In the battle over our children – parents versus child rapists and child pornograhers – who would you place your bet on?
It seemed child pornographers and clubs like NAMBLA, the North American Man Boy Love Association, whose declared “hobby” is to rape children were winning. With 300,000 known predators the FBI was monitoring, but not arresting or prosecuting it seemed the only rational response was to run and hide.
But, hide where? They wear “good guy” camouflage and mingle among us, volunteering to coach soccer teams, lead the youth Sunday School, and play the part of the perfect step-parent or boyfriend to get close to kids.
But, after being exposed on Oprah a few weeks ago – Half a million, that’s 500,000 Moms and Dads brought the Can of Whoop Ass on Child Pornographers in the way of the Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act thatpassed last week!
That’s right America. You emailed and called enough of your congressional leaders to say THERE ARE JUST SOME THINGS WORTH SPENDING MONEY ON and arresting rapists and child pornographers is one of those things!
While they were all gathered to debate the economic crisis. Oprah and I were nervous that they would overlook this very important bill to protect kids from sexual violence. Instead they took the opportunity to vote for the bill. (Ever noticed how much more likely they are to listen in election years?)
I am so proud of us.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”-Margaret Mead
To the 300,000 child rapists and child pornographers out there – I am so very sad that your families – your wives, children, parents, siblings and friends – will be devastated by your arrest. It is profoundly tragic that they will suffer so much.
Please, God don’t let any of those 300,000 people about to be arrested for child pornography be in my life. And Please God, don’t let the FBI arrest innocent people.
How many times do you find yourself trying to protect your children from harmful and destructive images while watching family television?
Two years ago, while watching television, I was assaulted with an image of a woman wearing a see-through nightgown, nipples protruding and visible, erotic soft lighting, floating in a bathtub. It was intentionally erotic, except that she had been violently and bloodily murdered and this erotic woman was, in fact, dead.
“What the heck is going on?” I thought. “Why are my children and I being subjected to this kind of sexually violent imagery in a commercial?”
So, I wrote the FCC. The Federal Communications Commission used to be the people who governed our airwaves. They used to control when and what was allowed to air during times when children were expected to be viewing television. Remember when they wouldn’t let radio stations play George Michael’s, I Want Your Sex?
Many months later they wrote back.
“Each network or television station has control over what it airs during commercials. You’ll have to write each network to complain about every commercial you feel is inappropriate,” they informed me.
“What? Who made that stupid rule?” I wanted to know.
As a point of fact and matter of record it was specifically: Ronald Reagan who got the “deregulation of the media” rolling. George H.W. Bush furthered the problem with the telecommunications act of 1996.
The euphemism for more sex and violence on TV is “deregulation of the media.”
Sounds innocuous doesn’t it?
Essentially, deregulation means fewer laws. Fewer laws governing what? What companies can sell and who they can sell it to, when they can run an ad, and what the ads’ message can contain.
The motive? To stimulate the economy allowing telecommunications companies more freedom to make more money.
To that end, deregulation has been a fantastic success.
Unfortunately, their freedom to make more money by advertising whatever they like in front of whichever audience they buy airtime for – is infringing on my freedom and my children’s freedom to not be subjected to sexualized violence and objectification of people on television.
This is especially upsetting to me in regards to commercials where I, and children who don’t know better, are a CAPTIVE AUDIENCE and there is no implied consent, as there is when choosing to watch a sexual or violent movie or TV show.
Did Ronald Reagan mean for deregulation of the telecommunication industry, including children’s television, to result in hyper-sexualized and all-too violent advertising for children? Was this his intention?
Was it the intent of the George H.W. Bush and Congress in Telecommunications Act of 1996 to further open the floodgates for marketers to legally target children, instead of targeting their ads at parents?
This is the result. This is where we’re at.
I know for a fact the religious conservatives who voted for them would not have been in favor of such legislation if they had understood the kinds of sexual and violent imagery which would be coming at children from every direction. But, again, who cares?
It is from here we have to make a choice. Do we want to allow this kind of thing and all its consequences on our culture, our children and our own minds to continue?
The fundamental change will occur with the change of mind in the thinker.
We can change our minds.
