Friday, February 4, 2011

Tiffany's Soapbox: Drama Queens

Note: This is the first installment of a new series where I sound off about things that bother me, annoy me, or are just plain ridiculous.  I try to keep this blog positive, but we all need to sound off at times.  Feel free to disagree with me, but please keep it respectful.

Normally, I try to keep the blog free of offensive words, and maintain a family friendly atmosphere, so I will warn you up front, this post will contain harsher language than normal, but it serves a purpose, so I hope you keep reading.  There is something that has been troubling me for a while now, and it is the increased level of drama that occurs with teens and tweens, particularly young girls.

When I was young, if you fought with your friend/parents/boyfriend, you handled it by either writing in a journal, or confiding in another friend, crying over pizza, and maybe making a few prank calls to the boy involved.  Only the really "bad" girls fought in public, and most girls kept things private, and dignified.  Your dignity was often all you had, particularly when suffering a bad break up.  Today, whenever anything happens, from a broken nail to cheating mate, it is splashed across social networking sites and texted at the speed of light.  Nothing is sacred, nothing is private, and young girls no longer have dignity.

What is it about our culture that is teaching young girls that it is ok to engage in this ridiculous drama, to post semi nude or scantily clad pictures of their teenage bodies online, to call each other bitches and whores, to hand out meaningless sex acts to random people as casually as they do their phone numbers, and to publicly broadcast "FML" everytime they do not get their way?  I cannot help but think that reality tv shows like Teen Mom, Jersey Shore, Bad Girls Club, and countless others contribute to this behavior.  These shows all feature young girls in ridiculous drama filled lives, and not only are they encouraged to behave this way, but behaving this way makes them famous, and sometimes wealthy.

The part I find even more disturbing is when parents not only encourage such behavior, and support their daughters decisions to act this way, but when they act this way themselves.  What in the world possesses grown adult women to say mean and hurtful things about CHILDREN on sites like facebook and twitter?  Yes, parents are entitled to form opinions, but I think those discussions should be held in your personal, offline life.  And yes, any parent wants to defend their children, but why not teach our girls to have the dignity to walk away from these situations, instead of perpetuating them?

I think that the encouragement of this culture of drama is going to end up hurting women in the long run.  As women, we have fought so hard to be seen as equals, to be allowed to serve in the military, to have the right to vote, to earn equal pay.  Now, people are going to stop taking us seriously, and will once again begin labeling us "hysterical females".

I am not sure what the answer is, other than for us as women to start promising ourselves to treat each other with more dignity and respect, and instill that same idea in our daughters.  Chose dignity over drama.  We all will be better for it.