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Showing posts from May, 2014

Media Literacy How-To

Following my last post on media literacy, which focused on girls, I received this question from Lindsey, “Can you share some dialogue examples for pointing out the dehumanizing tricks? I want to help my boys recognize this, but I haven't been able to come up with a succinct way of talking about it.”
Since I didn’t acknowledge it in my last post, let me say here that the harm wrought on girls by media and advertising in no way exceeds the damage to boys. Levin and Kilbourne explain, “Boys learn to look at girls as sex objects, they really learn a lot about how to treat girls. At the same time, boys are seeing images of being violent, tough and macho which go against being able to have caring connective relationships when they grow up.” How sad. Our boys are hit constantly with a double whammy (be tough and girls are objects to be manipulated for your own gratification). Those two ideas combine in a toxic way. As Levin points out, this double whammy message can erode our boy’s abilit…

Media Literacy

Years ago my life offered up a juxtaposition with a profound lesson. I was a mom of two little girls under the age of 5 and relishing the experience. During that time I was asked to help lead the youth group at my church. During the day, I spent my time oohing and awing over crayon drawings of heads with arms and legs coming out of them. Not that my two daughters needed my praise; they clearly felt whatever they created was a masterpiece without my saying so. 

In the evenings once or twice a week and every weekend, I spent time teaching and playing with girls ages 12 to 18. I began to notice something startling. My little girls preened and danced and colored and delighted in themselves and life. You could tell them they were smart, kind, talented, beautiful and they would grin and nod knowingly. Not so with the teens I loved. They would continuously scrutinize themselves and find themselves terribly lacking. Try to compliment them and they deflected. Of course, there were girls who buc…

Giving Up On Guilt

It's Monday, the day after Mother's Day. Did you all survive? I say survive, because for some reason, Mother's Day is harrowing for a lot of women. I hate that that is the case, but this weekend I heard three different women state that that they'd be happier without the holiday. These are not women who wanted to be mothers, but never got the chance. They are not divorced raising kids on there own. They are all very good mothers. There are many legitimate reasons to loathe Mother's day. But there are just as many reasons that are lame. And sad. And they stem from guilt.
I think we mom's feel that Mother's Day is about acknowledging what great mom's we are. Hence, cards and school projects (both tacky and useless and adorable) that proclaim to us "World's Best Mom." Which, lets be honest, makes us all feel like a fraud. Even the woman that actually is the world's best mom, wherever she is, feels a shame dump when she reads those words. Ev…