Do as we say…

  • MSN Today



  • Guys: Is she interested?
  • Are kids too sexy too soon?


    As I went into my hotmail account today, the above were on the page of stuff of that Microsoft thought I might want to read about.  They were placed in the most obvious and prominent place.  The third question in particular jumped out at me.  I worry off about my kids and about the prominence of sexualized imagery in media.

    But the first thing I noticed is that the wrong question is being asked.  In fact, if we assume the author intended all the words he chose, they ought to be arrested.

    (I absolutely believe it was just lousy word choice, by the way.  I’m not suggesting that the author should in fact be arrested.)

    The dictionary at Merriem-Websters website says that the word sexy means the following:

    1 : sexually suggestive or stimulating : erotic 2 : generally attractive or interesting : appealing <a sexy stock>

    I’ll take a pass on even expressing my thoughts about the damage that second definition does, and instead focus on what I think is wrong with the wording of the question: “Are kids too sexy too soon?”

    Both of these definitions focus on the eye of the person observing.  They indicate that something arouses interest.  I don’t believe the author intended to mean “Do I find kids too sexually appealing when they are young?” but this is in fact what the content of his words indicate.  Apparently, what he meant to ask was “Are kids sexualized too soon?”

    The article itself wasn’t bad.  It quoted lots polls and shared a few anecdotes indicating that parents are worried about disturbing images in the media.  But there is an irony in all this.

    At least one way too get to this article was by clicking the link from the MSN page that featured two other links.  Those links are:

    Body Language5 signs he’s into you … & 5 he’s not

  • Guys: Is she interested?
  • More from TODAY


    At the bottom of the whole article, there were these options:

    Forget To Take The Pill?
    Forget taking the Pill every day. Think once a month birth control.

    Teeth Whitening Exposed
    The Secrets Dentists don’t want you to know about Teeth Whitening!

    Six Sigma Certified?
    Villanova Six Sigma Certification. 100% Online Program – Free Info.

    LSI – Spine Specialists
    Gentle Arthoscopic Solutions For Back & Neck Pain.

    AARP Auto Insurance From The

    :So, let’s sum up here:

    A total of 16 possible links from this story.  The first two (the alternatives to clicking the link to the story of childhood sexualization) were focused on romatic relationships.  In the list of “More” offered from today, four were about physical beauty and wieght loss.  One is apparently about the logistics of threesomes.  Another is about the past of somebody for sex-related crimes.  And of those four links at the bottom of the page, one is for birth control, and another is about teeth whitening.

    In other words, of the sixteen possible links from this story, ten take the reader to stories about sexuality, relationships, or closely related topics such as physical appearance.  I don’t believe that most of them would be particularly scintillating.  (You have numerous issues if you find teeth whitening arousing.)  But they all indicate a preoccupation in society.

    My concern is not so much the damage done by kids who click the wrong link.  My first concern is the message that we send as a society.  Regardless of how mature or developed we are, it’s ludicrious for we adults to be over sexualized while telling our kids not to be. 

    For me, the real problem is that a well-behaved, safely monitored kid might be surfing the net and simply see that over half the links point toward sites that relate to sexuality, romantic relationships, and physical beauty.  Half the damage is in what this expresses about where our priorities are, even if the sites are never visited!



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    The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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