Friday, February 19, 2010

Sex Ed vs Censorship

Sex and Gen Y is a messy subject, if only because not that many people want to be open and honest about their kids getting it on. My latest post on The Next Great Generation (TNGG), Does Pornography Always Objectify?, was posted as part of Sex Week -- where we explored some of the issues surrounding sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, relationships etc., for Gen Y. On the surface it may not appear that we ever had a 1960s style sexual revolution, but if sexting and internet porn are taken into account, we certainly had one and it was virtual.

There's a lot this revolution has influenced in terms of how Millennials think, and among other things it's led to a greater acceptance of sex on mains street. Though certainly not everyone agrees this is ok. The core idea of the article is, that while some of us disparage hyper sexual images in advertising and in the media at large, the fault is not inherent to the image. That is, there's nothing wrong with pictures of boobs... as long as we talk about boobs too.

And, while we must be cautious of things that may stunt or hinder the healthy development of girls, and boys (let's not forget them), that censoring sexual images is probably not the answer if we want real results: healthy, balanced adults. As a culture we run away from sex, but maybe if we just confronted it head on, talked about it, talked about our values etc.; we'd likely see much better outcomes than what we get from teaching our kids abstinence only or not letting them watch south park or anything on MTV.

Photo Credit: 8136496@N05

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dear Retailers: Your Biggest Fans are Working for You

Young people are typically treated as a disposable, easily renewable commodity when it comes to working mall retail and other teenager appropriate, "unskilled" jobs. Unfortunately, us kids have a reputation for being unreliable, and compounded by the fact that we're are available only during holidays and after school, it's no wonder employers don't see fit to invest more time and effort in us young workers.

But, one glaring misconception on the part of companies hiring gen y-ers is that we'd rather not be there. In truth it's quite the opposite. We're often your biggest fan!

I worked at a coffee shop when I was in High School and with only a few full time employees they relied heavily on a staff of young people. We were paid very little (around $6.50/hr), made to pay for our drinks and food, and no tips were allowed. In spite of all this we all loved our jobs and wanted the shop to do well. Yet, we were often treated by the management as if our next shift would be a "no call no show." Despite our friendship and desire to do a good job the attitudes of our managers became a self fulfilling prophecy and drove many people away.

Employers would do well to consider that often young people want to do well at their jobs and have a deep desire to establish a place where they feel they belong. We develop an emotional attachment to the store and the other employees we work with, but need to feel we are valued and respected as well.

I explore this issue in more detail and offer some suggestions of what employers might improve in an article published on,
Dear Retailers: Your Biggest Fans are Working for You. Check it out and leave a comment!