Later tonight the streets will be filled with witches, superheroes, vampires, ninjas, ballerinas, pop stars, minions and more. Accompanied by their parents, young children will go door-to-door trick-or-treating, their buckets filled with store-bought candy.
Halloween is the night when it is acceptable to don your scariest costume. When I woke up this morning, it was with a love for the frightful holiday. And yet I never expected to have one of the scariest revelations of my young life.
For the past 10 years, our country has been at war in the Middle East. As freedom-loving individuals, many times we abhor the Muslim religion for how it treats women. As a woman, I myself have had those harsh thoughts. But this morning, I wondered....how did they get there? And are we really that far behind?
I cannot help but fear that our society is on the same path. After all, very rarely is change overnight. Many times change occurs slowly. After all, if you tell someone to objectify or demean someone, they may resist. The degradation of society does not occur overnight. It is a slow process that occurs by gradually changing group mindset.
If you turn on the TV, pick up a magazine, what do you see? Shows teaching good values? Or scantily-clad women and seduction? Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not a prude. But movies that used to be rated R once upon a time would most likely now be considered PG or at the most, PG-13. What used to be private is now, well...not.
What if this is our undoing? Sure, sex sells, always will. But by objectifying women - or any segment of the population - it belittles those to little more than property. Men desire what they see, and they see as not as people with rights they should respect, but as something they want, or must have.
I am not perfect. When Magic Mike came out...whew! Just the thought of it brings a smile to my face. And therein lies the problem. When I get dressed up for Halloween, I feel like one of the only women in an actual costume. I see sexy nurse, sexy teacher, sexy flight attendant, sexy everything. And here I am as Lois Lane or a minion, in pants or floor length dresses.
Our society is one of instant gratification. There is no thought to the future, just now. What if this is our undoing? What if in 200 years, we are the new Middle East? Will anyone be able to trace it back to its roots, pinpoint the exact moment when everything began unraveling?
Yes, there are people that work to make this world a better place. But to my eyes, the younger generation - people my age and younger - are as a whole, not worldly. Their worries are personal, not global, and they struggle to see how events link together, how one action stems multiple reactions.
Many times my peers look at me strangely. When I make a decision, I think about all the different outcomes that could occur as a result, outcomes others do not even consider until I bring it up. What a sad commentary, when foresight and consideration are not a part of our thought process.
I sincerely hope that I am wrong, and that our instant gratification culture does not degrade our society to the point that we do not value and respect life.
The Most Cynical Optimist