We teach our children to say no to drugs but, do we teach them to say no to domestic violence?
We preach that it is wrong to smoke marijuana but, do we do the same for getting "punched" for talking to a member of the opposite sex?
For all the money that is spent in Louisiana to keep kids off drugs, how much do we spend to teach self-respect, self-worth and basic manners? Yes, these are things that should be taught at home but, so should saying no to drugs.
We are in a crisis in this country and I am not talking about a monetary crisis or a drug crisis. We are in a crisis because a lot of young women and teenage girls of this great country have no self-esteem and feel that they have to have a boyfriend to make them worthy.
When that significant other is jealous of every person you speak to or tries to stop you from seeing or talking to friends and family, that is a red flag for the beginnings of them controlling you. This is not "oh they love me so much, they just want me all to themselves." It is they want you to be alienated from everybody but them and have no support system to fall back on. And, it starts out innocently enough to draw you in until it's too late.
Do you know how many young girls in this country are pregnant or have a child before the age of 21? According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control, more than 365,000 teens aged 15–19 years gave birth in 2010. Of these births, 66,800 were repeat teen births. In Louisiana, there were 7,083 births in 2011, with mothers all under the age of 20.
Now, what does teenage pregnancy have to do with self-worth and self-esteem? Well, many of these girls actually want to get pregnant for various reasons, such as:
• "A baby will tie me to my boyfriend and he won't leave me;"
• "A baby is someone who will love me unconditionally."
Does that speak of self-esteem problems?
I know, I am old and what do I know about today's teenage girl? Well, she isn't that much different than I was. Yes, this is a different would than we as 40 somethings grew up in; we did not face the same challenges as today's teenager in regards to social media and cell phones (thank God!) but, wedid face drugs, alcohol and low self-esteem. The problems are basically the same, it's just the reasons are different.
All the youth of today see on TV is "role models" like Miley Cyrus and her disgusting display as well as songs like "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke and the video that accompanies it, with women running around nude.
So, while we listened to Ozzy Osbourne, Guns and Roses and other groups "of the devil," I can't recall listening to music that spoke of "slappin a ho."
In NPR music critic Ann Powers' blog, The Record, she said...
"21st century pop music is very dirty. There were several underground rap hits that graphically celebrated oral sex. There were top 100 pop songs about sex addiction, the "cowgirl" sexual position, even sex with extraterrestrials. (In the last example, Katy Perry in "E.T." insisted her alien lover "Infect me with your love and fill me with your poison. ...Wanna be a victim, ready for abduction.") Putting a woman on a pedestal is archaic. Degradation is a requirement."
It's time to take a stand for tomorrow's wives, mothers and female employees and leaders. All it takes is one voice, one helping hand, one positive role model to make a difference and start a revolution. I am willing to be that voice, that hand and that strong, confident female - are you?
Together, let's break the cycle of domestic abuse and teen pregnancy.