexual repression and zero freedom in childhood and teenage hood lead to wild behavior in adulthood! Watch out, college 😉

Another issue is also one many may have not thought about: the implicit sexualization of adulthood. Children have wanted to imitate adults and be “grownup” since children existed! Haven’t you heard the phrase “monkey see, monkey do” in regards to kids? We adults are role models for our kids, including what our culture deems to be “grown up”. Yes, kids listen to peers and the media more than parents, but the ideas don’t come out of thin air. Someone had to come up with these hook up culture messages! How did our kids get the idea that being hypersexualized was “adult” at all? I think much of a child’s desire for more provocative things is simply an innocent expression of wanting to be more grownup, as children have done since the beginning of time. After all, a child’s job is to become an adult in this world. The people who suppress “adult” things from their children in an effort to de-sexualize them only reinforce the message sexual behaviors equal adulthood. When you say that dress, makeup, heels etc… is too “grownup” for your daughter, she internalizes the message that whatever inappropriate thing is there is something to want in order to be a grownup, rather than more important parts of being an adult.

The rhetoric of this de-sexualization of children movement strongly pairs the concepts of adulthood with sexuality and sex, thereby sexualizing adulthood. This only becomes ironically, the detrimental message that to be an adult, one must be hypersexualized as a person. Dress provocatively, act inappropriately. To these girls being raised that way, with the suppression of any free choice or exposure to things in order to protect them, they learn to equate being 18 with “I can finally be as sexy as I want!”. Yeah. *That’s healthy*… Suppressing their sexual desires and want to be sexual to be grownup rather than directly addressing it with them and really listening to why they want that kind of validation at all, does not change their feelings on the subject, only hides and suppresses them until age 18 when they will act vulgarly and promiscuously once mommy and daddy let go of the reins.

The sexualization of childhood is rooted in our culture’s sexualization of adulthood. The kids follow suit because they learn that’s what adults do to be adults: be sexy. Children want to become the adults they look up to one day. Equating adulthood with sexy things will make them learn to want to be sexual. So what’s a parent who wants to raise girls with modesty and decency to do? Here’s a thought: Stop equating inappropriate things you don’t want your daughters to do with being “grownup”. For example, if your daughter wants to wear sleazy makeup and that too tight up your butt mini dress, don’t tell her it’s “too grownup’ or not “age appropriate”, or “you aren’t wearing that until you’re 18!”. That just reinforces that such things are okay for adults, the people she so desperately wants to be and be validated by. I’d argue too tight up one’s butt hooker dresses are “age appropriate” for no one, especially mature adults!

Tell her instead about the unhealthy messages it sends, the unwanted and dangerous attention it might give her, and the morals and values you want her to embrace as an adult. Make it about her image, and how she presents herself to the world as a virtuous young woman. Ask her if acting and dressing provocatively is consistent with the values she will want in her womanhood and the reputation she gives off about who she is to others. This is what the movement to dress and act modestly should be about. It shouldn’t be about having licence to act however one wants at some arbitrary age. A cheap skank at 18 is as detrimental as being a cheap skank at 15. Why not raise our daughters to embrace modesty and fight against hook up culture in all stages of life, not just her childhood? I personally don’t like the term “age appropriate”. It only sends the message that things are inappropriate at arbitrary ages, instead of in more general terms. True, some fashions are more appropriate for adults and older teens, but it goes both ways! That cute little party dress for your 15 year old I think is not “age appropriate” for you at 50! Nor is a 5 year old’s pink tutu! It’s okay to acknowledge different fashions are for different age groups, but the term is used mostly as code for “too sexy”, reinforcing the message “sexiness equals adult”.

