Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Something seems a little twisted here

So who is it that decided that we’re going to stress out about whether little girls wear clothes with or without sleeves? I mean, seriously—the past few years i’ve been hearing people at church go on and on about how horrible it is that society is pushing little children, especially girls, to become sexualized earlier than they used to be,* and this is one reason we need to stand firm on our daughters wearing shirts and dresses with sleeves.

But what’s up with this whole meme? Even aside from the fact that pretty much everyone agrees that shoulders aren’t really a terribly sexual part of the body—not even as much as the lips, really, and we don’t demand that they get covered up—why are so many of us so apt to see something sexual where nothing sexual is intended? I mean, if i were a little less trustful of humanity generally,** i’d start to think that the people who are saying that if my six-year-old wears sleeveless dresses then she’s being sexualized early, well, i’d start to wonder about what it is that makes them so apt to see innocent children wearing innocent clothing as so intensely sexual.

You can get help for that sort of impulse, you know, and if you suffer from it you really should.

* I’ll note that whether this is true or not depends on your frame of reference, by the way. Earlier than 50 years ago? Almost certainly. Earlier than 500 years ago? That’s not quite so clear-cut.

** And i’m not to this point yet, but i’m getting closer.