Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Child Protective Services

I wanted to comment on something in chapter 2, Wigged Out.
Now while there are many issues that I am still going to address from the previous chapter, I felt that the following topic should finally be set straight.

The secular society is bemoaning the fact that preteens are being sexualized at too a young age, and subsequently are missing out on their youth, due to the promiscuity of most TV shows and even youth oriented music and fashion. Yet at the same time our attempts to shield our young from precisely that fate is being frowned upon as narrow-minded and fanatic.

Ms. Winston thought it odd that Dini’s father would read newspapers and magazines that he felt his children weren’t ready for. Yet dear Ms. Winston – the thinking goes a bit differently than what you suggested. It is not an issue of internalizing the Hasidic way of life per se, but of not exposing children to that which they aren’t yet fit to see. Think movie ratings. We feel that kids as old as 17 should stick to hearing and reading news with a PG rating. Once 18, a PG13 might not hurt. As far as R or NC17 – probably won’t be necessary ever, yet if they feel like it as adults, that is their prerogative. Even in the secular society they have altered ratings tremendously from what they had been a mere twenty years ago. New York and Hollywood are becoming more liberal by the day, and not that the world is eager to embrace it – but they are left with little choice. Living so close to the greatest City in the world, we are left with less. Why blame us for protecting our children from that which they don’t need to see? Is the censorship sometimes overdone? Absolutely. But in all honesty do you believe that 8 year olds should be discussing sex? Should 13 year olds be plagued by an oral STD which might follow them for the rest of their lives? Are we desperate for teen pregnancies? Withdrawing from what many will agree is an oversexed world is not hypocrisy – it is called Smart Parenting.

While I wasn’t raised immune to the outside world, and my parents did have more open discussions with us regarding a variety of topics, I still don’t believe that our children should be watching TV. What do you want your teenager to watch? Will and Grace? Desperate Housewives? Sex and the City?? Or regarding newspapers and magazines: is it truly important that your preteen know about serial rapists? Or even what rape means?

Innocence is precious, and childhood so short. Why rush it?

I believe that children should know that the newspapers and magazines and movies and everything else exist, especially if they exist in your home. It would even be wise to give them clippings from the papers that you happen to read, or let them watch the occasional news broadcast – (if it’s boring enough it might disinterest them for a while. lol. ) That is the way I was raised, and the way I plan to raise my kids. There are no guarantees in this world, and I am not telling you that this is a fool proof plan. But we all gotta do what we gotta do, what we truly believe to be the right thing – and leave the rest up to our loving God.

He’ll help us – He always does.

Btw: Please don’t misinterpret my words. I did not suggest bringing a TV (or the internet) into your home, or placing a screen into the kids' rooms. That would be tantamount to giving your child a street version introduction to sex. What I am proposing is discussing with your child as openly and as honestly – as much as you think is age appropriate. Honesty will take you further than any pretense can ever protect.

15 Comments:

At November 09, 2005 8:07 AM, Anonymous quensmaidel said...

Sheitel,
I think it is a big leap from watching television to getting an oral STD. You make it sound like the entire so-called secular world is out having sex all day and night, and that people have no ability to think critically about what they see, or separate entertainment from real life. Of course, Sex and the City is not appropriate for an 8 year-old, and very few parents anwhere would say it was. Also, the idea that newspapers are filled with stories about rape, etc. is just plain wrong. Yes, papers like the New York Post can have sensationalistic headlines, but the serious newpapers are filled with information about the world, politics, issues of the day, etc. Perhaps you don't want your kids to know about any of that stuff, which is your right. But to say it's because it's all about rapists is just a misrepresentation of the facts.

 
At November 09, 2005 9:03 AM, Anonymous One of "Them" said...

An 18-20 year old bachur is still "precious and innocent"? Yet you know if a bachur that age is caught in Yeshiva/ or at home with anything deemed inappropiate, which includes secular books, newspapers, or a movie chas veshulem, he would be harshly rebuked or expelled.

This is far beyond childhood protection. This is just the completion of the systematic stamping of the "system" into the brain of everyone born within such an insular, yes insular, culture.

 
At November 09, 2005 10:45 AM, Blogger Totally Content said...

