Saturday, June 03, 2006


We recently had our first real troll here at PowerPop, no doubt because of all the agita. A poster mourned the existence of Prussian Blue, saying it was really too bad that liberals had made such things necessary.


Personally, I blame Prussian Blue on their nutbag Nazi parents. Parenting is an imprecise science at best, but I have to confess that I really don't get parents who think that their child's future is wholly within their control. It's like anorexia or something: trying to exert control over some aspect of your life because there's so much over which you cannot exert control. I am rather more lasseiz-faire about this sort of thing: aside from matters of ethics (we don't steal, we don't hit, we don't sit on the heads of our smaller siblings), I figure my kids know who they are, and as long as they're safe, my job is to help them be that person, even if it's not what I personally might have chosen for them. (I was never a band geek, for example, but I fully support my kid's right to be one.)

As a parent, then, I guess I'm not much like Marie Osmond. Via Majikthise:

Pop star-turned-doll maker MARIE OSMOND has launched a personal crusade to clean up the Internet after learning her two teenage daughters have been posting sexually explicit correspondence on their websites. The PAPER ROSES singer felt compelled to give a statement to US tabloid National Enquirer after the publication uncovered outrageous content on her daughters JESSICA and RACHAEL's blogs. On her site, 18-year-old Jessica, who was adopted by Osmond as an infant, claims she is a bi-sexual who craves sex "as many times as possible," while her 16-year-old sister describes herself as a "slut" and a "whore" in correspondence and opened up about her dreams of having sex with DAVID BOWIE. In her statement, shocked Marie, a devout Mormon, says, "I am saddened by some of the choices that two of our children have made. The insidious potential for harm from adolescent Internet sites like only exacerbates these kinds of problems."

Well, MySpace is pretty chaotic, no doubt, but at 16 and 18 presumably these girls are making their own choices. They may be saying things their mother doesn't like, but that's their right.

It never ceases to amaze people that I don't snoop in my kid's room. At nearly 16, she deserves some privacy, and besides, we talk a lot, about all that stuff you're supposed to talk to your kids about. But then, we're wacky liberals.

By 16, Marie Osmond already had a hit record and a TV show; forgive me for believing that it was likely that she also did things (LA in the 70's? Please.) that her parents might not have approved of. She was engaged at 19, an engagement made and broken off abruptly. (I guess her period came.) But that was before MySpace, of course.

The internets are simultaneously public and private space, and the relationship between the two is not always clear. I don't blame these girls for thinking that their mom was unlikely to find their MySpace pages, or that they could conduct conversations there outside her attention. But then, we've all learned a lot about that these last few weeks.

As the commenters at Majikthise point out, what's concerning about her outrage is that it's not so much about MySpace, but about control of her daughters' sexuality. She's horrified that one is bi and the other a slut, but frankly, the one who claims she's bi is 18, and the other may in fact feel that she has nothing more to bring to a relationship than sexuality. That's sad, not because of any sexual activity she may or may not be engaging in, but because of what it says about her identity. We need to do a better job raising our girls to be strong and confident: shutting down MySpace isn't it.


Anonymous said...

Two points:

The 16 y.o. more likely than not is a virgen acting out fantasies that are perfectly normal at that age. It is an age imaginative exploration, not necessarily acting on the fantasy.

There is a reason so many people raised in ultra strict households become wild. How else can they express themselves.

Excellent post NYMary. thank you. I raised two daughters. I'm still not interested in their sex lives except that they are well protected and don't get hurt.
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Anonymous said...

Yes, NYMary, thank you. Strong and confident is what I'm goin' for with my girls, too. I don't really have a blog, but I've posted a few pictures of my girls. When my mom saw the site the other day she warned me to watch out for all those online predators she's read about! I don't mean to dismiss the dangers girls face, but I don't want to teach them to live in fear.

ntodd said...

Good on ya, love. Nice post. Now go take that break from blogging and enjoy your beautiful family, or rearranging the furniture at least.