Saturday, September 29, 2012

Of Hobbits, bubbles, and young girls' souls

Father Z has a post on the Hobbit, a book that changed his life. For me, the big book was A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Sarah Crewe's gallantry, kindness, and patience and her loyalty moved me deeply when I was eight and I never forgot her or the desire to be like her.  I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder's books too. Half Pint's resoucefulness and grit impessed me. When parents let their kids read great novels it has an effect. When they let them read trash that has an effect too. I wouldn't be surprised if the foolish women who can't get enough of Fifty Shades of Gray weren't big fans of Flowers in the Attic when they were girls.

Parents have to monitor what goes into their child's brain and not just reading material. You have to constantly preach and more importantly you have to live what you preach. On Ann Barnhardt's page (warning--if you can't take strong language don't go there), she mentions a woman who complained that her daughter wants to be like Kim Kardashian. Miss Barnhardt told her to get rid of her cable TV and the woman replied that she didn't want to live in a little bubble. Actually, in this case, the problem isn't so much the TV as the national culture. You don't have to watch her show to know what the Kardashian woman is doing and this is not the first time a low woman has been idolized by millions.

Kardashian is in fact,  the tip of a spear that goes way, way back. Delilah and Jezebel were dazzling. Eleanor of Aquitaine was a terrible wife and aduteress but she was adored and today remains  a heroine to both feminist and non feminists. Englishwomen may not have loved Anne Boleyn but they were fascinated by her. Her French hoods and extra long sleeves were widely copied. Madam DuBarry set the fashions at Court and was imitated by both good and bad. In Lillie Langtry's day everyone wanted to be like her even though she was an open adulteress. Women rushed to buy anything that Lillie endorsed and people flocked her plays wherever she was in the world. In latter times Elizabeth Taylor and Lana Turner and Angelina Jolie are idolized. If a woman is beautiful and hard enough to dare to do the outrageous she can get away with almost anything. As I said before, it's an old story. Evil has glamour.

But getting back to the woman Miss Barnhart was talking about. She has failed but not necessarily by refusing to get rid of the TV, she's failed because she's obviously not paying enough attention to her kid and she doesn't appear to filling her matriarch role. If your pre-teen daughter's idol is a harlot and she's comfortable telling you that, you messed up somewhere. 

Instead of complaining to people who are too polite to call her out, this woman should be telling her kid that Kardashian is disgusting and that she doesn't want to see or hear anything in her house with that name and that no amount of imitation of that woman's behavior will be tolerated. That means no more shopping at Sears, no purchases of Kardashian perfume  and no more OPI nail polish until they stop selling the  Kardashian brand, and no purchases of any magazine that has her on the cover. Her kid may resent her and be pouty for months but she'll get the message: In mom's house, Kim Kardashian is not a heroine.

Elizabeth Taylor was my father's favorite actress but I knew full well that he did not want me to imitate her personal life. I was my dad's little queen but I knew there were lines, fences of protection that I did not need to cross or there would be consequences. I'm betting that the woman with the Kardashian loving daughter doesn't have any fences. Lacking a fence doesn't mean you don't live in a Christian bubble, it means that predators of all kinds have access to your kid's mind and immortal soul.

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