Newsweek Gone Naughty.

Newsweek has a piece out, “Girls Gone Bad,” on young female celebrities who may be turning our young girls into “prosti-tots.” No, I’m not kidding. “Prosti-tots.”
Specifically, the article uses teen idols like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton as examples of these immoral lifestyles of debauchery that will lead girls to having sex at an early age and “partying” (excessive drugs and alcohol) like their admirees.
Honestly, I found the entire piece to come off as very confusing. For example, while it notes that the average age for (heterosexual) sex among women is still 17 (showing that sex trends have stayed pretty much the same) they begin the stat with, “Sex surveys are notoriously unreliable, but…”
I stopped taking the article seriously when the discussion seemed to shift towards Dan Kindlon’s Alpha Girls which contends that, “Girls born after 1990 live in a world where they have ready access to organized sports, safe contraception and Ivy League colleges.” HA!
The history of scrutiny that famous women have been subjected to due to their “immoral behavior” such as dating/marrying multiple men (or any other behavior which male stars do as well but are barely acknowledged) was discussed, but there was no analysis of these findings or merely a “WTF?”
Now does this mean I think Paris Hilton is an adequate role model for girls? Helllll no. The thought sort of disturbs me, particularly the class issues involved with so many girls’ obsession with Paris and Prada. (Which the article does touch on.) But I still have a wee problem with an article that denies gender issues exist but can discuss the moral issues involved with teen girls having a sexual identity.
In short, any piece that seriously uses the terms “the Brit Pack,” “Alpha Girls” and “Prosti-tots” is a bad sign.

Join the Conversation

  • elektrodot

    yea cuz jude law and collin farrell are such good role models for boys…oh wait, i forgot boys are smart enough to make there OWN decisions, and not just emulate a famous person.
    same crap i always think when i think why an article like this doesnt exist for male role models and there influence on young boys. really, who are these famous women dating that makes them big ole sluts? ghost men? i mean good lord, would anyone think the owner of a place called “the pink taco” was any type of decent guy (one of lindsay lohans bf’s)

  • UltraMagnus

    I commented on this in the Weekly Feminist Reader post but yeah, the article was confusing and barely scratched the surface of why young girl’s sexuality is still taboo and controversial while no one cares about young men.

  • http://lawfairy.blogspot.com The Law Fairy

    Wow, so girls have easy access to sports, birth control, and the Ivy League, huh?
    Couldn’t possibly be a class or race bias in a statement that subtle and nuanced, could there?
    And of course, we all know that every sporty little girl stands just as good a shot as her male counterpart at becoming a star NFL quarterback, right?
    And, of course, birth control is SO EASY for any teenage girl to get. She can just waltz into her local Walgreens and get it, right?

  • Nic

    It’s a very “boys will be boys” attitude. I think it’s expected that Colin Farrell et al. will run around, drink, smoke, do drugs, womanize, the works. It’s “normal” in our culture. By extension, when teenage boys run around, smoke, drink, etc. it’s not demonized the way it is when Lindsey or Nicole Ritchie or Paris do it. I agree with elektrodot’s comment about how it’s assumed that girls are more prone to celebrity worship/emulation than boys are.
    It’s sort of like when a young woman wears a t-shirt with a “raunchy” phrase or slogan on it as opposed to when a young man does. There are two very different reactions from people in general.
    Boys are expected to behave badly when they’re teenagers. Now that girls have started being “bad” too, it’s suddenly some kind of crisis? Ridiculous.
    I personally wish male and female teenagers were less obnoxious, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon.

  • prairielily

    Haven’t they both been with the rapist Joe Francis? (I refuse to refer to him as anything but “the rapist Joe Francis.”)
    Personally, I think the big problem is that the message kids are getting is that attention is the most important thing ever. It’s not about being a celebrity because you just want to act or sing, but because you want to be famous and a star. I think it teaches kids that they should do whatever they can for attention, and since we live in a society that values women for looks and sex appeal above anything else, that doesn’t leave girls a lot of options.