Queen - I was not implying that immediately after watching a show oral STDs will be an inevitability. Neither did I think for a moment that Sex and the City is what preteens watch. (Although they do watch 7th Heaven, which by far the cleanest show - still has pregnant teens, STDs, and discussions in church about whether or not teens should engage in premarital sex.) What I was clearly stating was that the world outside these 'walls' is liberal and oversexed. Especially Manhattan. Exposing our kids to that is not only unnecessary, but morally reprehensible.

The ironic thing is that most city dwellers that become parents, even New Yorkers - rush to the suburbs to raise their kids in a clean, safe environment. Yet we who so wish to protect our young stay right here in this filthy (figuratively and literally) location.

I agree too that newspapers and magazines could be highly educational. By all means, after confirming that content is clean hand your child that newspaper, and discuss with him/her the news around the world. (Time Magazine has in it a wonderful addition for kids.) what I am still standing by, is that what parents deem acceptable for themselves is not always acceptable for an impressionable child. As for TV. How much does TV offer over the radio? It eliminate the need for imagination and turns children (and adults) into couch potatoes.

And 'One of them' - in regard to your question about an 18-20 year bachur... Raised in our society with no regular exposure to 'all that' I would deem a bachur as impressionable. Yes. Which is precisely why I believe his parents have an obligation to be honest and allow the child to read and watch - but content shouldn't necessarily be a free for all.

Look, there is no easy answer - but I believe that at that age, a boy who would come across a porn site (extreme example, I know - but often it is the extremes that make the point) he would be hard pressed to resist it.
(And the same would be true for a teenage girl.) Pornography at this stage in his life will cheapen and misconstrue what sex is and should really be. Do our boys necessarily get a solid foundation and education to 'what sex is and should really be'? No. But weakening their chances of figuring it out for themselves would be wrong.

As for a boy who will be reprimanded for reading a book or newspaper - that is as much parental issue as one of the society. WE need to make the difference. It is up to US to do better for our own kids. While opening the walls to this 'insular culture' might be unnecessary (and very unwise) - parenting wisely would mean to know the difference.

 
At November 10, 2005 12:15 PM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

Your argument is common yet flawed. It works like this. The rest of society, IE the goyish velt has the same if not worse problems, therefore the frum world is ok.
Now one does not need an IQ of 145 to discover the flaw of this argument.
Moral Relativism is not the issue.
The choice to trap people into a life of forced hassidism is an evil choice.
Its one that is made everyday in your (and My own) community.
Unchosen has depicted the evil behind this.
You have done a poor job in discredditing Hella Winston's book.
She deserves credit for her mitzvas of hochacha, emes, and shmerious hakuf vhanefesh.
You do a disservice in your attempts to protect those guilty of cruelty (depriving someone of a basic education and knowledge of english) psycological trauma, and other cultish charachteristics.

 
At November 10, 2005 12:56 PM, Blogger Der Shygetz said...

I think that you have also been deprived of even the most basic knowledge of English, MC. And what in the world is shmerious hakuf vhanefesh? Do you mean hakof - the monkey? There is no mitzva in Hella's hell - it is just an academic version of pashkvil. The Hellas and Malkie Schvartze's of this world do not want to accept the fact that many others see a great deal of meaning and beauty in that which some reject either because of misunderstandings, personal problems, or just a desire to rebel.

 
At November 10, 2005 1:01 PM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

Ok and you failed to address my point that Hella has told of cruelty in the hassidic world.
And you in your post prove that there is enough disrespect to go around. Your name calling not becoming of a Frum Jew.
Shmiras hakuf vhanefesh means guarding one's health and psyche.

 
At November 10, 2005 2:43 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

mod - I am sorry if you saw name calling in some area, I do not know what you are referring to.

Hella pointed out that cruelty exists 'even' in the hassidic world. Tragic? No doubt. Is it in anyway related to our lifestyle or our beliefs???? Not at all.

And Hella's telling the world at large that there are some cruel people amongst Chasidim does little to protect our health or psyche.

 
At November 10, 2005 3:49 PM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

name calling is for dershygetz see his comment.
"And Hella's telling the world at large that there are some cruel people amongst Chasidim does little to protect our health or psyche."
Sure it does it creates awareness and let's people know they can get help from Malkie Schwartz

 
At November 10, 2005 4:42 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

Telling the world at large that Chasidim are human, and there are indeed some cruel ones amongst them will help our psyche because we'll now know that we can get 'help' from Malkie Schwartz?!!?!?

