I find myself a touch surprised that I’m even writing this. It probably wouldn’t have been that long ago that I wouldn’t have given this sort of thing a second thought.
There is a blog entry from a mother that was posted recently that has received a lot of attention. It is from a mother of young boys and is entitled “FYI (if you’re a teenage girl)” (http://givenbreath.com/2013/09/03/fyi-if-youre-a-teenage-girl/). The writer of this blog is a mother of young boys and she is appealing to young girls who are friends with her sons, specifically those girls who post, in her opinion, immodest pictures of themselves online.
Now at an initial glance, this mother’s blog may seem harmless. It may even seem appropriate. We do have modesty issues in our culture. We do have issues with children not paying attention to just how much they give away about themselves online. We live in a culture now where children are becoming increasingly left to their own devices – literally. I don’t have any good answers for that. I also believe that this mother may have had good intentions with what she was trying to say.
Except for this – she put her boy’s potential for inappropriate thoughts or lewd behavior – solely at the feet of girls.
The mother wrote: “Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t quickly un-see it? You don’t want our boys to only think of you in this sexual way, do you?”
This, my friends, is a subtly concealed attempt to put the blame of any male’s action towards a female right back on that female. This is no different than saying, “Well, I’m sorry you were raped, but maybe you shouldn’t have worn that particular dress. Maybe they thought you were asking for it? After all, boys will be boys and all.”
This is both a horrible approach towards not just girls but boys too. This approach says that boys are at their core – sexual deviants. It says that boys can’t control themselves and because of this, girls must learn to overcompensate to deal with the uncontrollable lusts of boys.
I am the father of two girls. My wife and I teach them modesty. We have our own perspective on modesty that differs from others. To some, we are too strict. To others, we aren’t strict enough. That’s fine. It’s our responsibility to raise them in the best way we can and other’s opinions of how we are doing is just that – their opinion.
If I caught one of my girls posting provocative pictures online – she would be permanently done with social networking of any kind until she is an adult and on her own. But let me assure you, if I had a mother of a boy tell me it was my daughter’s fault that her son couldn’t control his own urges I would in no uncertain terms tell that mother she’s a poor excuse for a parent.
So to the mother of those young boys who is so worried about those young girls corrupting her sons, I have the following to say. Good for you that you monitor your son’s online activities. I commend you that you even go so far as to block posts that are provocative in nature. But now teach your son’s that their actions are just that – THEIR actions. Do not raise another generation of men to believe that they are not responsible for their own sexual thoughts and behaviors. Your boys deserve better than that.