Do you cherish your daughter? You do? Just what exactly does that entail these days?

We are told that fashion is ever changing. That is true to some extent, but it seems that yesterday’s fashions always circle around to come at us once again from tomorrow. I find it fascinating how so many styles that I thought were dead and buried come back into vogue again and again. I see patterns today on women’s clothing that I saw in my mother’s closet when I was a little boy. Whenever I see a woman wearing the same outfits that I remember, I feel like a child again. It’s kind of neat, and you can almost smell the nostalgia in the air.

It is also unmistakable to see new fashions. They change with every generation, as they try to outdo, outfreak, or as today, outsize, the last. Something else is changing too. We seem to go through liberal stages, and then conservative ones. The liberal ones, however, are swinging further away from the norm with each generation. For sure, things change, fashion especially, but like artistic expression, are we apt to let it go too far so as not to be labeled prudish?

I remember cruising up and down Yonge Street as a young man. Me and my friends would go cruising around in the ’72 Chevelle my sister gave me. Oh, I could talk about the fun I had in that car all night. What a hoot. I must, however, stay focused on today’s column. Sigh.

You could only go so far up Yonge Street before you were out of the ‘Zone’, that area that everyone hung out in, playing our radios and driving around. We would eventually have to double back, usually on Church Street, as it was the closest parallel road. The scenery on Church Street looked nothing like that of Yonge St. The building facades were older, more run down. They lacked the modern upgrades and flashy exteriors that the neon clad shops on Yonge had acquired. That wasn’t all. The girls looked different, too. They wore hardly anything, and they oozed lust. Their profession was prostitution, and their job description included baiting the men and getting them in the mood to share in their wares. That is why they dressed so scantily. They also enjoyed showing their assets.

It comes to me as a bit of a shock how far fashion has degenerated in just 20 years. Our daughters, well, yours maybe, look like the hookers that I used to see adorning Church Street. I see grade school girls proudly wearing jeans that are cut so low, she can show off her new thong, or even the line of hair where she had shaved to. Catholic schools are allowing their girls to wear their uniforms so short that school uniforms have become a huge hit in the sex industry.

Why is it that we allow our children to be exhibited? For the last 40 years, women’s liberation groups have told our girls that they are in charge of their own bodies, yet we have allowed them to become objects to be lusted after. Is this the ‘freedom’ that so many espoused? Was self respect and dignity not a good thing?

Once in a while I will run into a young lady who looks exactly like that. A lady. My breath is always taken away by a woman who keeps her beauty to herself, and leaves an air of mystery about her. Cheap looking clothing is cheap indeed these days, but it is a fraud. It defrauds the men who are surrounded by not so modest feminine apparel, and it removes the mystery from around the young ladies. It turns them into objects of lust, and somehow we have become okay with that. It defrauds our daughters, as they miss the point that they are worth so much more than being displayed.

We have allowed a few fashion designers and a few flakes in the music industry to turn our daughters into looking like 12 year old street walkers. As well, we, the parents, have failed miserably. We have not extolled the benefit and worth of decency, nor the virtue of modesty. We have not taught our sons to have respect for girls, nor can we when they choose to look so cheap. We have allowed others to dictate the standard that our children will be required to obtain, and that is where the parents have failed.

I have had this discussion with my wife, and she sometimes doesn’t understand my views. She believes that the children just want to be in style. I agree with her, unfortunately, I think we must start to ignore this requirement. When fashion becomes degrading and defrauding, we must teach our daughters that they are intricately worth so much more. They aren’t just flesh to be displayed. They are precious commodities, worth more than rubies or find gold.

Indeed, women are seen everywhere. I wish, however, I could find more ladies.

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