Who’s to say values like modesty and decency are “outgrown” too? At 18, yes, you can dress as provocatively as you want, but should you? Let’s admit it: dressing like a hooker is “age inappropriate” for everyone, not just kids! Can we try to dissuade our kids from dressing inappropriately by acknowledging no one should be wearing that stuff, adult or child? We need to stop implicitly telling our kids, through saying that you can only dress that way or do that thing after age 18, is that your morals and values are simply what mom and dad impose on you, and that modesty and decency in dress and action is for children, but not grownups. After 18, modesty, self respect and decency can be dumped out the window! That’s the message it sends to our daughters when we say provocative behavior is “too adult” or “age-inappropriate”. Why not just call it out for what it is: “inappropriate”, Period. No modifier required! Don’t forget too, how you behave and dress also conveys messages to your daughter. Do you wear revealing outfits? Make comments about dressing for guys? Joke about being “sexy”? Your daughters will pick up on it! As a woman who advocates for modesty and femininity for women and girls, I hope you would agree that the values we teach our children should be the values they intrinsically will embrace in adulthood, not just thrown off at 18. Modesty and decency are “age appropriate” from age 1-100!

I also take offense too at the sexualization of adulthood. When we say it’s too “adult”, or had “adult” themes, we really mean sexually inappropriate. When parents say they don’t want their kids to be too sexy lest they be too adult like waters down adulthood and characterizes all grownups as solely sexual beings. What about things like responsibility, maturity, and accountability? The true markers of adulthood? Sure, sexuality is best expressed in adulthood and not early childhood, but sexuality is not what makes someone an adult. Anyone with part A and part B can have sex and grab sexual attention. The reason why sexuality is best left for adults is that adults in theory, should be able to conduct themselves responsibly, like driving a car or drinking. Children and teens often do not posses the maturity to do so. That’s why sex is adult, because it should be done with maturity, not because adults have some blind entitlement to fling themselves on whoever they please! Hook up culture, unfortunately tells adults the latter message… Telling our children implicitly that promiscuous irresponsible sex is what it means to be a grown up is like telling them so is binge drinking! A glass of wine at dinner is not harmful for older kids, nor is an exploration of sexuality. Binge drinking and promiscuous hookups however, are inappropriate for both parties! I am insulted at the idea that all adults are is their sex organs! Adulthood is full of so much more than who you’re in bed with. It’s about who you are as a person. Your accountability, your morals, your maturity, your obligations in life. That’s what makes a real adult. That’s the sort of adulthood we must teach our kids to want. When we try to stop their sexualization by claiming it’s too adult, we reduce our fellow adults to the level of immature teenagers looking for a fling. Kids imitate what they think will make them grown up. What will we show them grownups are? As the left says, “It’s on us!”

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I think the doll in the corner is symbolic of her desire to grow into womanhood leaving girlhood behind. The woman she will want to become is the woman she sees you being right now…

Hu(man)ity? Part II: The Bother with Binaries…

In the last post, we explored the issue of “gender neutral” language, and the politically correct censorship of traditional words like “man” to describe humankind. The smaller issue of using male gendered terminology excluding the acknowledgement of women in public life and the workforce and as a part of humanity was addressed in the last post and why the issue is ultimately inconsequential. This time however, I address the wider issue at stake: that the very use of gendered language is evidence of an implicit patriarchal attitude that women are literally “less than” fully human and that anything associated with womanhood is bad.

This issue goes beyond just language in relation to men and women, but things one would not normally think of as overtly gendered. A few feminists have proposed a theory, that our culture is implicitly patriarchal by the very way language our is structured. They claim that things such as thinking in opposing binaries, opposites if you will, such as light/dark, good/bad, reason/emotion, white/black, man/woman, active/passive strong/weak etc… are evidence of a sexist view. The reason being is that in these opposing binaries, one of the two things is considered superior, such as light over dark, good over evil, logic over emotion, active over passive etc… The more positive traits in their examples are traditionally associated with masculinity and maleness. They claim since Western culture thinks in these opposing binaries, and that all the favorable ones are associated with men, then that must mean it is anti-woman. Some even went so far to label our language “phallocentric” as they believe it favors the male sex. They also claim that the traditional logical and analytical mindset based on reasoning and logic is also a male quality, and since our culture favors it, it is inherently sexist against women and female qualities such as emotion and more fluid structures of thought and language.

