Saturday, March 9, 2013

Twinkle, Twinkle, Hold the Soft Porn


Claire loves music. We have a treasure trove of children's music on iTunes, 311 songs with a playing time of 11 hours. Of course, my daughter just has to hear a song that doesn't exist in this collection today.

I'm undeterred. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star can't be too hard to get online, I figure. I find it quickly on a children's music site online. I find something unexpected also.

As Twinkle, Twinkle plays on my laptop, a picture flashes on the screen. A woman mugs at the camera with pouty lips. She's stands with her back arched and chest out. A skin-tight mini-dress shows half of an immense cleavage and barely covers an ample behind that's pushed into the air, as if to suggest an offering. She pulls at the bottom of the dress around her crotch to keep the thin, stretchy fabric from bunching up in front and revealing even more unsavory bits.

So many questions go through my head at once. What are they advertising? Why on earth would they think that someone coming to a children's music site would click on that picture? Why would I want my daughter to see this representation of femininity? How in the world do you shelter your children from these things? And, if you can't, how do you explain their existence?


internet porn


We used to sneak looks at National Geographic, when we were little. Girlie magazines were hidden away in drawers. The good ol' days. Now, we have the internet. 

It's stating the obvious that I want my daughter to grow up with a healthy body image,  and a positive attitude about what it means to be a woman. We all want these things for our children. It's clear that it has become a growing challenge to accomplish these goals, when we live in a world overly-saturated with sexed-up advertising imagery and media outlets obsessed with the superficial. We all probably agree. 

My viewpoints aren't on the extreme end of the spectrum either. I believe in freedom of choice. While not my particular cup of tea, an adult has the right to look at this kind of imagery. I should have a choice NOT to look at the picture too. I should be able to have some control over what my daughter sees also. 

We try in our family too. We don't have a television. Our daughter doesn't spend time on the internet. Perhaps, we need to take more extreme measures, like moving off the grid.

It's disheartening. I didn't expect to have to start thinking about these issues, when my daughter is this young. I had hoped I wouldn't have to start facing my feelings of powerlessness about them just yet. 

I am unprepared. I fear that nothing I could possibly say or do is a match for the pervasiveness of objectifying messages about women that our world has to spare. Now, I can add paranoia about my lack of control over when and where they will suddenly pop up. 

I mean, come on, I found an incredibly objectifying and offensive image today on a children's music site, while my daughter and I listen to a nursery rhyme!


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48 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, Rachel, I know exactly what you're saying! I have typed things into a search and had stuff come up, totally unrelated, that are pretty much porn. Once on an image search for a blog post a pornographic picture that a woman took of herself popped up! I'm an adult, and while I can take it I don't want kids seeing that stuff! My son is 8, and we really don't let him on the internet unless we are sitting with him, and there is good reason for that!

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    1. Yes, that's happened to me too! It's crazy, Sarah!

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  2. Wow that is just awful! :/

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    1. Yup! Just when you think things can't get lower!

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  3. Now that is a new all time low. How awful.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, an all time low. I would agree with that.

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  4. That is just crazy and cannot believe that you found that on children's site. Seriously, what is the world coming to and so with you on this one Rachel.

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  5. I have to agree that is definitely an all time low. It doesn't seem to be getting any better that's for sure. It is only getting worse. You read about them teaching sex education in Kindergarten now too.

    It truly makes you wonder what this world is coming to.

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    1. It was bad, but I worry about what's going to happen next...

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  6. that is so sad and i totally know the feeling

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    1. I'm sorry that you do. More people than I'd like probably know the feeling.

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  7. Sorry that you've had that experience Rachel! I'd hate it, thank goodness I'd not know how to access it, because I'm not an iTunes follower. Not sure, now, I'd want to be!

    Isobel: www.ColdhamCuddliescalling.blogspot.com

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    1. The internet was the culprit, Isobel. It pays to be careful.

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  8. That is seriously crazy. I hate that. UGH. I had the opposite (sort of) where one of the search terms that brought somebody to Finding Ninee was "mom boy porn." I was like %$#@&&&& WHAT? How the #$%^^%% did you get HERE? I was really mad, actually. Stupid porn. It's everywhere too. Boo.

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    1. I've had those too! I wrote a post called "Father Daughter" and I get "Daddy does daughter". BLEHHHHHHHH!!!! I actually want to kill google too for sending them to my site!!!!

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  9. My husband told me (jokingly) that if I wanted to monetize my blog, I should figure out a way to combine social networking and porn, since they seem to be the two most popular things on the web. Sad to say, I think he's right.

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    1. You'd be a millionaire, but you wouldn't be able to look at yourself in the mirror! :)

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  10. I so feel your pain! I have four children and I feel like they are so inundated with these images even though we are practically raising them in a bubble! Good luck!

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    1. I know. I'm worried about what the bubble will do to them too. It sure beats the alternative though.

