OK, I've finally figured out how to embed my video from the "Modest Proposals" panel. (Enjoy hearing highlights from the rest of the panelists by searching for "modest proposals" on YouTube.)
After D.C. I appeared on a very interesting TV show in Toronto called "Uncommon Ground."
I was quite impressed with the host, Dr. Rachael Turkienicz, who is a very deep person and explores questions pertaining to women and spirituality with one guest each week. By way of introduction to my book, she served up a rather troubling story from her own life. When Rachael's daughter was in kindergarten, she came home one day and looking crestfallen, asked her mother: "Am I hot?" Dr. Turkienicz asked for clarification.
"Well my friend said she's hot, but I'm not hot. Mommy, am I? Am I hot?"
Dr. Turkienicz then suggested that if her friend was hot, perhaps she should have a drink of water or remove a layer of clothing.
Now, I'm sure there are people out there who will disagree with that response, but I think it was pitch-perfect. Not everything has to be explained when you're six!
I thought about innocence again on Wednesday night, when I met a bunch of students at Fordham University. After my talk, one young woman confessed that recently, holding a guy's hand in a movie theater had felt like a big deal to her. Without giving out too much information, suffice it to say that she was a very attractive and outgoing coed. Yet her friends had all made fun of her and called her a prude.
Look, to each his own. But if you start with the pressure to look hot at age six, probably you're on a track to thinking holding hands is nothing special by age 18. And so the irony is, when we are deprived of the concept of innocence, later on we often miss out on the passion.
Due to the ideological response to these issues--all the false dichotomies such as "anti-sex vs. pro-sex"-- we don't often hear it, but the jadedness contest doesn't make room for much fireworks.
On a practical note, a big thank you to Jenna Felz for making the Fordham event such a success. Thanks to her organizational efforts we had a turnout of around 200 students! Some really terrific questions emerged from the audience--but I think I'll save those for another blog.