- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Teen ‘tramps’

“Call me sexist. Call me a prude. Call me what you will. But I absolutely refuse to allow my daughter to dress according to the dictates of the manufacturers of girls’ clothing, which has been patterned on the preferences of such role models as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, et al.

“The sad fact is that a lot of today’s tween and teen girls dress like streetwalkers. …

“How do so many … little girls end up looking like sex objects?

“How? Because their parents let them. … It’s our fault if America’s little girls look like tramps.

“Most 12- to 16-year-olds don’t have access to a lot of cash — unless, of course, their parents give it to them. … And it’s usually the mom who happily drives the little darlings to the mall for a fun day of shopping. Face it: Little girls dress according to what their mommies allow.

“I thought mothers were supposed to protect their daughters, to teach them to value themselves and their bodies. What chance does a little girl stand of keeping her childhood or innocence intact when it’s mommy that’s driving her to the store and paying for the thongs, the itty-bitty skirts, the hipster jeans and the plunging necklines?”

Rebecca Hagelin, writing on “America’s little girls … or tramps?” March 4 in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Rewriting history

“George Orwell wrote: ‘Who controls the past controls the future: Who controls the present controls the past.’

“This was the mantra for the revisionism carried out by the party in Oceania in his novel ‘1984.’ Adhering to this credo, the fictional ruling party systematically eliminated anything from history that was inconvenient to its vision for the future.

“In America, a real group seems to be driven by the same credo, as they bring lawsuits around the country attempting to remove from courthouses and schools history they deem inappropriate. That group is the American Civil Liberties Union. …

“One doesn’t need to be particularly disposed to religion to understand the prominent role that the Ten Commandments played in this country’s founding and in the formation of our laws. … Twelve of 13 original colonies simply codified the Ten Commandments as law. …

“The only way for the ACLU to ultimately prevail is for history to evolve — that is, for someone to rewrite history, erasing public recognition of the influence of religion on the Founders.”

Peter W. Schramm, writing on “Decalogue Part of Nation’s Foundation,” March 2 in the Columbus Dispatch

Austen uber alles

“The entertainment industry continues churning out updates of the Jane Austen oeuvre — from reverent Ang Lee adaptations to less-reverent eye-and-brain candy like ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ and ‘Clueless.’ [In February] came the American release of the Austen-inspired Indian courtship film ‘Bride and Prejudice.’ Less widely noted is a distressing sign that the Jane Austen craze has hit rock bottom: a bit to package Austen’s witty, astringent romances of Regency England into an all-purpose remedy for the harried, unsatisfied single woman, in ‘Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating.’ …

“Why, exactly, do 21st-century women find so much resonance in Austen’s two-centuries-old worldview? …

“[T]he recent spate of Austen adaptations lets women believe that they can have it both ways, obtaining a comfortable lifestyle as a reward for holding out for true love. … But to reduce Austen’s works to a series of do’s and don’ts is to gloss over their fascinating triangulation of love, wealth, and status.”

— Karen Rosenberg, writing on “Austen Overload,” in the Feb. 28 issue of New York

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