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  11. I giggled when you mentioned looking at the National Geographics. We used to look at the magazines in the men's barber shop where my mother used to take us to get our hair cut. I'm not sure why she thought that was the best place to get our hair done ... I'm guessing it was cheap. But the magazines were quite explicit, at least to my five year old mind.

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    1. Yes, they were! But at least they were REAL!

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  12. Urgh it is so hard to, I don't know shelter seems the wrong word. Allie does watch TV (don't know how you survive!) And Boo has her iPod. I have parental controls on everything and am still scared! My husband, who barely knows how to turn on a computer went online one day and called me in a panic in trying to go to a firefighter website he ended up on a porn site. He unplugged the computer because he couldn't figure out what went wrong! He hasn't been online since.

    I don't know what the answer is, but somehow nursery rhymes should be safe

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    1. Oh, poor thing! I can imagine his panic!

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  13. I'm no longer surprised at what I see on the web, or on television. From the early years of Saturday Night Live, when Dan Ackroyd call Jane Curtain a "bitch" and we were shocked, to the T&A provided on every commercial that's aired today, the extremes seem to be pushed further and further. Even nowadays, with reality TV pushing the boundaries, one wonders how much further they can go. Good taste and discretion have left the building. However, there seems to be no end to the madness. It makes on question what will be the norm in 2030. Good post!

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    1. Oh, the good ol' days, right? I remember that!

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  14. You are not powerless. Remember, you matter most. Studies prove again and again that the parent is the biggest influence on the child when it comes to self-image and everything sex and drugs. I hold tightly to this as my eldest approaches the tween years - she'll be 8 in May. I shelter my 3 children and, yes, and I'm proud of it. They don't see Cosmo or other such magazines in my house - not even People! They keep to Nick Jr. on tv and pre-screened websites with permission. I've shielded them from media and advertising as much as humanly possible and so far it has all worked!

    Trust yourself and trust your parenting. Claire will likely turn out to be an amazing, confident person because her mother is aware, intelligent and most certainly promotes self-worth in herself and her daughter! And when she starts asking questions about the things that she sees at school or with friends, you'll intuitively know the answers (your values are your guide), or you'll find them through trusted friends, blogging and books and share them with her.

    I only read your writing, but I think you're a great mom. Bet she does too! Trust yourself. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you for the support, Tamara! I appreciate it and I hope you are right!!

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  15. I found your blog through the GFC hop, and I'm glad I have! (:

    I think you're doing the right thing by wanting your girly to grow up sure of herself, and with self worth!

    I'm not a mom yet, but I hope someday that I can raise my children with as much conviction as you raise yours (:

    Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks, Alynne. Hopefully, she will know who she is!

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  16. I agree that this image is way too pervasive. I want my daughter to be a kid. I remember attending a family event in town last year and being horrified by the songs that were played at such event. I want my daughter to have a wonderful childhood and not have to think about these things.

    Visiting from the Monday Hop.

    Mel S
    http://twomomsalittletimeandakeyboard.blogspot.com

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  17. By the time I worked out how to stop my boys looking at things they shouldn't, they were old enough to.

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    1. Oh, gosh. I know that's going to happen to me too! They are always one step ahead of you, particularly when it comes to computers!

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  18. Yeah, that is a shame. I was hoping you were going to post the picture of the women with pouty lips :)

    Allen
    http://www.funnybabyvids.com

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    1. Ha! I have faith in your ability to find it or one that's very similar. You can look at it, instead of me.

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  19. I just LOVE it when my little ones are on the net and this kinda crap pops up! Awesome! Just what every parent wants for there children to see and its always so relevant to the subject matter. Learning to read, boobs flying around you know. Totally in the same Genre. :)
    Katie~
    http://dysfunctionsjunction.com

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  20. Yep. You've got to be weary on the internet. Just be careful when searching about the White House. There's a really bad site their when searching about our nations capital.


    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  21. That is really shocking!! I would be furious, too. A photo like that has no place next to a child's song site. Unbelievable.

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  22. Gosh, some people are just so sick. :(

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    1. I just don't know why they need to share it with other people!

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  23. That is why we don't have TV too. It's really sad. I have even had to stop the youTube watching because after you watch your video, all these other videos "you might like" pop up and so many ARE NOT APPROPRIATE and have nothing to do with what we were watching. I feel ya.

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  24. Things are getting more blatant on every medium. Music, televsion and internet is hard to turn on without being offended. The internet is everywhere now, smart phones, ipods, ipads, laptops, TV's, and computers. I am glad I have my son raised. I was able to keep him away from most things up into his teenage years, and he is pretty naive. It worries me that when he goes to college in the fall that he is not ready to deal with all he will come in contact with.

    Visiting from LWML blog hop.

    http://agutandabutt.blogspot.com/

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