Readers respond to the Monitor's recent cover story on "taking back girlhood."
Thank you for "Pretty in Pink?," the Sept. 26 cover story. As long as our culture considers sexuality to be the primary attribute of being a woman, girls will continue to be objectified by marketing – and will mimic their elders by objectifying themselves.
I have long been disturbed by what I think of as the "Cosmopolitan" trend (after the magazine): Instead of both men and women being liberated from gender roles, so-called liberal thinking and peer pressure increasingly encourage girls and young women to embrace the hypersexuality that used to be the province of only men.
This is neither progress nor a sexual revolution. It is a subtle restatement of feminine oppression. When it is "cool" for men to be compassionate, thoughtful, and communicative, and women to be strong, authoritative, and intelligent, and when sexuality is treated (as it should be) as the secondary and private privilege of an adult, our society will be making progress. And this will be reflected by both boys and girls.
Thanks for the excellent article on the growing problem of young girls being lured by marketers and media outlets into early sexualization, and for the accompanying brief guide to parents, "Rethinking your approach." While the guide was helpful, it struck me as incomplete. I'd suggest a few additional bullet points.