Have you ever realized that your thoughts tend to jump all over the place - without forming anything coherent.

There is so much to disagree with on the above comment, that I'd rather not start.

But I do want to address the 'wonderful' Malkie Schwartz's idea of "Help". I just haven't got the patience at the moment. I might blog about it some other time.

 
At November 10, 2005 5:09 PM, Blogger modern chassidish said...

"Telling the world at large that Chasidim are human, and there are indeed some cruel ones amongst them will help our psyche because we'll now know that we can get 'help' from Malkie Schwartz?!!?!?"
Yes for those who need help who read the book they know they are not alone and that malkie will help them.

"Have you ever realized that your thoughts tend to jump all over the place - without forming anything coherent."
Is that the best you can do to refute my claims???

"There is so much to disagree with on the above comment, that I'd rather not start."
Well if you can't name one thing we will assume you won't start because you have nothing.

"But I do want to address the 'wonderful' Malkie Schwartz's idea of "Help". I just haven't got the patience at the moment. I might blog about it some other time."
Sure go ahead and try to discredit her work. Nice. Is that something you were told to do in the course of your upbringing???
I thought so

 
At November 11, 2005 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hella Winston has become a great sounding name. After reading all the"bloggidy-blog" I have to wonder, what is that you all feel for Hella Winston? Is it admiration, envy, or respect, for daring to exposed that which must be kept behind closed doors, in order to protect the integrity of an all "sainted community?

 
At November 24, 2005 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In anyone's view: has Hella Winston done a service or just the opposite to the Hassidic by writing this book?

Also, did she decided to focus on the negative aspects of the community so that her rise to fame would be greater?

 
At November 29, 2005 1:10 PM, Blogger mistake said...

Gosh! ur a hypocrite… you don’t only catch an occasional movie secretly but are familiar with all the shmutz out there and you call urself satmar?? “the representative of satmar” Ur the enemy of satmar. Ur what my teachers called the snakes, the worms. U give the impression of being all righteous because u wear ur seams and daven every day and listen to shir tapes or whatever. But really with ur big mouth, ur “honesty” and your worthless 145 iq u manage to convince everyone around u that what u do is ok. What ur really doing is causing the disintegration of satmar at its core. Do u know that even brucha sima teitelbaum is too modern and wordly for satmar? And im sure she doesn’t know half the shmutz u know. Ur encouraging “honesty” among parents regarding yeshiva boys watching stuff?? What the hell is that supposed to mean?? Do u want all the little maidelech in a preschool that doesn’t allow them to wear pants to watch sesame street? On whose screen? Should they have a vcr at school or at home. That all yeshiva bochurim should have access to shrek or whatever else u deem kosher? What kind of standards are u following?? They’re not satmar. so don’t u be acting like some sort of representative.

 
At November 29, 2005 2:42 PM, Blogger Totally Content said...

Dearest Misktake - You're name seems applicable, since you are sadly mistaken.

Not only have you misconstrued everything I've said - but you apparently seem to believe that I consider myself a 'representative' for thousands of people.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I simply am implying that intelligence and ehrlichkeit could AND SHOULD go hand in hand. And no, I am not referring to 'shmutz' as intelligence.

Your cyber/teen lingo does imply that you are familiar with a world that you shouldn't be. Perhaps that mirror needs a bit of polish.

 
At December 01, 2005 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rock on Modern Chasidish!!!
It is indeed a cult. They believe they are the one and only right culture out there. I grew up believing that the rest of the jews aint no right jews. I was taught that way. And why do they feel so threatened by others beliefs. Man so much freakin' fear. Where's the love, speaking of love there's no open affection to go around, my brothers freak out if I try to hug them. ye ye ye, love is so precious you need to keep it private, blah, blah, blah, if u don't portray proper affection how can children learn how to love properly? we get married they say love your husband, lol, love? man he's a stranger. how bout the first night whew! Thats a chapter for itself. No girl in her right mind would have sex like that. lol, well u get to love him after a few yrs or so. Besides the whole marraige thing is crazy. They are just very lucky that the youth is extremly niave and brainwashed.

 

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