Melissa Harris-Perry | December 08, 2012
>>> my short skirt is not proof that i am stupid or undecided. my short skirt is my defiance. my short skirt is not showing up. this is who i am before you made me cover it or tone it down. get used to it.
>> that's a song called "my short ski short skirt." joining us at the table is congresswoman, loretta sanchez and personal finance expert and more importantly, mom, carmen wong ulrich. we have talked at this table before about having young daughters and the sense that part of what we are up to in parenting is trying to address these very questions.
>> absolutely. i am the product. you have two latinas on the panel. sex in a latina household is nothing. don't get pregnant. i kill you. that was it.
>> i got from my father, sex is good just be safe and from my mother, i got, don't you dare do anything.
>> i also went to catholic school . so cosmo magazine was pretty much where i learned things. to tie it into the sense of self -worth, i have to say that, two, in the culture i grew up in, what i saw was beautiful women that didn't have a problem wearing certain things and wearing makeup and being strong and having some power within themselves. i think of that as a huge advantage. my daughter wants the barbies and the brats and all of that. i did too. i didn't see it as objectivy kags i saw it as this one will be the ceo and this one will own the business sg there is a great skit in "emotional creature" about barbie and girls relationships with their barbies in which they worship them off initially.
>> i use to marry my barbie off to chip baka from star wars . it is part of managing images that we get as young women .
>> my experience talking to girls is that the images they get are so distorted and so not about who they are. we were talking last night. i was out for dinner with my friend. we were just talking about who is growing up now in this country without body issues, without an norexia, about insane notions of women and what you are supposed to look like. that's connected to sexuality. if we were in our full sexual selves. we would like our bodies better and know we had agency over them and we could determine who did what and when to our bodies. so much was in the dark. we have distorted images about barbie .
>> my brother has three daughters. they get together and have a kindle. next, they are watching music videos . i'm horrified. the imagery, the depth of it is so different for this jgeneration as to how deep and ugly it can get.
>> given our young ladies are going to encounter these images, one of the things we want to do is arm them with common sense , nonthreatening sex early on so they know their bodies and what makes sense and what doesn't. you were telling me before the break, there is this hyper locality, great state laws but it turns out funny at the local level.
>> in my particular area, orange county , california, considered to be pretty conservative, over time , have been taken over by abstinence-only type of people and those are types of policies that have been pushed through. we've pushed back. we have a state law that helps us to push back. it is always -- you always have to be on top of it to see how it is really being implemented in the classroom. i understand mothers who say, hey, listen, you know, i don't want my 9-year-old to know about sex. maybe that's too young. physiologically, we know, kids are becoming women much, much quicker than when we were at that stage. so it is really about how you do it, when you do it and hopefully we have got good capsules that teachers can use to get that information. we've all gone through this. you are talking about playing barbies. i had girlfriends that wanted to have the best dress on the barbie , right? when i played barbies, everybody had to have a job. i was the banker. i had the monopoly. i controlled the situation. yet, knowing where i wanted to go, knowing i was going to do something with life and everything, athe age 16 through 27, i was anorexic. i still am anorexic. once an anorexic, always an anorexic. most an orexics don't live to my age. i got it because i've got curves. i'll admit it. i'm a latina. i admit it. my girlfriends were german-american, taller, thinner. my dad used to sit me down and say, you have curves. you are mexican. you are born that way. you are different. you can't be like them. you can't see that when you are young.
>> that's the other skit i really love, where you are all there in a global on-the-web anorexia site. in that particular scene, we are all talking about from different places, talking about how our struggles with our different eating disorders . i like that piece, because it is funny and it is upbeat but it is real.
>> it is real.
>> i think that for me, eve, is what i so appreciated. there is a reality and a frankness. more in a moment. it is time for a preview of weekends with alex witt .