Honestly, I have enough nuggets of truth stored in my Siesta Fiesta tote bag to render a good 15-20 posts! But, some are going to require further study and pondering before they can be adequately conveyed. There is one thing, however, that Beth said, off the cuff, that keeps rising to the top, and makes me think “wow” every time it does. It went something like this:
I’ve wondered again and again why there are so many women walking around with the symptoms of sexual abuse – many of them the young girls of this current generation – when I know that not all of them have actually suffered that abuse. But then, during a conversation with Melissa [Beth’s daughter], something occurred to us. They HAVE suffered sexual abuse – we ALL have – from the pervasive onslaught of sexual media.
This just blew me away. While we’re all aware of the increasingly sexual media, I’ve never once thought of it in terms of abuse. Certainly, I’ve been aware of it’s effect on girls’ self-esteem, but to go to the extent that it is causing girls to adopt the behaviors of literal, physically molested people is something that has never crossed my mind. Maybe you don’t agree, but to me, it makes perfect sense.
According to Survivors and Friends, a support and information organization for sexual abuse survivors, these are a few behavioral signs of someone that has suffered actual sexual abuse (for a complete list, go HERE):
- Sexually-precocious or attempts to mask seductive behavior
- Change in eating habits (bulimia, anorexia, or compulsive eating)
- Inappropriately seductive
- Apparent boredom with age-appropriate activities
- Radical change in school performance
- Over achievement
- Substance abuse/addiction
- Angry, hostile or aggressive behavior
- Intense efforts to gain attention/affection from adults
- Self-mutilative behavior
This is only a fraction of the list, but I know quite a few young girls (and adults) that suffer from these things that have never been physically sexually abused. I bet you know some, too.
I went to the Fully Loaded conference with Pat Layton from A Woman’s Place Ministries.
I wish I had been sitting next to her when this was mentioned in the Living Proof conference, because I know she would’ve been shouting out a big AMEN! She watches the girls that come into that crisis pregnancy center everyday. She counsels with them and sees the way they are dressed and hears how they really view themselves. Have they suffered at the hands of an abuser? Maybe. Have the suffered from the abuse of the media? Absolutely.
Some time ago, I posted a film from Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. However, there is another film that I didn’t post before, that I’ve decided to post now. Be warned that it is somewhat graphic, however, it’s nothing you don’t see everyday on TV, and, more importantly, nothing your kids don’t see everyday, as well. The film is appropriately titled “Onslaught”.
So, what do you think about it now? Is it abuse? Are we helpless to combat it? I think not. We happen to have Truth on our side. The abuse is out there and it’s real, but we don’t have to live like victims – not us, not our kids.
We are heirs of God.
And you can look for more on that statement in my next post.
I love that campaign for real beauty. Beth's Word really helped me in thinking about teaching them in the current culture we are in.
We truly are joined at the heart.
I had the SAME response to that revelation. As much as I have thought of the media and all that it does to our kids, I had never considered it the way Beth presented. I absolutely agree with her. Like you, I am really going to have to CHEW on the reality of the thought and the response that it generates for those of us right smack in the middle of its result.
It makes me think that every girl who walks into our center really needs the healing process that we offer for sexual abuse, otherwise, she would not even be there.
Lots to consider.
Love you girl!!
melinda….just had to stop by and thank you so much for your lpm post – it is exactly how i feel about Beth and you said it all so beautifully….i’m right there praying for her with you with the same heart as yours….
Wow, how we are being duped by that industry. And let us not forget our little boys. I read a wonderful article for pre-teen boys about not letting those images in because they will affect their sexual expectations later in life. Thank you for this reminder Melinda. Love and miss you! Mich
I have a young daughter. I have 3 sons. The media has robbed our children of some of their innocence. It has touched our home at a deep and sometimes dark level; we have ramped up our efforts on a personal level and as parents required with the sacred shaping of young hearts and minds.
Interesting perspective. I think Beth is probably right.
Oh Melinda, you are right on with this one. My Bible study group discussed this very thing when we were doing Shaunti Feldhahn’s, ‘For Women Only’. Our children, our men…oh yes, it’s abuse and I go so far as to say ‘legal’ pornography.
I have two 5 year old grandaughters I have to search high and low just to find age appropriate non seductive dress for and don’t get me started on the media…even supposed innocuous programs on Disney and Nickelodeon….ehhh, really strikes a nerve with me, can you tell?
love your post dear girl…keep it up!
I’ve added your post to my Favorite Recaps on my blog. What you posted was really good. Beth was right on about this subject and your post gave her words added dimension. Thank you so much for sharing…