Think of your teen daughter. Imagine you are her, for just a day.
You get out of bed, put your Ipod on shuffle and listen to lyrics that, well, they are so degrading to girls I can’t write them. On the ride to school, you pass billboards showing beautiful, thin girls selling products or being the object of a man’s attention and wonder if you need to lose a few pounds or be sexier. At school, your girlfriends gossip in graphic details about their sexual encounters over the weekend and you worry that you haven’t had sex with enough guys. At home you turn on the TV and watch guys paw scantily clad girls in music videos. You worry that maybe you are not pretty enough for a man to want to have sex with you. You log onto MySpace and are greeted with comments from girls at school telling you that you are “Ugly and should die.” An instant message pops up from a Facebook friend, asking if you will give him head the next time he sees you, even though you hardly know him. You write back “Hahahaha” but feel offended. Another friend sends you a link to a free porn site he is watching. Curious, you click on it. You watch two men slap, spank, spit on, and insert themselves into every orifice of the girl who sounds like she is enjoying it, but you aren’t quite sure. Should you be letting your boyfriend do those things to you? Is that what he wants? You are a bit aroused but feel dirty all at once. Before you go to sleep, you thumb through the latest magazine and read about the ten top things guys wish you knew how to do in bed and wonder how you measure up. Worried, you wonder if you your guy will leave you if you can’t do all ten things. Maybe the next time you are with him you should have a few shots of tequila to be more courageous to making him happy.
How are you feeling right now? Maybe you are incredulous. This can’t be reality, can it? Unfortunately, it is the reality many of our girls face, day in day out. Imagine how confused, overwhelmed, disrespected and unsure of themselves the world makes them feel.
How did our world get this crazy for teens? Garbage. Not the kind filling our landfills, but rather the kind that fills our hearts and minds. We have come to use the garbage of sex and violence to get people to buy things or to “buy into” things. Sex can be an amazing, intimate act between people, but we have debased it just one of its facets: lust. We’ve lost our moral compass as well as the map to human kindness, empathy and compassion. The world is in an economic crisis as well as a human crisis. But, there is a way to clean up this mess. It just takes three words: Honor the Girl.
We are focused on saving Mother Earth and turning around our economic woes. Global warming, sustainability, economics, are all buzz words of the day. But we are ahead of ourselves. To save Mother Earth and our economy, we start by saving the MOTHERS of the earth. They in turn will help save us all.
Girls can do the one thing that men cannot. Women have babies. What we teach our teen girls today are the lessons we will deal with in her children tomorrow. At the moment, the lesson teen girls are learning is that to be valued, to be loved, you must be, and I apologize, I know of no other word to use, F*@k-able. What types of mother’s are we creating when the F-word is what we honor? We are creating mothers who carry psychological damage and have low self-respect from today’s constant bombardment of messages and images that disrespect her. That gets passed down to the next generation in many ways. We will all pay an enormous price for that.
Helping teen girls respect themselves will help heal our world’s woes. The balance of estrogen and progesterone in girls’ brains hardwires them to be the nurturers. Women bring peace and solace when you honor and respect them for being the amazing, powerful people they are meant to be. Let us respect the feminine energy for what it is, life bearing, as opposed to corrupting it to being simply a source of gratification for a man’s sexual needs.
Teach girls to respect themselves and you teach them how to help the next generation respect themselves and others. And so it will go. When people respect themselves, they are less prone to behavior that is destructive to others or self. That creates calm communities that have more resources for solving big issues like economic woes, or finding solutions to helping the planet thrive.
Think how many of our worlds ills could be cured if mother’s simply had less wounds from growing up in a culture that disrespects them. Think what could happen if every mother had enough respect to teach her children that they must respect others, and they should never kill another mother’s child. What if that message stuck? Perhaps the next generation will look for peaceful solutions instead of waging war. The wonderful possibilities of where we go as human beings and the future of our planet depends on whether or not we learn to Honor the Girl. It’s that simple.