  • Shadowen

    It’s the “sports” thing that bothers me, really. I don’t know why. It just seems so 1980s.
    You’re upset women are playing sports? Really? Are you really saying that’s a sign of women being easy or dykes or whatever? My God, even among anti-feminists, you’re archaic.
    I mean, if anything, studies have shown that women who play on school teams are more likely to abstain because they don’t have time to fuck, with the training, and the travel, and the schoolwork on top of that (female athletes tend not to get a pass just for being on a winning team), and the…
    This is, of course, excepting locker-room antics, but that’s more a male fantasy/stereotype than a real occurrence. Not saying it doesn’t happen, just that it’s the exception, not the rule.
    Now, if these athletes make it to the Olympics, then you have a problem, because the Olympic Village? Orgy central. They run out of condoms routinely.

  • donna darko

    Haven’t both [Lindsey and Paris] been with the rapist Joe Francis?
    Stay in school, girls.

  • Malaika924

    “Prosti-tots?” Why do I keep imagining those Bratz Babies? ;-P

  • Perin

    I read this article until a teacher cited her 5th-graders calling Britney Spears a “hootch” as a good thing. How is calling other women sluts an indication of solid morals?

  • http://www.blamethedrugwar.blogspot.com Tanya

    My kid thinks both Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears are disgusting and should wear underpants. I doubt that she is alone in that sentiment.

  • alannaknightess

    I’m a teenager, and I sure don’t see Lindsay Lohan as my role model. And its almost sad, in a way, that there are journalists out there who presume that all teenage girls have no minds of their own– that anything that someone famous does is implanted in our impressionable minds. Because we couldn’t possible have our own ideas! /sarcasm

  • kpsisu

    I don’t think anyone should have to wear underpants unless they want to.
    I teach my kids not to rip on other people. Even celebrities.
    I also teach my kids that sex is a normal part of life. It’s not a big dirty deal- it’s just something private and special that grownups do with each other sometimes.
    I have a great book called ‘a kids first book about sex’ that has been awesome- it teaches realistic sex ed. i.e. masturbation, homo and hetero, etc.
    Anyhoo.

  • jeff

    A friend once sent me a description of the sex education curriculum at a Quaker friends school. It was literally K-12, starting with talking to kindergardeners about different types of families, and extending through high school.
    I wish I could locate it again. In any case, it’s that kind of complete education that will stop teenage girls from choosing awful role models (guys as well), and as a side affect might start to put an end to our “hate and love” relationship with sex in this society, which is the real problem. We (as in Americans in general) WANT the likes of Lohan et. al. to act outrageously so we can simultaneously enjoy it and call them sluts – it’s how we cope (and I’m not excusing it) with the sick education, informal and formal, that most of us receive about sex and relationships.

  • Daniel Lee

    Needs more “real top 100 women”

  • Edo

    “Girls born after 1990 live in a world where they have ready access to organized sports, safe contraception and Ivy League colleges.”

    Assuming there is any basis in reality in that quote, I’m really glad my daughter was born after 1990. just sayin’.

  • mimo92

    Wait, no one else here thinks that we should be having role models like Lohan and Farell? I guess I’m at the wrong site. *sarcasm*

  • jeff

    “Assuming there is any basis in reality in that quote…”
    Well, as Law Fairy mentions, she probably doesn’t have much a shot at being an NFL quarterback but honestly I wouldn’t be too upset about that.

  • http://www.catswym.blogspot.com catswym

    re: ready access to ivy league colleges: are girls born after 1990 even IN college yet?
    in any case, shouldn’t newsweek be happy that girls are partying more so that they won’t go to college so we can stop the whole “boy crisis”? (anybody remember that newsweek cover story?)
    or wait…girls aren’t supposed to go to college AND they aren’t supposed to party…so they should stay at home. oh, that’s right, girls are supposed to stay at home and take care of their men folks. i remember now.

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