Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It

The Lolita Effect by Meenakshi Gigi Durham
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Dec 02, 14


I suppose the shelf might be more accurate as skimmed. This is a book that touches on and "attempts" to cover an important subject. The author does a good job of trying to look at it. I believe that she is struggling a bit against her own preconceptions and predetermined ideas and attitudes however.

I agree with her that we need to avoid things like censorship. This gives her a problem however which she runs up against when she suggests things like "positive media". The same problem arises when she looks at things like attitudes shared by "girls" (and by extension boys by the way). These inevitably swing back to media. From movies and TV to magazines the images are there.

The writer here is hampered by refusing to even look at the idea that certain "modern" or "currently accepted" ideas might be off the mark. That maybe 3 year olds and 6 year olds may not naturally be "sexual" but that our society has begun to look at children that way. There is lacking here as in almost all attempts to deal with societal problems a sense of "balance". I believe that the book misses a primary key to this danger to our children and a lot of other dangers to our children. It is that parenting doesn't require a village, it requires parents.

Never looked at here is the problem of an utterly selfish society where we "can have it all". The idea that adults need to put their children first and accept "delayed gratification" of and for their own desires even their own "rights" may be what's needed. Acceptance of the responsibility of being parents. We don't need the government or anyone else to sensor what is viewed or read by our children if parents are actually parenting. Explanation by a loving parent...decisions that the TV might be turned off, that certain programs or channels won't be watched, that given movies aren't acceptable...wow, what radical ideas.

There is today a dearth of positive role models for our children (both girls and boys) and any attempt to provide them in media is sneered at. Parents who are an actual married couple who have placed the good of their children ahead of their own wants are becoming more and more rare. Is it any wonder that children find their role-models in Victoria's Secret adds, 17 Magazine, or the latest BIG Movie Star?

The book is good at laying out the problem and looking at some of the misconceptions we have as a culture perpetrated. The title refers back to a big one. That in the novel Lolita is not a "seductress" but a victim. The the word "nymphet" is Humbert Humbert's own twisted view. Our culture has taken to using the term a "little Lolita" to mean a seductive young girl when in the book she is at best unconsciously attractive to Humbert who is an abuser. (I've never been able to read that book in detail because of that and the way things turn out for Lolita).

So, I'd say read the book, it's a good run down of the problem but keep your mind working. We who as adults are here to love and protect our children. Maybe we need to put "parent" back on the list of important careers?
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by mark (new)

mark monday i really like this review. maybe it's just because i agree with your commentary. or maybe it's because i have awesome nephews who live in los angeles and i am always worrying about them growing up too soon.


message 2: by Jeanie (new) - added it

Jeanie I like your take the dangers of our children is that parenting does not require a village but it requires parents that are involved. (I added involved). Also I know working with children that children can be awaken to sexual desires. When children are sexually abused, many times they abuse other children. Especially with porn being so easy to obtain thru the internet. Good review


message 3: by Jeanie (new) - added it

Jeanie I agree with you on that the dangers of children are not the village but the parents. My daughter works in the inner city and you can pour all the money in the world into communities but if parents are not involved and loved well, our society will have issues. On the issue of children and sex, working with foster children that have been sexually abused, they go usually abuse other children sexually. Their sexual desires because we are sexual beings are awaken and wreak havoc on these children's emotional well being. Good review. I appreciated your comments


message 4: by Jeanie (new) - added it

Jeanie sorry about the two posts...I did'nt realize it posted the first time...:)


Mike (the Paladin) Cool, it happens. We have sexualized our children more and more. i don't recall being aware of "sex" per se' when i was small (though *I never did go through the "I hate girls" phase boys are supposed to go through. I always liked girls). Still it's become politically correct to teach kids about sex young.

You're also right about the porno being easy to find. I personally consider it my duty to patrol it to see if it's still there....O_o....pretend I didn't say that.


message 6: by MomToKippy (new)

MomToKippy Very nice Mike! Totally 100% agree with you and your review. I am still stunned when we happen to be watching a "family" tv show and some movie ad comes on that is basically soft porn. It is so hard to be vigilant but it is our duty as parents and no one else's. And yes we block certain channels even those directed at teens are offensive. The media gets away with this because many are just passive sponges. And I also gave up a good career so that I could put parenting first and be the one to have the most influence in my children's lives.


Mike (the Paladin) My kids are grown but while i didn't limit time the kids could watch TV I did have them avoid certain stations and we didn't have any of the "premium" stations (I do now as it was a cable package).

Frankly I think we've consistently lost ground.


message 8: by Fayley (new)

Fayley "Parenting doesn't require a village, it requires parents". Fantastic. I'm going to use that.


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