15 December, 2007

Today's girls prefer to look sexy rather than be clever

Women have fought for decades to be treated as men's equals. Yet today's girls are being told that female empowerment simply comes from being 'sexy', according to a new book by the managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.
In Prude: How The Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls, Carol Platt Liebau says popular culture is undermining girls' sense of worth in their most vulnerable, formative years and glorifying destructive behaviour .

'The overwhelming lesson teenagers are now learning from the world around them is that being "sexy" is the ultimate accolade, trumping intelligence, character and all other accomplishments at every stage of a woman's life,' said Liebau, a political analyst and the review's first female managing editor. 'The new female imperative is that it is only through promiscuity and sexual aggression that girls can achieve admiration and recognition.' She cites films such as Cruel Intentions and Mean Girls, the music and videos of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Lil' Kim, and advertisements such as the dominatrix-themed campaign for the teenage fashion house bebe, featuring Mischa Barton. 'In a culture that celebrates Paris Hilton, thong underwear and songs like "My Humps" - where the female singer expounds the sexual magnetism of her breasts and buttocks - there's scant recognition or respect for female modesty or achievement that isn't coupled with sex appeal,' she adds.


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