Never the underdog, MAE WEST is front and center is a discussion down under about the sexualization of young girls through advertising and fashion.
• • Australian Mark Bahnisch, addressing himself to "The religious politics of puritan purity," takes issue with David Jones’ law suit against the Australia Institute. According to Bahnisch: One irony of such discussions is the fact that articles about the pernicious influence of pop culture on adolescent and tween sexuality often end up playing to the same celebrity hype and hyperbole that they purport to critique or dissect. A case in point is Newsweek’s piece on “Girls Gone Bad.”
• • At this point, Mark Bahnisch refers to an article published in Salon by Tracy Clark-Fory, who wrote: This time around it’s a meandering, confused [Newsweek] cover story on how the publicised exploits of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan affect tweens and teens, and it addresses the burning question of whether we’re “raising a generation of ‘prosti-tots’.”
• • Back to Bahnisch for this: Reading the [Newsweek] article proves just as painful as handing over a fistful of dollars in exchange for the issue, with its cover image of high-as-a-kite Britney and Paris paired with the headline “The Girls Gone Wild Effect.” Luckily, you become kind of numb after seeing Nancy Pelosi’s ascendancy in the House mentioned paragraphs away from a reference to Lindsay’s “fire crotch.” There’s a hasty rundown of the history of “bad girls” — — complemented by a photo gallery, of course — — which starts with Mae West and ends with the Brit Pack (or whatever they’re calling them these days). Ultimately — — about 3,000 some odd words in — — it concludes that our girls will be just fine because we adults “hold the purse strings” and, unless Paris releases a series of educational videos for toddlers, parents have a significant head start on imparting morals to our children.
• • Are you wondering why didn't Newsweek's splashy cover feature explore the more subtle ways that the highly publicized Britney Spears/ Brit Pack scandals affect the way girls feel about themselves?
• • Bahnisch has a saucy answer; he writes: Instead, the piece latches on with a vampiric thirst to parents’ worst fears and, as was probably the genesis of the piece, finds an excuse to talk about Britney’s vagina once more. ...
• • Though Mae West does not pop up again, the issues of free speech, censorship, and pop culture crawl all over his essay like fire ants at a picnic. Bahnisch grinds away at Newsweek's effaced strength, the once proud publication looking like nothing resembling a moral compass.
• • To continue reading this debate at On Line Opinion, a not-for-profit publication, see below.
— — Source: — —
• • Article: "The religious politics of puritan purity"
• • Byline: Mark Bahnisch
• • Publication: On Line Opinion — — onlineopinion.com.au/
• • Published on: Thursday — 17 January 2008
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •