I’m seeing this post tossed around Facebook for the past two days. A lot of people are giving it the thumbs up and it would be cool if you’d first read it and then come back to hear what I have to say. If you’ve already read “FYI (If You’re a Teenage Girl)” by Kimberly Hall of Given Breath then…continue.
Firstly, I grew up in the church, I get the push for purity and abstinence and saving yourself for marriage. I worked hard at it. I even owned the True Love Waits Bible….until it was stolen…go figure. I get it. I tooooooootally know where this woman is coming from.
Secondly, I agree that the sexy selfies on Facebook are tired, overdone, sometimes blatant billboards that the person posting is incredibly insecure. I’m almost to a point where I just make a stupid face in a selfie because I feel weird about taking one in the first place (except I must because no one get’s my good angle). Honestly, I usually don’t think twice about them…they’re just everywhere. I know when my boys get Facebook (when they turn 30) I will definitely be monitoring their friends and interactions. We will definitely be discussing the sexy selfies.
We will be discussing them from a place of responsibility. Not the place of a victim.
What I mean by that is that I believe my boys are smart enough, capable enough and strong enough to control themselves. My boys are responsible for their own brains, their own actions, their own thoughts and their own penises. Ladies barely dressed in a sexy pose, they’re in charge of their own selves as well. My boys are not a victim of their skimpiness.
It’s so the case to grow up in a church and hear all the talk about sexuality addressed towards men. The anti-masturbation sermon, the porn sermon, the lust sermon, etc – all for the men. The women are involved in the sermon about “not causing your brother to sin”. That’s where we are supposed to fit in and it involves us covering up so that we don’t MAKE anyone sin. But that’s so crazy to me and it always has been. Lots of women masturbate, watch porn and lust their little booties off. They can have strong sex drives and even desire sex much more than their partner. This sort of stuff just alienates people and makes them think they’re wrong to somehow have a sex drive while being a woman!
So the girls grow up feeling like they need to hide how much of a sexual being they are and the boys grow up learning that they have no choice but TO be extremely sexual and it’s not their fault. Those darn skimpy ladies – it’s their fault. I would be told I’m completely crazy if I got upset that a man’s jeans just made his ass look TOO hot and I thought of some things I’d like to do with it. Why are men allowed the excuse?
I know of a Bible School that, in THIS past ten years, expelled a woman from their school and allowed the man to stay after they confessed they had been sexual. They said it wasn’t his fault and he can’t help it if he’s seduced.
OK…church talk over.
But really, in our society that’s how it is. Even recently we’ve seen major campaigns to DRIVE IT INTO PEOPLE’S THICK SKULLS that it’s not the woman’s fault if she gets raped. But people still believe it. People still rape because of it and people still pardon them for doing it because man is not in control of his own penis. The woman is. THIS IS THE MENTALITY THAT LEADS TO RAPE! I’m not even joking.
I want to raise men who see a woman and respect her. Who see a girl who’s dressed skimpy in a realistic way; she’s probably looking for attention, she’s probably insecure, she deserves respect but she might not be the kind of girl you want to wake up to. I want to raise boys who can HANDLE themselves. Who can judge for themselves. Who can see when a girl is trying to give her body just to make the ache inside her go away and respect her by not accepting. Who don’t just turn to judgement. Who don’t see a woman as a piece of meat.
Kimberly Hall’s blog pretty much states that her boys are incapable of not seeing women as a piece of meat.
We are sexual beings and not only is that totally OKAY, it’s also totally normal and there’s no running or hiding from it. You can’t delete it from your life. I’m sorry but no man or woman can just turn off being attracted to someone. It’s completely against who we are and how we are built. There’s also no turning off the blatant skimpy over-sexed society that we live in. Also, there’s loads of men who are MORE turned on by something like yoga pants…go figure…there’s no hiding from your hormones. So instead of raising victims of all this…I’m going for responsible.
I respect Kimberly Hall for wanting to keep her family pure. That’s her faith and it’s great she is sticking to it. But purity is intrinsic. Being a good person – it’s intrinsic. Not being an asshole is often….intrinsic. That means that it comes from within and is not motivated by what’s going on outside.
So while I agree that I don’t want my boys to be looking at those photos and that I’ll highly question and suggest blocking certain young ladies, I disagree that it’s the woman’s fault when they get turned on by them. I disagree that it’s wrong that they feel sexual feelings. I disagree with the double standard.
I agree I want to raise integral men but I am VERY certain that the best way to accomplish that is by nurturing intrinsic responsibility and not allowing them to see themselves as victims.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. I was raised in the same environment and victim blaming and huge double-standards were an integral part of the worldview. I have never understood it and certain events have led me to reject it entirely. What bothers me so, so much is that Hall is essentially perpetuating rape culture, and in the name of faith and purity nonetheless! Believing that a girl is responsible for what a guy thinks/feels when he sees her is only a tiny step away from claiming she’s responsible for what he does when he sees her. Nope, it doesn’t work that way. Thank you for stating this so clearly and raising your children to be accountable for their bodies and minds.
I’m glad you agree with the rape culture thing. I was throwing it out there but the two are linked like crazy. Time to erase double standards.
Yes, that “other blog” didn’t make sense to me. The double standard was SO in your face it was almost laughable. I’m sure she is a great Mom, and her boys are lovely, really lovely… I hope Kimberly thinks long and hard about some of the responses her words are eliciting. Not because I think she should change, just so she realizes that the world around her has.
OK, so I get to the end of this post and there’s a little section full of other posts I might like. And what jumps out at me is you and your purple granny panties. Which is hilarious – ’cause your in a sexy pose in your underwear.
Anyhow, I get where the other lady is coming from and I get where you are coming from. And I’d probably handle these situations more towards your end of the spectrum than Ms. Hall’s. But I don’t think that Ms. Hall necessarily has a double standard. You might be making an assumption when applying the sermons you’ve heard preached to what she is saying. She is trying to protect her boys and this is her way of doing it. I’m pretty sure they aren’t allowed to post sexy pictures of themselves either. I’m pretty sure they are being taught that women aren’t pieces of meat. They are probably being taught intrinsic responsibility for their thoughts and actions, but also being shielded to minimize the “danger”.
Having said that, I have a teenage daughter AND we’ve talked a LOT about pictures and social media. She isn’t anywhere near wanting to post sexy photos, but I’m having the conversations now … just in case. It’s easy to say that boys that are undressing her in their minds are responsible for their own thoughts, but I think she should know that certain clothing, actions and poses are going to encourage those thought processes and others aren’t likely to. Then she can decide if that matters to her. And I expect the boys she’s around to behave the same.
OK – I just looked at her post again. I still don’t see the double-standard in the words she wrote. But the first picture is another thing. Handsome teenage boys, shorts worn low, muscle poses … she needs to think about that.
Yup. I didn’t have to mention that part because like 8000 other people did. She wrote a new post with her sons in it and clothed but left her original post up. It’s got over 1.5 million views!
Read both posts…love yours, Leah (as a Mummy of two little boys 😉 ) You just make total sense to me and I agree with every word you wrote.
Well aint that easy. I’m still sitting here waiting for someone to disagree with me!! haha
Wish I’d grown up with this info and healthy thinking!!!!!