Today I clicked on a link that one of my facebook (and college) friends posted. Generally speaking, I applaud this person’s point of view. It appears we have similar ideas of parenting, cooking, and other things. So, I clicked on the link that she promoted.
I’m posting this link for a number of reasons. The first and foremost reason is that I wrote a very long comment on the end of this article and I’m selfish enough to want it read by my readers, as well as the author of the article. My other reasons are probably spurious so I’ll spare you and just get on with my rebuttal.
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“I guess I’m going to be the voice of dissension and possibly comment on things you might feel are irrelevant.
I am a HUGE proponent of modesty although I was not raised as a prude, nor in a stifling religious atmosphere. Additionally, I chafe at the idea that something may be fine for one gender yet not the other. I was brought up in a world where the reasoning behind my inability to do, or go, or see, or experience was based upon my gender.
“My brother is going, I want to go, too” “No, you can’t” “Why?” “He’s a boy, it’s different”
That being said, I grew into someone who railed against the idea of gender bias. I decided that if a boy could do it, a girl should be able to do so as well.
I have to tell you, this has caused a number of predicaments in my life, not the least of which has been my relationships. I eventually got to the point of being incredibly up-front with any prospective mates. I do not believe in the flesh industry. I do not believe that it is somehow a ‘right’ for men to blithely view pornography while believing it cannot be allowed for their lovers. Personally, I don’t want to view it and I don’t want my man to view it, either. It, in my mind, is cheating. The entire point of porn is to sexually stimulate. If your mate is viewing this, they are mentally and with prior aforethought being stimulated by another person.
That being said, I believe that a healthy, mature relationship banks on the fact that both parties agree on what is right and good and acceptable. Different people have different standards of what is ‘right’ or acceptable.
I’ve learned though, that you cannot control what other people do. You cannot innocently go to a show and stop the woman from taking off her shirt. You cannot go out for New Year’s Eve and stop the drunks from not only grinding on the floor but dropping trou while doing so. You cannot tell the girl on the beach to retie her bikini top because you can see her nipple from the side. You cannot tell a teenager, testing the waters of his/her sexuality that her provocative boudoir pose is beyond the realms of decency – especially when she remains covered.
Do I agree with it? NO. Do I like seeing it? NO. Would I like my son to be viewing it on his friends’ pages? NO. Is it going to happen regardless of what I say and who I block from his page? YES!
Are you unaware that your son’s friends have friends and that they can merely go through their friends’ pages to see any picture or mutual friend that they wish? Do you honestly believe that by blocking some of these incredibly innocent girl-women you are doing them, or your son, any favors??
Instead, why don’t you keep watch for those girls who are actually going off the deep end and doing more than posting a pajama selfie and trying to act grownup and sophisticated and sexy. Instead of denigrating these girls or blocking them, why not teach your male child to be mature. Offer, instead, a solution to the rather rampant and growing problem of loose morals and selfishness. Why not, instead of offering an ULTIMATUM, use these things as teaching lessons? I mean, do you not understand that these are *teenagers* and for someone teetering on the edge of doing what is acceptable (or not) will probably only be pushed to the other side by being flat-out told what they MUST DO?
Why not have your sons comment on the photo with something akin to “this is a nice picture, but I prefer to see you as yourself and not staged”. Or perhaps “I like the picture of you at the beach better. The one where you are splashing and having fun. This seems overly provocative”. Or send the girl a private message asking about it. Maybe she is playing around and not aware of the messages she is sending. Maybe she is in a household which is abusive, or cold and lonely and is looking for attention. You do not KNOW why she posted this picture, only that she did … and you condemn her for it.
YOU are the adult there. You. I’m afraid that if you spend all your time and energy blocking the things that you do not wish your family to see, two things will happen.
1. They will be unable to maturely deal with these things when they DO encounter them. And believe me, they WILL encounter them, sooner or later.
2. You will lose out on the teaching moments only to be a harsh taskmaster. This, to me, seems counterproductive to a parent-child relationship. There is a time when we must begin to treat our progeny to think for themselves and do deal with the realities of the world in which we live.
We cannot change other people. We can only change ourselves.
*NOTE: I originally began this comment to argue with the ‘anonymous’ poster who said it is well known that boys and men are stimulated by sight and girls/women are not. I only have one reply to this. Pffffttttt.