Candace Derickx: See Mummy Juggle


Rihanna is Clearly Not Gettin' Any

Why Are We Exposing Our Children To Sex

I’m going to go off on a tangent because I’m pissed and as hard as I’m trying not to turn into Tipper Gore here, I believe I have finally reached my boiling point. This evening on the way home from a movie with my children my eight year old started singing this:

Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me

Na na na na
Come on, come on, come on
I like it-like it
Come on, come on, come on
I like it-like it

She was not singing along. I had the radio off, as I usually do these days when my children are in the car, because I never know what the hell is going to come on next that is totally inappropriate. So, to be clear, she knew these lyrics inside and out from the school bus because the bus driver rewards the kids for good behaviour by playing the radio for them. I have gritted my teeth so far this year when my children throw out “sexified” (thank you Ke$ha) and “tell me rude boy can you get it up” (oh look, it’s the obviously undersexed Rihanna again. Don’t they say the ones that talk about it the most aren’t getting any?) because I don’t want to be “that” mother.

But I am. I am “that” mother. I am the mother that has just thrown her hands up in utter disgust because she heard her eight year old sing lyrics that I’d be embarrassed to whisper to my husband in a dark room. I know she doesn’t understand what she’s singing....yet. But we live in a Google world and how long before S&M gets thrown in the search box. Am I a complete control freak with the internet in my house? You bet your ass I am. My children aren’t even allowed to read my blogs, because as I frequently point out to them I am not writing on a children’s website. Just like they’re walking around with the lyrics from this stupid song in their head from an outside source, I can’t control the world forever. They may end up at a friend’s house with full access to the internet and all the answers she’s looking for will come up. Then what? How do you undo the damage?

Make no mistake, the damage to our children is being done daily. The quest to steal their innocence too early is relentless. It’s like navigating through a field of landmines and you are suddenly just standing there paralyzed, afraid to move anywhere. I’m feeling that way right now. I feel hopeless, sad and undermined. My usual confidence as a mother is shaky tonight because I just don’t know what to do next. It seems so totally overwhelming.

Please note that I like a lot of songs that I would deem inappropriate for my children and at 41, I feel I have the maturity and filter to understand the content that a child wouldn't. If I want to listen to F*ck You by Cee Lo Green I crank it up when my children are at school. If you're into S&M, good for you, then you must be thrilled with Rihanna's new theme song, but should it be played on the morning radio?

So I’m sitting her asking myself a lot of questions. Why as a society do we allow our children to be exposed to songs like this or revealing clothes like the push up bikini’s from Abercrombie & Fitch or the magazine rack at the grocery checkout where the Cosmopolitan is no worse than the hidden Playboy?

Are we so immersed in this culture of sex that we can no longer draw acceptable boundaries?  I can’t be the only one that feels this way, am I? Why are we so obsessed as a society with destroying childhood? How do we keep our children from being exposed to this without walking them around with blinders on? Should some songs be played after 8pm on the radio, just like certain content on television? Would protecting our children from this be censorship or good jugdement? I have strong opinions for some of these questions and absolutely no answer for others, but the one that will perplex me forever is, why aren’t we doing something about it?