Thursday, September 5, 2013

FYI (If you are a middle aged mother of teen boys)

Yesterday a blog post popped up on my timeline a number of times.  I try not to address political or religious posts because no one wants to or needs to hear my opinion.  But this falls into a category that I cannot ignore – our children.  Two friends who praised the post retracted it after they really read it but more friends shared and praised it.  I wrote this parody, matching her points to my own.  As I did I realized even more how twisted this mother’s approach and thinking was; miss-targeted, sexist, and manipulating all wrapped up in a cheery “but we really love you” tone of voice.
The following is not written in a way that I would address someone…. it’s horrible really, but hopefully the format better illustrates my point.

FYI (If you are a middle aged mother of teen boys)

Dear Mothers,

I have an opinion that might interest you.  I was sitting in front of my laptop eating my cereal in the morning, as I sometimes do, and several FB friends brought to my attention a blog post.

Wow! What a detailed and heart felt blog post you wrote in such a tedious twisted manner.  I noticed that because I am trying to emulate your writing style right now.  But I also notice other things.  For one, it appears you believe teenage girls to be sluts and teenage boys helpless targets.

I get it – you are in your room and you feel cold and frigid.  Maybe you should arch your back, pout a little, strike a red carpet pose and see if that triggers your blood to warm.  That must not be a posture you would ever assume as you are getting ready for bed – this I know.

So here is the thing I think you should realize.  Teenage boys should be taught to respect girls as equally sexual and empowered partners.

Please understand this.  We are not against you just your sexist opinion.  Otherwise, we really liked your blog post.  We know you are a good Mom with your heart in the right place which is what makes your blog post so unfortunate.  

God forbid teenage boys ever think of a girl in a sexual way!  Did you know that you are potentially raising controlling boys who are ashamed of their sexual thoughts and even more so of their girlfriends’?

I didn’t think so.

And so, in my home, I expect kids to mess up.  I expect them to struggle as their bodies change.  If I see them waiver I will do what I can to steer them straight.  With the hope that one day they will be understanding, forgiving, confident, respectful partners in their relationships.  They will get second chances, and third, and forth chances to grow and mature because that’s what it takes.

Mothers, it’s not too late!  If you think you have made an online mistake RUN to take it down.  Talk to your boys and girls.  Tell your sons that girls do not want to be porn stars (because you know they are seeing that crap in the internet); they want to be asked, respected, and behave intuitively without pressure.  Tell your girls they should not be ashamed to want to feel attractive or sexual.  That they should only ever do what they feel is right and anyone who targets, pressures, or disrespects them should be kicked off their island.

I know that sounds obvious and intelligent. But that’s the way it is in our home; we hope to raise boys who respect women and are comfortable with their own sexuality.

Every day I pray for parents to teach their young sons and daughters to have respect for the opposite sex and to proceed into relationships with honesty, and good will.  I hope that my sons will not look down upon women as someone they have to “wait for” but as equals who are sexual beings in their own right.

Do you trust me?  Are you are saying that young men are fighting a daily uphill battle just to keep their thoughts pure but it’s the girls who are targeted for uncrossing their legs or posting a picture they think is cute?  That double standard is old as dirt and about as palatable as dirt.

Educate your sons and daughters, respect that they are changing, give them the knowledge they need to grow as gracefully as possible, and forgive them when they blunder.   

I’m glad we’re friends.


happy internist said...

right on, sister!

Unknown said...

I am a middle aged mother of grown boys now 28 and 30 and a daughter now 32, who were once teens: one a handful and two not...just three different people growing up in their own way and doing what they needed to learn. We gave them facts and tried our best to help them learn to think and make good choices, letting them fall but being there to make sure they didn't fall too far. Of course we shared our feelings but acknowledged that ultimately they were responsible for their actions and decisions. No shame involved.
Our children have grown to respect human kind and delight in their lives. Each has found a spouse to love and works hard at being married in all that it entails. They are busy raising delightful people of their own and I am now in tears just thinking about all these dear people I have been privileged to share this life with. Life is too short for shoulds and oughts and shame and fear.
I rejoice!
PS. And there is another grandbaby on the way! I hope they had fun making it :-). Cheers!