In response to the icky Mrs Hall post about the dirty dirty girls poisoning their precious sons’ minds with ‘provocative’ photos on social media:
This post at Put Down the Urinal Cake is a lovely, thoughtful, heartfelt reply to Mrs. Hall.
Iron Daisy’s post is a hilarious opposite-land ‘letter’ exposing Mrs Hall for exactly the person she’s showing herself to be.
Another thing that really bothered me about the original post: a lot of commenters pointed out that Mrs Hall had included half-naked photos of her sons. And Mrs Hall responded, “Oh, that’s different.” And then re-posted the post with different clothes. She had NO IDEA how hypocritical she was being not only by using those beach photos, but by insisting that photos of teenage boys half-naked and showing off are not ‘sexy’ or ‘provocative.’
And Parentwin’s post is exactly what I wanted to write. Mrs. Hall’s statements sound exactly like someone who would say that a girl was “asking for it” (whatever “it” may be) because of her clothing. Because teenage boys have no self-control and no responsibility over their sexuality, and they’re just victims of those overly sexualized girls. Because “boys will be boys”, har har har, those crazy boys! Good thing we don’t need to teach them how to be respectful citizens of the world!
A roundup of a few more blogger responses here.
A friend who didn’t want to post publicly wrote to me about this issue and included this: “The young woman posting a “provocative” photo of herself is celebrating the beauty that she finds in herself. She is delighted with herself and unafraid to show her delight to others. Looking at her beautiful form is equally innocuous and could be delightful for those looking. We as adults add all the weight of lust and impropriety to even the most innocent.”
To that, I would add that the young woman is trying to find herself, trying to find her beauty, her place in the world, her place in her own little world, trying on a persona that seems to get many girls attention. And I think that we should give positive attention to girls who are trying to find out who they are, or playing with all the possibilities, or exploring their social world, and make sure they know that adults in their lives are there for support and guidance. I think girls need a lot more discussion about inner beauty, the inner self, being true to that, intelligence both academic and social, the difficulties they will face as females in the future. Women like Mrs Hall are judging them, boys like Mrs Hall’s sons are judging them, men like Mrs Hall’s husband are judging them. We need to help those girls find strength in themselves, and faith in their true beauty that comes from being a well-rounded human being.
A few more of my thoughts:
I will be raising two teenage boys. I have no idea how to do that. I do, however, know that I want them to know that they are in charge of their minds and their bodies. I also really want them to know that girls are in charge of their own minds and bodies too. And that they, as boys, MUST respect that, and they have the ability to choose how to respond to and interact with girls their age, and that I will hold high standards for them about that.
I will not throw God or Jesus at them, because we’re not that kind of people, and because good values don’t have to come from a Bible. And I won’t blag on about ‘modesty’, because it seems to be mostly the girls who need to be modest, in fear of sullying themselves in the eyes of not just God, but also boys who will surely go all HULKSMASHSEX if they see so much as a bare shoulder. I do want to teach them about morals: doing the right thing; being a good person; taking a moment to ponder the ramifications of their actions.
I hope that my boys grow up seeing their father respecting not just their mother, but all women, and all people. I hope that we are able to teach them that it is their job to do the same. I hope that my boys will grow up seeing their mother as a fully-realized human being with thoughts and feelings, and that they will understand that other females are the same.
And here is the exact future ‘conversation’ that is just perfect!