Some of my dear and respected friends shared a post yesterday from a mother of several teenage boys who was counseling young girls to be careful about what images they post online or she would delete them from her sons’ accounts. While her intent was commendable in some ways, many agreed the execution was a bit off (there were images of her boys flexing in bathing suits within her own post). But the more I think about it today, I feel it speaks to an ongoing and unsettling slant in society to continue to hold girls responsible for all teens’ “inappropriate” behaviors.
Since Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s performance at the VMAs, social media has been bubbling with discussions of young women and “appropriate” attire or behaviors. While I personally found the act distasteful and frankly not entertaining, I’ve been disappointed at the direction of most of the discourse. The focus has been entirely on Miley Cyrus and her choices, with little discussion of Robin Thicke’s participation or that of the network executives who clearly approved (and likely engineered) the performance.
Thankfully, some have recognized the discrepancy. And I’m even more relieved to see men speaking out on this issue. First Eric Clapp spoke out about how we need to be talking to our sons about this incident, not just our daughters. And this morning I was thrilled to see another man, Nate Pyle, share how he intends to discuss with his son how to view women. He is eloquent and direct:
“It is a woman’s responsibility to dress herself in the morning. It is your responsibility to look at her like a human being regardless of what she is wearing.”
THIS is what I wish that mother was teaching her sons. That regardless of how a women dresses, regardless of whether she posts that picture to her Facebook profile, she is a PERSON worthy of respect as a human being. All young women explore their sexuality. All young women are going to make mistakes. Certainly we should try to educate our daughters to bypass the pitfalls of social media. Certainly we need to coach our daughters on modesty and respecting themselves. But with equal certainty we need to teach our sons that the value of a woman has nothing to do with the clothes she chooses to wear. And that they don’t need to cut out of their lives any woman who wears something revealing for fear they can’t control themselves.
NOTE: Please do read the posts by these wonderful men, it is so important.
I’m so intrigued with this new venture by former Creative Mama Jessica Cudzilo!
Define School from Jeff Manion on Vimeo.
I completed my 365 project! I missed 2 days, but I was pretty thrilled with that. I decided that I would substitute in an image for those days, so there were still 365 images in my project.
I was relieved to be finished, convinced that was IT for me. A break was in order. Maybe a smaller project to keep me shooting for me. Then I decided to make a video as many of my friends had done. (be ready, it over 6 minutes long)
Then it was all over. But I kept shooting. Swearing it was not a 365 (or 366 as this leap year will be). But it has been 7 days now. I don’t seem to be stopping. I think I will make it another year. There will probably be a few more missed days than last year. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be making a video again next January.
On the way to meet the biggest at the bus stop yesterday I made a little discovery.
The sweet part was that nearly half of it was made from our dog’s hair (I brush her outside).
Who knew that bark-y beast could be so useful?
Suddenly, the twins have discovered singing. Miss Peaches adores one particular song/story that she learned at school from an Eric Carle book. It is a repetitive narrative (aren’t all children’s stories?) about a string of animals and what they see, starting with a baby bear.
“Baby bear, baby bear what do you see? I see a red fox looking at me …” and so on. Miss Peaches can string together about 6-10 animals like this.
Yesterday in the car Mr. Plum decided to join in.
“Baby bear, baby bear, baby bear, baby bear, baby bear,” all at the top of his very big lungs.
“Mr. Plum,” I asked, “what do they ask the baby bear?”
“Oh Mom,” he said, “that’s on the NEXT page.”
The weather was better, and worse than last year. It was warmer, but there was a lot more rain. But I didn’t mind, cause it was raining money for my cause. This year, thanks to fabulous family and friends, we raised $1257 by the time of the March for Babies walk (and there were even a couple late donations that pushed us further).
I’ll be honest, it was a crazy weekend, and once we realized that we were likely to get soaked it was hard to be excited for walking around a baseball track. But then when you get there, you see the other families — some with babies or toddlers, others with T-shirt in memorium. And we remember why we do this…
because we want more families to have the happy outcome we did.
Thanks you so much to everyone who donated this year, it means more than you could ever know.
Technically, I am of “advanced maternal age” and in some circles I’d even be considered “perimenopausal.” So why is it when a young woman in her 20s tells me that my son pushed a little girl, I feel like that 10-year-old girl in the confessional for the first time — with all my sins exposed?
I’ve joined our local YMCA to get in shape — okay, I really joined because they offer free babysitting. Plus, the twins need socialization. Apparently Mr. Plum needs quite a bit more, because this is the second time he has gotten a bad report. I know this is normal for preschoolers. I know that there are always new kids for him to meet and deal with each time we go to the Y. I know that with continued guidance, he will learn to handle things differently. But man, the SHAME! Maybe it is the catholic guilt of my youth, or the vicarious jewish guilt from my husband, maybe I’m just prone to it — but these encounters make me want to crawl into a hole. I feel all judged and then I
obsess worry over it (obvious huh? since I’m writing about it).
Is it an inherent part of motherhood, to take on the trespasses of our children? I don’t think fathers feel such failure when their children make these type of mistakes. When I told my husband about the first incident with Mr. Plum, he asked if he had seemed sorry. When I said that yes, he indeed seemed regretful, my husband just said — good. And for him, that was the end of it.
Do you cringe at every (developmentally appropriate) infraction your little ones make? Do you worry the next step is a trip to the state pen? Or are you a mother duck, and it just rolls right off your back?