Right now. There are numerous bills before Congress that would re-regulate our children’s media and make parents, as opposed to marketers the primary influence over our children’s minds. Visit Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood for direct links to find out about the bills and send letters directly to representatives.
Stay tuned we’ll get into the ideas presented in So Sexy So Soonand the practical steps to change our own minds, our schools, our culture and our media’s influence over the role of sex in our children’s lives.
Rosalind Chait Barnet, Senior Scientist, Women’s Studies Research Center, and Executive Director, Community, Families & Work Program, Brandeis University was on the call to address the science behind gender segregation.
Emily J. Martin is the Deputy Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project and shares the ACLU’s perspective on how gender segregation is currently being practiced in public schools.
Either you love Kate Gosselin and are amazed that she can keep it together in the face of twins and sextuplets or you’re a judgmental heartless hag. At least, that’s my personal experience with Kate-haters judging from my Kate Gosselin, Time’s Person of the Year post.
She’s lived her unique motherhood experience on reality television and she’s let you see all her flaws.
Her children have grow from babies and toddlers into full-on children at 4 and 7 years old.
Six 4 year olds people.
I find my one 6 year old daughter so challenging to raise that I actually have a blog to talk about it.
No wonder she needs a TV show.
The Gosselins have become our family experience and my children love their children. My 2 year old is as invested in those Gosselin Babies – yes, we still call them The Babies - as he is in Barney.
My daughter L-O-V-E-S those kids.
They love our family time watching them. Seriously it’s about the only G rated thing left on television during prime time.
From the article: “This is a big year for you—the first that all eight kids are in elementary or preschool. Can you describe your typical routine getting the kids ready for school?”
“I’m all about planning ahead. Otherwise, I don’t know how I would function in the morning, because I am not a morning person! I pack the twins’—Cara and Mady’s—lunches the night before, so that everything’s ready to go the next day. I also lay out the little kids’ lunches in my mind. I’m always thinking: Can I turn that roast turkey into a turkey sandwich tomorrow morning? We live an hour from the preschool, so the little kids and I have to get a very early start.”
“Who the hell drives their kids one hour away to attend preschool?” Not me. I’m annoyed that I live 15-20 minutes from Zack’s preschool and as soon as there’s an opening at the one in town I’m switching him. I don’t care who’s teaching it – it can’t be worth 2 hrs a day in the car with 6 four year olds paying $3.50 a gallon for gas.
I’m not a Kate Gosselin kind of mother in a lot of ways. I’m not a germaphobe, I’m not anal-retentive or compulsive. I care what I eat and what I feed my kids, but I don’t have the financial luxury of having an “organic-only” rule.
She makes the kids fun foods by turning them into checker boards and buys alphabet cookie cutters to make their initials out of food, according to the article. Yeah, I don’t have time for that – I’m writing this blog. I also am wary of raising my children’s expectations.
But, we do have one similar rule: I am not a restaurant. You eat what I make. I also throw in “I am not the maid. I am not your waitress.”
Oh, well, watch the show and go read the magazine article yourself.
It’s been my pleasure to share Ainsley, Perfect You with The Girl Revolution readers.
You may have different ideas about religion or God or the nature of the Universe. You may have alternative views about education. Your child will have different attributes and characteristics, and your worries about your children and their development may be different from my own.
Still, with editing and creativity you can make a book for your own child that will counter the onslaught of negative media and marketing our kids face today.
you have plenty of time to create a book of your own for Christmas using your favorite digital photo website like Mypublisher.com.
Sign up for the The Girl Revolution RSS Feed and bookmark this website so you don’t miss more great tools to empower girls.
We’ll be discussing some difficult and complex issues shortly, as I’ve recently finished So Sexy So Soon, the new book about why our kids’ media has suddenly become so inappropriately hyper-sexual. I’ve also interviewed Rosalind Chait Barnett, PhD a nationally recognized expert on the impact of gender on work, school and other environments, and Emily J. Martin, a principal in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit charging same-sex public schools with discrimination.
Please leave comments so I know you’re out there. I often wonder what everyone else thinks and comments are the only real indication I have of who you are and what you believe. What you think is important to me. I don’t have all the answers. I have some ideas and a lot of questions.