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.