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Moms Council Question of the Week: Kutcher Tryst a Teachable Moment?

Sara Leal experience with celebrity in a downtown San Diego hotel raises issues of starstruck kids.

In this space every Wednesday, the La Mesa Patch Moms Council poses a question and invites your wisdom—and chimes in themselves.

The council is captained by Mommin’ Around columnist Genevieve Suzuki. Other members of the Moms Council are Deena While, Linda Byerline and Tony Lawrence.

Now the question:

San Diegan Sara Leal is making news with her brief dalliance with actor Ashton Kutcher. The 22-year-old admitted in Us Weekly to unprotected sex with Kutcher at the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown San Diego. What advice would you give your daughter if she were propositioned by a celebrity?

Elizabeth October 13, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Genevieve (in her comment) has an interesting point: years ago, even in Hollywood, people didn't air their dirty laundry like they do today. The instant-media environment has turned every little thing that happens to anyone into "news." That said, I hope that neither of my daughters ever makes the news in this way. I am already teaching them to respect their bodies, and I've had several talks with my 12-year-old about sexuality, so I'm trying to prepare them for a proposition by anyone. A "nobody" college guy can be just as influential as a celebrity, and pressure to be cool or to be mindful of what others may think (for better or worse, "everyone will think you're awesome" or "everyone will think you're a whore") can be powerful pressure. It can be especially difficult to make good decisions when you're tired, drunk, rushed into a quick decision, starstruck, or simply caught off-guard. Some media reports are making Sara out to be a "temptress" who lured Ashton into straying from his marriage, but from what I know about people, I'm thinking that they were both just tired and drunk from a long night of partying (not that this is an excuse). In thinking of who -- to use contract terms -- had the greater "bargaining power," the celebrity was probably more influential than the local girl. If I found out my daughter had had a tryst with any married guy, I would be just as upset. The difference is, if the guy hadn't been a celebrity, I probably wouldn't have found out.
Mike October 13, 2011 at 04:02 PM
"Thirty years ago, a woman likely wouldn't have thought it was cool to give an interview to a national magazine to talk openly about having unprotected sex with anyone, much less a married man." Are you serious? You obviously don't know about the hippie generation, who lived in communes and had group sex on a regular basis. Swinging married couples, or "key parties." Nor the disco era of the 1980's.
Genevieve Suzuki October 13, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Mike: Please read my comment carefully and then reply. I never said it never happened. Of course, it happened then. It happened even before that, going back in time to the Ancient Greeks. What I said was a woman would not have discussed "unprotected sex with anyone, much less a married man" to a national magazine. I'd be interested to see if you could find a good example of a woman giving such an interview 30 years ago to a magazine like Us Weekly.
Tony Lawrence October 20, 2011 at 02:56 PM
Mike won't find that article because it did not exist. Even if it did, it would not be hear the degree that we treat sex tapes as a career boost, Liaisons with the President (Lewinsky) resulting in Jenny Craig commercials and invites to A-list parties, "reality" show celebrities openly discussing affairs and selling pictures and exclusives as their sole income. It is not the same as the golden years of key parties and disco. It is not to say nobody had an affair before the internet - but it clearly has changed in scandal for profit mentality. It used to be the lawsuit for money - "I slipped on a wet floor in home depot - jackpot!" or the sexual harassment lotto "My boss asked me out - bingo!" The latest, saddest grab for attention, fame and money is the affair for sale. There used to be a certain amount of shame in sleeping around, now it seems like a badge of honor. Katy Perry and Ke$ha sing to our girls the virtue of drunken partying and slutting it up. It is hard to raise a child - especially a daughter in today's media driven, internet world. Ashton was wrong - period. He has made the same mistake men have made for centuries. Sara Leal seemed to commit a more modern, profitable sin - sleeping with a married man, then trying to capitalize on it for money and game. Shame on both of them.
Tony Lawrence October 20, 2011 at 03:01 PM
This response it totally off base. This happened. This was big, local news. Anyone with a TV or computer knew about it. Now we as parents have 2 choices - ignore it (or at least ignore talking about it) and leave our kids to discuss and form opinions based on what their friends are saying and what the internet tells them - or - talk to them about it. Share our values and thoughts on the situation. I spoke with my 14 year old daughter about it and are interested in what other parents think of it and said to their kids. I seriously doubt a "teen mom" would have the gravitas or confidence to discuss this at all. The great thing about this forum is if the question interestes you - chime in, join the discussion. If it does not, ignore it and wait for the next one. If they all turn you off, find another group that more suits your interests and topics. Insulting the moderator does nothing constructive.

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