FYI (if you’re a teenage girl)

This article was making the rounds recently and has been getting a lot of buzz:

FYI (if you’re a teenage girl).

Now, I’m all for encouraging young women to believe that their value stems from so much more than their appearance and that their actions matter, as part of this post addresses, but I have to say, as the mother of a son (at least until/unless he tells me otherwise), I have a few choice words about this post:

  1. I’m horrified by this particular mother policing her kids’ sexuality and invading their privacy.
  2. I particularly hate that she puts the blame and responsibility for men’s urges and subsequent actions on young women. She’s saying that someone can’t be sexually stimulated by something and be able to control his/her urges. Boys will be boys, after all.
  3. What about teaching her young men that women are people who should be respected and that they aren’t just bodies – or worse – body parts, placed on Earth for their sexual stimulation and gratification?
  4. Her assumption that her children will be heterosexual is nauseating and ridiculous.
  5. Double standard much? Young sluts ladies, don’t parade around braless in your pajamas, but be sure to check out my shirtless sons and husband who are flexing at the beach.

What do you think about this parent’s approach to sexuality and social media consumption? What is (or do you plan to be) your approach to these topics?

Edit: I found another blog post that is much more in line with my preferred approach as it relates to sexuality and social media. I decided to post the link as a great counterpoint to the above referenced post.

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8 thoughts on “FYI (if you’re a teenage girl)

  1. I don’t think she was saying that it’s the girls’ fault or that boys shouldn’t be held accountable and taught to not act on sexual urges just for fun, it sounded to me like she was saying she is teaching her boys to respect women and that blocking inappropriate images one simply one step. As for the shirtless boys, well it is ok for boys to be shirtless in this society where it is not for girls, boys don’t have breasts that are objectified as sexual. That is a double standard I agree but it’s one that has been that way for more years than I can count unfortunately. Now that being said as a mother of 3, a girl age 10, a girl age 5, and a boy nearly 2, I will most certainly have acess to their social media because while I trust my children they are still children and are growin g and learning and need guidance. I will do so with their knowledge, similarly to this family and do so in a positive informative way to teach and explain why this or that should or shouldn’t be done. Keeping communication open and teaching how to be a productive adult and be safe. I will say that the suggestive girls and guys photos and behavior won’t be tolerated regardless of gender of my child, that will equally be a problem across the board.

  2. I hadn’t read that blog yet even though i saw it blowing up my newsfeed on FB. But i finally read it since you linked to it. I’m not sure what my stance is going to be on my son’s social media consumption. I anticipate things being different than they are now when he is actually utilizing those types of things, so it’s hard to know how much I’ll need to monitor. But i do agree that trying to create an open relationship with your children about topics such as sexuality and “appropriateness” is important to me. I grew up in a family where we never talked about those things. My mom gave me a book in third grade about a woman’s body and getting your period, sex, etc. It terrified me. We never discussed it. I know that is not what I want for my children, and i want them to feel like they can come to me about anything and that i would try my best to be open minded and to help THEM be open minded as well because I believe that is an important quality. Of course i want my son to love whoever he is going to love for the right reasons, not just because he/she is hot. But I think that teaching values and respect is DIFFERENT from blocking “all content” that you find unsuitable – because that is just buries the issue instead of addressing it. Sorry – long comment!

  3. You saw my thoughts on Facebook and I still feel the same. Her message was a wrongly worded one. If she’s concerned about the things young women (and men!) are putting on the internet, fine. But forcing all the blame on the women and saying that we’re the root of all evil and men can’t control their urges, blah blah blah, is just wrong.
    She used the wrong images to illustrate her point and really needs to focus more on teaching her sons what is right and wrong and what consent is and isn’t. She cannot control the world, she can only help her sons learn the tools they need to navigate it.

  4. I thought her post was completely gross. The original one showed pictures of her boys on the beach making “manly” muscle poses, and she got so many complaints she made a new one with everyone wearing jackets standing around looking at a smartphone laughing together. The message that supposedly “fixed” post gave me was: “dear girls, we all stand around as a family and laugh at pictures of you.”

    Everything about it was full of double-standards and totally creepy. If her boys are looking at a photo of a girl and the first thing they notice is that the girl isn’t wearing a bra, 1. it’s super weird that they tell their mom that, and 2. if the mom has a problem with that, she should talk to her boys about it, not blame it on the girl in the photo.

    If my kids were “friends” with this family i would strongly suggest that they unfriend and block them on Facebook and distance themselves from them in person, too.

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