I am a 40 something female and mother to two teenager girls. To my husband’s chagrin, we consume, ie – buy stuff, somewhat majorly. In spite of the bad economy, our credit card bills prove we’re sure doing our part to improve it.
It’s doubtful anyone in Hollywood gives a damn how I feel about anything. But I’m here to tell you I see myself and those who share my views on many of the products that are aimed with laser-like precision at teenage audiences – particularly female – as a new “inconvenient truth.”
All Mama Bear asks is that you please stop sexualizing younger and younger women.
I think girls have it pretty hard these days and have to put up with a lot of garbage being shoved into both their conscious and subconscious minds. As a group, I don’t see where young women have moved either forwards or backwards in recent years. Actually I sometimes think the whole world’s headed straight towards hell. For the record that doesn’t make me a right wing wack job. I know you love absurd generalizations, but that doesn’t even make me part of the right wing.
The other day I was all over Teen Vogue. Today it’s that charming little show called Gossip Girl, which since day one has billed itself, quite effectively and accurately as “a parent’s worst nightmare.”
Grab a hard hat, perhaps a xanax and Tivo a few episodes of The Good Wife. Big Announcement: I don’t want my teenagers, or anyone else’s to be exposed to an episode of Gossip Girl being referred to by the CW network as a “Very Special Threesome”
The upcoming episode was also promoted this way: “three major characters having sex. At the same time. In the same bed. Together.”
My first reaction, in Gossip Girl, xoxo vernacular is, WTF?
The Parent’s Television Council has sent a letter asking CW Network affiliates to preempt the next “Gossip Girl” episode on November 9, which will feature major characters in a sexual threesome.
Aspersions were cast on “The Parent’s Television Council” more often than not in internet editorials and news articles. The tone overall was dismissive, speaking of parents “getting panties in a wad” or “sheets twisted.” Some subtle. Others, not so much.
Newser’s headline was Parents Council Freaks Over Gossip Girl Threesome. Frankly I’m thrilled there’s a group who “freaked.” Use of juvenile verb aside, the article describes the PTC as being on “the warpath.”
Southern Baptists, Scientologists, moonies, gays and lesbians, members of Ducks Unlimited, PETA, the National Rifle Association or the Junior League – whoever you are, I applaud you.
My daughters and I have talked about this ridiculously titillating show before. I watched an episode or two with my then 15 year old during the first season. We mostly made fun of the absurd content, which features elite Manhattan high schoolers acting like elite Manhattan 28 year olds. We talked about it. I asked questions, listened and put in my two cents.
To my knowledge, neither of my daughters are watching the show this season. But you can bet that I’m going to be double sure when the episode is scheduled to air on November 9. A letter from PTC head, Tim Winter, acquired by The Wrap states:
“To include a storyline like this on a program that is expressly targeted to impressionable teenagers is reckless and irresponsible. We are asking each CW Network affiliate to use their common sense and preempt this episode.”
In reaction and after referring to the PTC as a “right-wing political action group”, The Wrap, in an editorial at the online journal about the entertainment industry article says:
“Targeting teens wouldn’t make sense for The CW, since there’s far more money to be made attracting women 18-34 — the network’s declared demographic. Disney Channel and TeenNick are more likely targets for advertisers looking to reach teens and tweens.”
Yeah, right. The show is about kids in high school.
The article’s author must not have two teenage daughters both of whom received their first Barbie dolls from well meaning friends on their first birthdays. He’s probably never been clothes shopping with them, where each trip to the mall is a challenging exercise in avoiding skankwear that should only be worn by 4 and a half foot tall street walkers.
Proctor and Gamble selling soap during As the World Turns to housewives is one thing. Selling to children is quite another. Up until around age 21 and in a manner that will confound them a year or two later,the youth demographic desires nothing more than to feel and perhaps even be, older. Think of Gossip Girl as the television version of having a popular older brother with really cute friends.
We are most comfortable preaching to our own personal choirs, leaving the heavy lifting to other people. So am I going to call up my affiliate station and ask them not to air this episode of Gossip Girl? Nope. But I’m glad that somebody, whether it be a group or an individual did. Something that is this personally alarming should rouse the action of somebody. And if I’m not feeling quite as “alarmed” as I should? That in itself should give concern.
I’d love to think that every impressionable young woman out there has a parent, friend or family member, who watches over what television shows they consume. I’d love to think that Hollywood will stop pushing the envelope of reason when it comes to targeting young audiences with degrading sexual and violent images. I’m sick of hearing, “no one is going to make you watch it.”
My message to Hollywood? Stop making soft porn that you know full well will end up being consumed by teenagers. Pushing the envelope is not impressing me. I compare you to the proverbial bad kid in kindergarten, the one who pushes and hits and knocks down everyone’s blocks. Without pause you ruin the good things that others have carefully built in a matter of mere, reckless seconds. You immediately start talking about your rights, unable to grasp the concept of the rights of others. The principal is left with no choice but to make new rules. Everyone loses.
How about a few more shows that my whole family can enjoy, where I don’t have to keep a finger poised over the remote as if playing a video game, always ready to switch to The Weather Channel? If you’re listening and care what I think, please make high quality, non-violent, non anti-female (thought I was going to say pro-female, eh?) shows while you’re at it. Hint: The Good Wife is a great start. Just to prove it, I’m going to go out and buy something they advertise tomorrow