A friend of mine sent me a blog post yesterday that was written by the mom of an alleged “hot” middle school boy in reaction to middle school girls finding him physically attractive and flirting with him at the pool. The young girls she’s talking about deserve better than the shaming, patriarchal load of crap like this that’s thrown at them on a regular basis.
…sometimes it’s confusing to know how to handle all the messages media throws at you when the world you live in supports your right to do whatever you want.”
Okay, girls, listen up. Whenever someone starts out by addressing you this way, this is how you know they don’t respect you as a person who can make choices and the only way they will respect you is if you conform to their standard of femininity and do what they want. Now it goes on to describe the horrific incident that occurred at the pool.
Maybe you didn’t see that my son was with his family at the community pool the other day, playing catch with his dad. Maybe you didn’t understand that he didn’t want to hang out with you when you kept bumping into him and following him around. Maybe you didn’t notice he was averting his eyes every time you walked by in your bikini. em>Maybe that’s why you walked up to him and said loud enough for his splashing sister to hear, ’You are hot. My friend thinks so, too.’ Maybe you didn’t see my son’s cheeks flame and watch him look to his father for help or hear him mumble ‘like I care’ or see him get out of the pool to move away from you. Maybe not.”
Well, you brazen bikini-clad hussies, you. Seriously, this is middle school. You girls are trying to figure things out. Most of you haven’t even been on real dates yet and a relationship for you consists of changing your relationship status and maybe having his mom come and pick you up to drop you at the roller rink to partner skate until one of you starts liking somebody else. The only way most of you know how to communicate attraction with the opposite sex is some version of telling them they’re hot. It gets better, I promise. Understand that a lot of guys won’t have to avert their eyes when you walk by in your bikini because they’re capable of looking at you without feeling ashamed of themselves or being tempted to touch you without your consent. They won’t run to Daddy for help if a girl tries to talk to them and they’ll know how to decline your advances without being rude.
Now get ready for the part where Mommy passes the blame for the fact her son doesn’t know how to react to women onto you girls because you’re all nothing but a bunch of s.l.u.t.s.
You’re right to notice my son. He is different. He is good looking. But he isn’t playing coy or hard to get. He is hard to get. Because he understands he is too young to play with fire and he is fiercely fighting to live a Godly life. And you aren’t making it easy for him. We are working really hard to teach our son to live a pure life. We are encouraging him to bounce his eyes away from bikini-clad bodies. We are raising him to be noble. We are praying for him to have integrity. We are advising him to look into a girls eyes and not cleavage. We are warning him about sexting. We are encouraging him by having these conversations with us about aggressive girls. We are cautioning him to avoid girls who tell him he’s hot at the pool. We aren’t teaching him to ignore you. No, we are teaching him to respect you.”
Shame on you! If it weren’t for you showing your shoulders, stomachs, legs, and any evidence at all that you have a chest, this wholesome American boy wouldn’t have to worry about controlling his own conduct. Why aren’t you making it easier on these poor, helpless boys?
See, you same aggressive girls who aren’t ashamed of your own bodies and sexuality are the same girls who are going to be aggressive in the classroom, in the boardroom, and who aren’t going to be submissive to a man in any relationship, be it business or personal. That scares the doo-doo out of people like this. They teach their sons to ignore “respect” you by selling them an objectified image of a “good” girl and telling them that the girls they see in real life and in the evil media who don’t fit that image are all a bunch of empty, morally bankrupt, #dirtywhores. Her final advice to you dirty whores young ladies, is:
Respect yourself. You are beautiful and valuable without even trying. You don’t need a boy’s attention to prove that. I pray you get the kind of attention all girls needs from positive influences at home. I want the best for you, too. Go ahead, love yourself enough to be just another kid at the pool.”
Absolutely. Respect yourself. You are indeed beautiful and valuable. There are always going to be those girls who seek to fill an emptiness they feel with things outside themselves. This phenomenon doesn’t end in middle school and there are adult women who seek to fill emptiness with sex and relationships, alcohol and drugs, gambling, and all sorts of things. Finding someone attractive does not a relationship make. Relationships will never be fulfilling unless the people in them feel fulfilled separately. Real relationships are complicated, frustrating, nuanced, and wonderful all at the same time. There is nothing wrong with finding people of the opposite sex attractive or looking at their bodies.
There is nothing wrong with thinking about sex. I hope you will visit websites like Scarleteen, Sex Etc, and Planned Parenthood where you can get comprehensive information about sex and the physical and emotional outcomes. I hope that you’ll make the most informed and healthy decisions possible for yourselves. I also hope you’ll know that if you or someone you know decides to engage in sexual activity, whether it be texting or actual intercourse, it doesn’t make you or anyone else damaged goods or less beautiful and valuable than any other woman. And above all, know that you are responsible for your own conduct and guys are responsible for theirs. No means no, and that goes for both girls and guys.
Like I said earlier, it gets better. But the reason it gets better is because YOU get better and start learning things about yourself and how to share those things with the world. In the meantime, have fun being a kid at the pool giggling with your girlfriends and getting up the courage to talk to the “hot” guys just like middle school girls have done since my grandma was in middle school. Then go home and read a book.