My life as a mom began in 1987, first with four girls who were followed later by two boys. It was June 25, 2000, when I finally understood the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law thing.
Although it was only after 13 years of parenting, all it took was about 30 seconds of having a son when — immediately after he was placed in my arms — I became belligerent toward all the girls who may some day have designs on my boy.
Boyfriends of daughters are bad enough. But girlfriends of sons? Evil incarnate. Because eventually they will replace momma. And I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for that.
[If you are a girl reading this in the future (my boys are now only 13 and 9) who recognizes the brilliance, charm, and absolutely undeniable awesomeness of either of my sons, beware. Although I will try to remain civil, it will be a constant challenge.]
Today I read FYI (if you’re a teenage girl) with a great deal of sympathy and understanding. Yes, the sexualization girls impose on themselves in social media is incredibly disturbing. The endless hours some spend taking “selfies” is, at very least, vain. (And, really people, how great do you look in an image you took in the bathroom mirror with your toilet in the background?)
Girls and women (both!) need to stop presenting themselves as things to be ogled and, rather, as human beings with valuable ideas and contributions.
But Kim Hall, the mother of four who authored the piece — and who, interestingly enough, augmented the post with photos of her boys flexing their muscles in swimming suits — went beyond the mark. She says she hopes “to raise men with a strong moral compass” while at the same time absolving them for their own thoughts and responses.
Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t ever un-see it? You don’t want the Hall boys to only think of you in this sexual way, do you?
No repentance or forgiveness for the girls. No self-mastery for the boys.
Heaven forbid her sons witness an actual “wardrobe malfunction” or accidentally walk into the wrong dressing room or — horrors! — become doctors, and are forced to walk around for the rest of their lives sexualizing all their friends and/or cast mates and/or patients. (I knew there was a reason I feel awkward socializing with my OB/Gyn!)
For the sake of the women involved, let’s all pray her sons never have any sexual contact with their future wives. Egad, they will never see them as anything but pieces of raw meat again!
For years (decades, actually) I’ve said that if we want to teach girls modesty and decorum, we simply teach the boys to respond positively to those who display these qualities. I applaud such efforts. But teaching boys (and the culture at large) that girls are responsible for what boys think and do — and the boys just can’t control themselves — is just plain foolish.