R-E-S-P-E-C-T This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I’m proud of most of my identity. I’m a re-enactor, a history nut, a Christian, a trombone player, a jazz enthusiast and a self-proclaimed nerd. However, among the attributes I am not proud of is that I happen to be a boy. It seems strange, I know, but I am constantly incensed by, and at times even ashamed of, how many of my fellow teenage guys treat their female counterparts.

If you’re a teenager and your school isn’t in a nunnery on some mountain peak in Andorra, you probably know what I’m talking about. Girls are often treated as sex objects to be played, used and then discarded. Where once respect and honor permeated man-woman interactions, crudeness and depravity have reared their ugly heads with a vengeance.

The existence of this societal cancer is indubitable. A walk down the hallways of most high schools bears witness to the reality of trashy flirting and body-part grabbing. Many lunch conversations among middle and high-school boys (and even some of the girls) would be enough to knock any sane person into a coma.

In society, “players” are celebrated by the boys and sought after by the girls. Some popular music glorifies pimping and premarital sex. Date-rape statistics tell their own convincing tale, and it is widely accepted that a guy has a right to expect sex from a girl after they’ve dated for six months. The basic theme of the day seems to be “use ’em and lose ’em.” As much as my peers may attempt to deny this epidemic, it’s everywhere.

Call me an idealist, but this seems a terrible distortion of the way things were meant to be. Perhaps my views have something to do with the fact that I’m a bona fide mama’s boy, but I see girls as precious human beings to be treated with love, honor, respect, integrity and tenderness. The purity of a girl, in my view, is to be protected at any cost. Sex, I believe, is meant for married couples who have committed to loving and caring for each other for the rest of their lives.

Needless to say, when I see the crass, chimp-like behavior that goes on in my school every day, or when I hear a vulgar radio program or read about the date-rape problem, my blood boils. What annoys me further is how so many girls fawn over the boys who have the least respect for them. Apparently, being kind, respectful and honorable has gone out of fashion, and women enjoy being exploited. This baffles me, but there is one thing I do know: it’s time for the girls of my generation to stand up and demand integrity and commitment from the guys who go after them. At the same time, the young men must step up to the plate and recognize their responsibilities as gentlemen.

My point is precisely this: integrity and honor are becoming less and less popular, while crudeness and dishonesty are rising to alarmingly high levels of acceptance. Women are increasingly treated as sex objects to be manipulated. The consequences are plain to see, and their existence is lamentable. The people of my generation, those who will in short order run this country and the world, need a mandate for goodness, decency and purity.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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SparaxisThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 21 at 4:44 pm
Me and some other people feel the same way. I'm especially angry at our court system, who doesn't pay much attention to most of those kinds of cases.
 
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