Wednesday, September 18, 2013

France Seeks To Ban 'Sexualized' Child Beauty Pageants


The French Senate passed an interesting bill today, one that would ban beauty pageants for children under 16 and impose stiff penalties on adults who try to enter children into such a contest.

This provision is an amendment that's part of a broader bill on women’s rights, It now heads to the National Assembly, the French Parliament’s lower house, for debate and another vote.

Proponents of the measure say that it will protect children from being prematurely “sexualised” through the use of heavy make-up and sexually provocative attire.

Or as we call it here on this side of the pond, the 'Jon Benet Ramsey look'.

The amendment came after a parliamentary report was released entitled “Against Hyper-Sexualisation: A New Fight For Equality”, which, in addition to calling for an end to the pageants, encouraged a ban on adult-style clothing for children, including padded bras and high-heeled shoes.

The clothing ban apparently didn't fly, but the ban on the Lolita oriented pageants which feature this type of attire did.

Adults who try to enter a child into such a contest can be hit with up to two years in prison and a heavy 30,000-euro fine.

This is a lot more important than it seems at first glance. It's a push back, however limited, against the rising decadence in western culture. And I think the French are on to something here.

When you put twelve-year-old girls in adult style makeup and sexually enticing clothing, it not only sends a message to the girls, but to those watching them. In the case of certain males, that message is 'up for grabs' and 'permitted'. To a lot of young girls, that message is 'this is how you have to dress and behave to be cool, desired and worthy of attention'. The end result in too many instances is sexual exploitation, teen pregnancies, and heartache.

I'm not surprised this became an issue in France. Contrary to popular belief, French sexual and dating culture is fairly conservative, due to its strong Catholic heritage. The usual 'date' in France consists of a group of like minded friends of both sexes who go out together and may or may not gradually pair off.An individual American style one on one date is usually a sign of serious involvement.

And France's unpopular Socialist government only recently imposed legalized gay marriage over a storm of widespread protest.

If this passes in the Assembly, it will be a small step, but an important one. We should definitely emulate it on this side of the pond.

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