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Many adherents to this view feel that the change needed is in “deconstructing” these binaries, and placing less emphasis on logical reasoning in Western culture. The issue with this view is one, who said that qualities like “good”, “light”, “active”, “reason”, “strong” and “white” as examples, necessarily have to be associate with the male sex? Word like “good” and “light” to me at least, have no gender connotations, “white” might have racial connotations, but not gendered ones to me. “Reason”, “strong” and “active” are words traditionally associated with men, but do they have to be? And if so, does that make them any less valuable? Who said the male sex owns the ability to view the world in an objective, rational worldview based on sound evidence and logic? I find it sexist in itself to claim that such traits are exclusively male in the first place and not qualities women can have as well! I personally don’t appreciate a hysterical, emotional, subjective mess of either sex! Plenty of men ignore reason in favor of emotion in many matters equally as women! Humanity seems to have a tendency for using emotion over reason in general… I agree that reason is better than pure emotion to guide us through our worldviews and perceptions, but not becuase it is “male”, but because its merits transcend gender divisions. Conversely, are we to say that men, by nature are unfeeling and apathetic, and traits like compassion and empathy are negative for humanity on the assumption that it is associated with femininity? Try telling that to many of the great humanitarians and moral activists who happened to be male! What is wrong with being assertive and trying to take control over what happens in your life? Many women are encouraged by feminists to have more autonomy and control over their lives by being assertive. Are we to reason this assertiveness is exclusively a male trait, and that women shouldn’t be assertive because it means trying to be like men and devaluing women? I think not. Assertiveness in itself has benefits that apply regardless of gender. My point is, just because a trait might be traditionally associated with one sex or the other, doesn’t meant that the trait in itself is invalidated or any less beneficial! So what if reason is associated with men? Or compassion and empathy with women? Doesn’t it sound silly to conclude that just because certain things are associated with one gender, in this case men, one should dismiss it in order to reject masculinity?

To me it sounds pretty immature and petty. I mean seriously? Women should reject traditional methods of reason and logic or an objective worldview based on the idea that it’s associated with men and therefore patriarchal and sexist? I don’t know about you, but to me, rejecting reason would only make any sexist thoughts about women worse and only confirm the stereotype of women being hysterical hormonal wrecks! The idea that our thinking style, one of binaries or based on logic and objectivity is inherently “male” is only sexist in itself in that any beneficial characteristics in our thought processes are owned by the male sex, and not a shared treasure among humanity as a whole. The idea seems to implicitly say that women are indeed not rational beings, and are indeed lesser than as qualities labeled as theirs are lesser than men’s. Trying to “fight back” by rejecting clearly beneficial things like rational analysis, assertiveness, strength, etc… only confirm that implicit idea that they are for men only, and rejecting them to reject maleness inherently accepts such notions as true. Why can’t we see the traditionally “masculine” traits as beneficial for everyone, not just men, and embrace them as good for humanity all together? Let’s get over our obsession with whatever traits are traditionally associated with, and just embrace the benefits of them, regardless of what sex you are.

This whole idea of our culture being “phallocentric” due to favoring traits associated with maleness that are actually neutral, and that logical reasoning is patriarchal, is absurd. Our specific thinking style and worldview might differ from other cultures, but that does not mean it shows that we think women are inherently “bad” or subversive, or less people than anyone else. Associating male traits with a fuller personhood is sexist in itself as it confirms the belief that maleness= personhood. Yes, the idea of the autonomous agent, the assertive, reasoned, logical, objective person, able to control one’s own destiny and choices in life, strong in body and character is describing the ideal man. However, this image of the “ideal man” can equally apply to women, and the traits in themselves that make up this now “ideal person” are still beneficial regardless of who possess them, man or woman. Rejecting them only serves to cut off your nose to spite your face, so to speak! Let’s be reasonable here: men and women can benefit from traditional binary traits deemed historically to be male. Crying “patriarchy!” whenever something remotely associated with men come up in life is like crying “wolf!” when there’s none: pretty soon, no one listens!…

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No traditionally male cultural ideas allowed! (That means you, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle…)