[cont. Book Club discussion: Female Chauvinist Pigs, by Ariel Levy]
let’s talk about young women and girls, for a short moment, shall we? I think some of the most arresting arguments that Levy makes are the ones that pertain to young women and girls; she reminds us that the things we do as women aren’t always without consequence and that our actions, however independent we think they may be, oftentimes, actually aren’t. She reminds us that “Adolescents aren’t inventing this culture of exhibitionism and conformity with their own fledgling creative powers. Teens are reflecting back our own slobbering culture in miniature.” Reality tv, celebreality, and our 24 hour “news”media is dumbing down our culture– appealing to the lowest common denominator as it were– and making it a place that more often finds women on trampolines rather than on podiums. This is difficult enough for grown women to decipher, but what about girls? with constant pressure placed on looking sexy, girls aren’t always taught to feel sexy; that is, to understand their own sexuality- their own sexual autonomy. But is the answer in more comprehensive sexual education or in total cultural reorganization? What would an age-appropriate comprehensive sex ed class look like? What would be included in its purview? In this case, is more education enough? How much of the blame can be placed on the teens themselves and how much is to be placed on their parents or teachers and how much is to be placed on their peer group, their geographical location, their socioeconomic class, their subculture, their culture?