The movie is the 2008 film "Gran Torino" starring Clint Eastwood. I watched it earlier today and give it 5 stars out of 5 (and I'm a HARSH critic!).
The book is "Girls on the Edge: The four factors driving the new crisis for girls" by Dr. Leonard Sax, author, physician and psychologist. I haven't actually read the book, I am just going on a summary and some quotes provided by Toronto Star reporter Antonia Zerbisias in her article: Is Facebook behind today's girl crisis?
Now the reason why I use the words "stuck up little bitches" is for good reason. I am describing a particular kind of young woman, often a teenager, who is so naive about the world and stuck in their own little "cyberbubble" (Dr. Sax's words) that they are rude to other people and their end behaviour is that of a stuck up little bitch.
Lets start with the granddaughter in the film Gran Torino. In the clips below you will see how she is more worried about her cellphone than she is about hurting her grandfather's feelings. Then she takes it a step farther and starts coveting his car, the Gran Torino. You can practically see the grandfather's thoughts when he glares at her. His wife has just died and already the granddaughter is scheming what will happen when she loots the remains of his death.
Greedy relatives isn't really a modern concept. Its been around for as long as ownership laws and you could argue rude teenagers is pretty normal too.
Of course not all teenagers are rude, just like not all granddaughters are rude. I would hope the stereotypical "stuck up little bitch" is a rarity more than the norm.
They are certainly out there however and I am sure we all have memories of encountering a few. Arrogance is a factor, but its more than that. A person can be arrogant but still polite to people. This is a dreadful combination of arrogance, rudeness, a feeling of entitlement, a lack of empathy, greed and a lack of respect for everyone around them. They are spoiled rotten.
And I would argue there is a difference between young women who are spoiled rotten and young men who receive similar treatment from their parents. Females develop a sort of "Princess ego" as "Daddy's Little Girl" who can do no wrong, has been ridiculously sheltered and now expects the world to wait on them. (And gets upset when people don't go to extremes to please their fragile sense of entitlement.)
I believe people have to EARN respect by treating others with respect. If you're rude to someone the chances of other people being rude back greatly increases.
In our era of Girls Gone Wild however young women seem to have fallen prey to society's woes, rather than actually trying to do something different and better themselves, they are going along merrily with it.
A sad but unmeasurable number of young women these days are too focused on superficial qualities, beauty and their ability to attract a male. They spend more time taking photos and updating their Facebook photos than actually studying, doing homework, getting a part-time job and trying to make something of themselves. They're so self-indulged they ignore the chance to accomplish something.
According to Dr. Leonard Sax and his book (mentioned at the top) a proportion of 21st century teenagers are stuck in their own little "cyberbubble" where they ignore homework, text and chat 24/7, where t-shirts that say "SLUT"
That's skewing their self-image and their world view, believes.
“Most parents have no clue how kids are using Facebook,” says Dr. Sax. “The majority of boys are going on to look for photographs of girls they know and girls they don't know."
"Meanwhile, girls are intent on making the best possible photographs for their profile, presenting their brand, tweaking their photos to make themselves cuter than they are.”
Dr. Sax has written other books, including 2006's "Boys Adrift: The five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men".
So its not just young women who are at fault here. A lot of young men are so distracted sexually that they're ignoring their potential.
According to Dr. Sax: “The gender war is the ongoing and generally unproductive debate between people who tend to be politically conservative who think there's a boy crisis and people on the left who think there's a girl crisis. In fact, both boys and girls are disadvantaged, in different ways.”
Dr. Sax's advice in the book is the following: No private computer in their bedroom, no cellphones at the dinner table, no cellphones during family events (funeral, birthday parties, etc.) and encourage real-life networking with friends.
“It's not possible, it's not practical to say to parents don't let your kids have computers or cellphones. That's not going to happen. So the question is, how do you be a parent? I find that parents are unsure, uncertain and insecure about their authority.”
In other words stop spoiling your kids with techie crap. In fact stop spoiling them altogether.
When a child is spoiled they begin to feel they are entitled to things. They stop trying to earn things and the end result is a lack of motivation. They want other people to do their work for them.
But will parents just stop pandering to their kids? Doubtful. This is something that parents have to do early on, before the age of 4. Suddenly ceasing to spoil your kids will result in an emotional backlash.
So good luck with that.
The mass media isn't helping either. Everyday our kids, especially girls, are bombarded with advertisements which cause them to worry about their body image, their social status with friends and their sex life (often before they're emotionally ready for sex).
For the spoiled teen girl the temptation of sex comes with the perks of increased social status amongst other girls and the ability to gain the attention of boys. (Because teenage boys like sluts.) These naive young women aren't having sex because they're burning up with lust or feelings of love, they're doing it because they've recognized a desire to be accepted socially (although who can say when they have so many confusing hormones in their system).
Not all these hormone crazed teens are jumping off the deep end however. According to Dr. Sax many young women have learned to tune out the media assaults, to read between the lines and have become jaded against corporations trying to sell to teenagers. Dr. Sax's term for this is “corporatized.”
He also says boys have reacted slightly differently to the corporate media.
“More and more boys are developing an epicurean ability to enjoy themselves – to enjoy video games, pornography, food and sleep – but they often don't have the drive and motivation to succeed in the real world outside their bedroom,” writes Sax. “More and more of their sisters have that drive and motivation in abundance – but they don't know how to relax, how to have fun and enjoy life. For many of these girls, each accomplishment is only a stepping stone to the next goal.”
That is until reality gets in the way and Miss Smartest or Miss Prettiest at the High School finds herself Miss Nobody at university, says Dr. Sax.
“These girls are having a great time as long as everything goes their way,” he says. “But when they don't get what they want, because things don't turn out the way they expect, because they are not as smart as they think they are. They need to have an inner spirit so that they can get through that dark night of the soul. More and more girls don't have that – and they don't see the problem.”
The girls who are so spoiled they can't handle the stress of the real world become depressed – and may struggle with depression for the rest of their lives according to Dr. Sax.
Dr. Sax is also worried because girls “are getting older younger.” They are dressing slutty at a younger age, they are having sex too soon and they're growing up too fast during a time period in their lives where they are very impressionable.
There are no facts and statistics to back much of these observations, Dr. Sax admits, because nobody was keeping statistics 50 years ago on these things. Its very much a new field of study.
Dr. Sax blames various other modern societal woes that are hurting young women, but he also admits its still better than the "good old days".
“There are no good old days for girls,” he acknowledges. “It is a sad fact of western civilization that every era has been sexist. They have valued the achievements of boys and men above the achievements of girls and women.”
So there is hope for the future. These "stuck up little bitches" are nothing new to society, only the technology is new. In the 1980s or earlier they would have been tying up the phone line gossiping or talking to boys, now they've moved the gossip to cellphone texting and Facebook. Parents would be well advised to stop coddling and spoiling their children and focus more on getting their kids to become high achievers.
Because if they earn it then they will deserve it.