"I asked what happened to the guy in the picture, the one who
had gotten the blow job.
'Nothing happened to him,' Julie said.
'He's a player,' Cassy said with a frown.
'A guy will ask you to do it,' or give oral sex, Maggie said,
'and if you say no, then you're a prude, but then when you actually do
it you're a slut.
I think it's pretty much agreed that teenage girls inhabit a
world that is drastically different from those their parents and
grandparents grew up in. I think it's also conventional wisdom that
social media has an important role to play in this transformation.
Nancy Jo Sales' American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of
Teenagers examines this phenomenon.
Sales traveled across the country interviewing girls age
thirteen to nineteen from varying races and social classes about their
experiences with the medium in which they seem to live, move, and have
their being. She shares with readers a number of these conversations
along with background research. From the push toward hypersexuality
at increasingly early ages to the seeing self as a brand to be
marketed, some of these revelations can be startling, if not downright
Fortunately Sales does not see these changes as set in stone.
We need to be aware of disturbing trends and make them a matter of
public conversation. We need to hold those who create and profit from
social media accountable. We also need to help our daughters (snd
sometimes ourselves) achieve a healthier balance between their life
domains. "...Because no matter how much we may feel that this world
of social media is real, as Riley, the girl in Montclair, said, it's a
'second world.' The real world we inhabit together is the one that
matters; we need to find a way of navigating ourselves and our
children back there, to the world of true and lasting connection."
I think American Girls is a very useful book for parents and
middle school through college educators and admin. I also think it
would be a discussion stimulating book club selection.
On a personal note, we are once more into the flea battling time of
the year. I've cleaned and sprayed the house. And I still keep
finding the damn insects. If I ever have enough money I will
outsource that task to someone who actually knows what she or he is
A great big shout out goes out to my fellow fighters in the battle
Sent from my iPod