...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Placing Blame on Female Teens: My Not So Random Opinion



Today I had a moment (gasp) to check my social media without a constant 30 second interruption from the boys, when I came across a blog* that really caught my attention. It did so because on the surface of things, the message the author offers is pretty good: Girls, respect yourself for who you are and don't feel that you have to act sexy to get a boys attention.


Great right? I thought so too, until I read the whole article, and then I felt sad. After sorrow I felt anger, and finally indignation. Why? Because the author states that any female friend of her three boys who poses "sexy" selfies is automatically banned from their FB account, with no second chance. Ironically, her blog consisted of multiple photos of her boys in swimsuits, posing near the water.

(* I will not post the url of said blog on this site. That is unfair to the blogger. We all have our personal opinions and this is my plae to opine. But I don't need to do so by offering her blog url up as a public media sacrifice.)

Umm, what? I mean look, I get that parental units don't want their teens posing in sexy ways, nor for it to get on social media sites where everyone and their dog can see. I wouldn't either. But at the same time, as a parent, I also understand that this time in their lives is a crazy rollercoaster ride where they are trying to learn what being an adult means, and guess what? They make mistakes. Just like a human should. And if it's not safe to learn as a teenager, then when is it?!


Here are a few excerpts from the blog that really bothered me, and my comments:


"And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts. Because, the reason we have these (sometimes awkward) family conversations around the table is that we care about our sons, just as we know your parents care about you."


Here’s the thing. People make mistakes, and kids more so than any other category. Teens? They are a mixed bag of crazy chemical hormones thrust into a world hyped on sexuality from many different angles. Look sexy. Don’t look sexy. A simple smile at the opposite sex can be construed as flirting when in fact, it’s simple a smile!

We adults do our young ones a disservice by creating ultimatums in a time of their life when they are more confused than ever. Instead of saying that you will forever block them from your site, reach out and teach them WHY this type of behavior might not be the best decision.


Teenagers are in the process of trying to figure out who THEY are, and this becomes a process of “trying on” different “costumes” of life, so to speak. It’s the only time in life we have the ability to try something new, sometimes stupid, without massive life consequences. This comes at the price of doing stupid things sometimes, like posing sexy selfies in our PJs. But really, if that’s the worst a kid is going to do, that’s awesome! Better a stupid photo to look at and cringe years later, than to OD on drugs, or raise a baby at 14.


 "You don’t want the Hall boys to only think of you in this sexual way, do you?

Neither do we….

Some young men are fighting the daily uphill battle to keep their minds pure, and their thoughts praiseworthy."



My thought on this is then to stop blaming the girls for a boys behavior. I have three boys. Yes, two of them are young and not ready to understand the implications of sexuality. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t raise them NOW to understand respect. Respect yourself. Respect your body. Respect others. Girls are NOT just a play toy to drool over. Behind every stupid PJ selfie on FB is a thoughtful, kind person who is looking for who she is as much as you are. How hard is that?

Responsibility starts with yourself. No one else is to blame for your thoughts and actions but you. To imply that it is a girls fault for boys thinking of them in a sexual manner is not only doing your boys a disservice, but it’s entirely WRONG! It sets up the never ending cycle that blame is laid upon the female for being sexual, when the reality is, that everyone should be responsible for their own actions.

Aside from that, there is nothing wrong with sexuality! Nothing!!!! To feel sensual is a wonderful thing. Yes, there is a time and place for that, and being a kid is not one of them. But it has only been in the last century or two where we were not marrying and having children at the ripe old age of 14. Biologically speaking, we evolved to embrace sexuality at the age teens do. Socially speaking we have advanced enough to allow our offspring to stay young longer. That's a great thing!!!!! But is it really fair to punish our children for something that is really, socially new? Do we punish our kids for something that biologically comes natural? Or maybe here's a thought: instead of alienating them, to sit down and talk with them. Explain how at this point in our culture, it is not appropriate to test out these emotions in a public setting? What about talking to them instead of handing out ultimatums?


"And so, in our house, there are no second chances, ladies. If you want to stay friendly with the Hall men, you’ll have to keep your clothes on, and your posts decent.  If you try to post a sexy selfie, or an inappropriate YouTube video – even once – you’ll be booted off our on-line island."


This for me, is the saddest part. It shows a judgmental mind process that offers no abilities for the girls to learn. If they “mess up” they are cut off with no chances of explaining their perspective, or for learning about forgiveness. What does this teach? It teaches that mistakes can not be forgiven. It teaches that some adults cannot be approached for help. It teaches that kids must sink or swim without the helping hand of a wiser adult.


That’s horrible.


Do I want my kids posting sexy photos on social media websites? Hell no! Do I want to see my kids friends posing that way? Of course not! But will I turn my back to them and refuse to open up a dialogue about why that is not the best course of action? No. I hope that I can remember when I was their age, and how I too made stupid mistakes, and how I learned from them. And I hope to be able to pass that wisdom on, along with a hug and the understanding that I am always available to listen.

I'm not judging the author for what she is trying to do. In her own way her heart is in the right place. I understand her concerns, as all of us parental units are concerned about the trials our children face as they begin to explore their sexuality. But I don't think that this approach was the best way. Instead of reaching out and trying to instill knowledge to those girls, she is pointing a finger at them and cutting them off. Simultaneously, she is unconsciously teaching her boys that they are not responsible for how they feel and react to women.... that in fact it is the females fault for their possible lustful thoughts or actions.



 So here is my own message to all of the kids, teens, and young adults out there that will be a part of my sons lives:

You're human. You're going to mess up. We adults did it, our parents did it, and all the way back as far as you can imagine. Your generation is unique, because you are the first to have the ability to post everything and anything up for the entire world to see. This is an amazing process, but it also comes with responsibility. Don't post stuff just because you can. Keep some things private, including that lil sexay pose you're practicing in the mirror. Wait until you are an adult to take that pose out of the dark, and strut your stuff when you have more knowledge about yourself and others and have the confidence to pull it off successfully in the appropriate place ;)

And if you make a mistake, that's ok. I won't ban you from my sons site. I may call your mom and give her a heads up, because I would want a mom to let me know if my kids were being idiots online. But it's not because I want you in trouble. I want the opposite. I want for you to learn, and this is the BEST TIME to learn! And if you ever want to ask questions and you don't have another grown up you feel comfortable with, I'm here. I'll listen. And I will do the best I can for you, as I do my own children.






1 comment:

jw said...

Seems to me the blogger is making the mistake of thinking its an honor yo be associated with the "Hall Men" when what she's really doing is setting her kids up to live in loserville, population them. Kids are vicious and cruel, and they will prey on this action as a weakness.