At a certain age, girls are supposed to be ” boy crazy” and this continues on for years till they become adults.There are thousands of magazines, books, movies and television shows dedicated to girls analyzing, agonizing and antagonizing over boys. Are these merely a result of girls minds or are they what influences girls to think this way?
The other day, I was leafing through a magazine which had to be targetted towards 12-14 year olds. The whole magazine was boys, boys,boys. This wasn’t the problem. The problem was deeper than this. There were some really warped values that the magazine promoted. Take an article that talked about ” Girl Man Eaters” and how you should beware of these girls taking away your ” man”. They were promoting a notion that if a boy cheated, the other woman was responsible and not only that, you should not complain or nag and be with him at all times. This horrible magazine was promoting competition, basing your self worth on a boy, tolerating cheating and in some ways bullying. The boys were never to blame it was always those evil girls out to take their ” man”.
Let’s stop here for a moment. These girls are 12 at the most, but are being talked to as if they were 22. This is not surprising because teenage targeted tv shows and films feature girls in their twenties PRETENDING to be girls in their teens. In today’s society girls are taught that they should be thinking like a 22 year old at age 11. This gives a sense of false empowerment, where girls BELIEVE they are somehow deciding something by following how these shows think. It’s actually the opposite.
Very rarely do teens get a realistic depiction of what they are going through because it is not teens themselves who are creating this media but something outside of themselves. The only thing they are concerned with depicting are relationships. Is it no wonder that all the supposedly ” girl oriented” media out there is mostly dedicated to this as well? That women dedicate an inordinate amount of time speaking about relationships as a due cause?
There is nothing wrong with being boy crazy. When I was ten, I started a club called the ” boy crazy club” and put posters all over the walls of a secret closet nook underneath the stairs . We would convene every week to talk about all the cute boys. We would stalk cute boys near the hallway. We would call them and then hang up.
Sure this was fine. But what I wish someone had told me then is that it didn’t have to be the only thing I thought about. That I didn’t have to base all my self worth on whether I had a date or not. That there would be time for this later, and there were so many things to learn and discover.
With so many applications and technological advances, and the general blame attitude towards sexuality I can’t help but think it gets worse now. But the concepts still remain the same, girls become emotionally invested in relationships. The prince to come save the princess.
Let’s look at the depiction of boys. Boys are supposed to be overly hormonal, and usually with a ” men” magazine, women are merely inanimate objects that they can drool over. In some cultures, you are not a man until you have had sex. I remember when I was in eighth grade, some of the fathers forced their kids to go to prostitutes so they can become a ” man”. I am not sure what this means, how does becoming sexually active equate you becoming a man? What does becoming a man mean? Why does objectifying women and satiating your sexual appetite somehow mean you ” grew up”?
Because I work with teens in that age group, all of these concepts make me think. How about considering that your worth comes from the virtues and values you create, your spiritual self, of serving others and empowering positive change. By deflecting things that are just about ” you” and promoting selfish and narcissistic concepts you try to see a way to become a better person.
Furthermore, if relationships are based on this value, they will become more enriching. I think of the two gypsy girls in Madrid. How their only hope was to get married at 13 like their parents. They did not want to continue studying, or do anything else. Was this worse than the girls in El Salvador who go from boy to boy? I am not sure. But I wish for them something different. Something that has to do with finding that fabric of who they are, rising above like phoenixes and seeing their potential whether or not they are with a boy.