The Blurred Lines of Raising Girls

The internet blew up last week over this post from blogger Given Breath. While I was outraged, especially as a mom to two girls and especially since the first version of the post was full of half naked pictures of her boys, it got me thinking about the double standards and blurred lines my girls will face as they grow up

At this point my girls are incredibly innocent. In fact I worry more about them being too immature than about them being too mature. But I know the day is rapidly approaching where they will develop crushes, want to to wear makeup, and be using whatever the newest version of Snapchat is.

And here is where it gets tricky. Because I agree with the statement of “we should be teaching our boys not to rape, instead of teaching our girls how to not get raped.” But in reality, my girls are growing up in a society where a 20 year old girl is judged for thrusting her ass on stage but the 35 year old man feeling her up is seen as a victim of circumstance.

So while I don’t want to teach my girls to watch their mannerisms online in case boys think of them sexually, as Mrs. Hall suggests; I do need them to know that it is true. That men will often think of them in a sexual way before anything else. It’s not fair, but it’s true.

What I want to say to Mrs. Hall and to all moms of boys is: be a partner with me and all moms of girls.

Let’s teach our kids to think about what they put online; how they view each other; and to look beyond a momentary random picture. And when we see a picture we feel crosses the line, let’s open a dialogue about it and remind our kids that what goes online stays online and that they should never, ever forward a picture sent to them on to someone else.

And let’s call each other when we see our kids’ friends being inappropriate online. Instead of writing open letters to their children on the internet.

In the meantime, I will teach my girls to respect their bodies because they may be the only ones who do.

Comments

  1. “And let’s call each other when we see our kids’ friends being inappropriate online. Instead of writing open letters to their children on the internet.” This is so true!! I think she should also think about if it were another mom plastering her boys’ indiscretions all over the internet. And whether she wants to admit it or not, they do make mistakes.

  2. I never read the original post – I didn’t need to with so many people talking about it on Facebook. I just think it’s a sad day when we have to teach our daughters not to be victims because other parents aren’t teaching their sons not to be monsters.

  3. I completely agree. If only we could work together to lift our children up and teach them to be respectful of each other. Unfortunately, there are so many self-rightous people in the world who don’t feel the need for civil discussion or think they are above it or whatever. As a mom of a six year old daughter, I will teach her to be cautious with what she puts out there on and off line. I hate that women don’t have the freedom to look, act, and dress however we choose without ridicule. But it is our unfortunate reality.

  4. And wouldn’t it be awesome that instead of making judgements, we work with our kids and parents to keep the lines of communication open. We work together – kids and adults? This is why we have moms night out and play groups, right? So we have a network of communication when our kids get older and things get more complicated.

  5. Having one of each, it is something I think about daily. I’ve tried to explain to both of them why “hot” isn’t a synonym for “cute” or “cool” and how it’s not an appropriate way for kids to rank each other. Or adults, for that matter. Ugh.

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