I was also unfair to Taylor's mother. I know almost nothing about her, only that she has children and is no longer married to Taylor's father. My reaction to the circumstances which led to what happened to her daughter was speculation based on patterns I've seen in our society and not based on accurate information about her or her life. I judged her without much evidence, and that was wrong. I was wrong. I can be proud, but I am not foolish enough to think that I might not have made the same or similar decisions had I been born her. There but for the grace of God go I. I have removed Taylor's last name and her mother's name from that blog piece. I apologize sincerely.
However, both of those stories still illustrate quite clearly what our society has become and will continue to devolve into without the personal input, authority, and protection of men. It absolutely exasperates me that we hear these stories night after night on the news and in our newspapers and among our friends and within our communities and we still are nodding our heads and smiling when Jennifer Aniston says stuff like:
Women are realising it more and more knowing that they don't have to settle with a man just to have that child.and going to movies like Eat, Pray, Love in droves when we should be looking around and noticing that everything goes to garbage when the important contributions of men are ridiculed, shunted aside, devalued, and undermined. Yes, some men walk out. Some fathers bail. And in the absence of ladylike behavior, gentlemanly behavior has largely faded away. But telling ourselves men aren't necessary and encouraging other women to go motherhood alone is, at best, unbelievably stupid and, at worst, actively evil.
Furthermore, sexualizing young girls as we do will only result in more of these tragedies. The examples girls get in books, magazines, movies, fashion and from their older female friends and relatives tell them that sex is enticing, that sex is power and the sooner you can get that power the better. We also as a society have told them that we don't expect chaste or risk-averse behavior from them every time we give them condoms or agitate for abortion without parental consent. We have made it plain what we expect them to do, we do not adequately supervise them, and then we act like it's a terrible shock when they wind up pregnant in droves or when they take older lovers. The fact is that if you give a 14-year-old girl the encouragement, motive, and opportunity to have sex, she will choose the partner she finds most sexy, most powerful, most able to take her places or give her things or experiences, and a boy her age is unlikely to top that list. We have to own that we as a society set up our boys and our girls to fail this test and that we are part of the problem. Until we change ourselves, our own societal expectations, and what we teach girls, they will act sexually and be sexual, and there will be more chaos and violence. Because a pretty, young girl has a transient but potent power, and it can be wielded disastrously. This is why we used to clamp down on the sexual power of girls and young women because we understood the danger for her and for society and we did not consider her opportunity to enjoy her sexual power or "explore her sexuality" more important than the chaos that kind of power can and so often does cause.
We can choose to focus on Bush and his role of predator or we can see how we every day set the stage for this drama to occur and reoccur over and over and over again and watch the bodies pile up.