Posts Tagged 'girls'

Dad Delivers Perfect Response to Kindergarten Dress-Shaming His Little Girl: Read His Viral Letter

Remember, it’s always the girl’s fault.   Dress shaming a child all in the name of purity and modesty.  Being female apparently gives license to men and authorities to hurt us ladies and excuse it under the excuse of “protection.”  I call BS. (I get the reason for dress codes but a five year old child isn’t capable of dressing for sexual reasons.  But this is ridiculous.)

http://celebrity.yahoo.com/news/dad-delivers-perfect-response-kindergarten-dress-shaming-little-204000273-us-weekly.html
Move over, Kindergarten Cop! A Houston dad, Jef Rouner, called out his 5-year-old daughter’s school district after her kindergarten class shamed the little girl for wearing a spaghetti-strap dress. “I’m not surprised to see the dress code shaming come into my house,” Rouner wrote.

Boys and Girls Shouldn’t Be So Modest

I started this as a reply to geoffhorswood on my last post, lost my reply after I went to look something up, and then decided to turn it into a post to give myself more space.

First, I think the big issue is that modesty and dress standards seen to be inordinately focused on girls and women.  Women are told to cover up, to dress modestly, to consider the affect they have on men and that how they dress can cause a man to lust.  I have read a blog post or two that point out boys and men are hurt by modesty/purity doctrine but the focus by and large is on women.

Second, we are talking boys and girls here.  Children who largely don’t know better or are following parents, adults directions.  Clothes for children, by and large, are things to wear or are fashionable.  You only care about what your friends think and maybe which ever adult is your favorite thinks.  It’s a pretty small world of opinions that a kid cares about which is fine since their world that they engage in is pretty small.  They are just kids.

Third, boys and girls are both being bombarded by the same sexist garbage.  Boys are told that they need to be one way and see girls another way.  Girls are told they need to be and act a certain way and that boys are different and shouldn’t act like girls.  Boys get told that girls are there for boys to use and that girls like being used because girls want to be in relationships with boys.  Girls are told that they need to be in a relationship with a boy and if they aren’t then they aren’t a person.  Neither boys or girls are told that they have worth outside of their genitalia.  Or outside what their bodies can physically do.

Forth, normal childhood development isn’t even considered.  Girls and boys go through puberty.  Girls start developing breasts and curves.  Boys start noticing girls are nice to look at where they might have found them icky before.  Even though there are physical differences between girls and boys before puberty, these differences don’t matter much to boys or girls.  There might be the idea that boys have cooties or that girls are icky but that’s more to emphasize that boys aren’t girls and girls aren’t boys, something other but nothing to worry about.

(I have never understood the concept of cooties.  In third grade, when all the other girls refused to go anywhere near boys because of the possibility of cootie contamination, I was friends with boys.  They were more fun and they liked having me around.  I was good at finding things they had lost and they never put me down.  But I still don’t get the idea of cooties and I’m 32.)

Fifth, boys and men are visual, so yes they are going to look at the opposite sex.  There is nothing wrong with looking.  Self-control is necessary but boys haven’t learned it yet.  They know girls are nice to look at and that many girls want to be looked at.  The problem lies in the reason they are looking and the way they are looking.  It’s one thing to notice a girl walking by who looks nice and is dressed nicely.  It’s another thing entirely to stare at that girl and want to undress her because she’s wearing a skirt and a blouse that fits close.

Which leads to number six.

Sixth, is the way words like lust, sex, attraction get defined and used. 

Lust is the disordered desire for sex and/or thinking about a person and using them to become sexually aroused for their own personal pleasure.  But that’s not how lust is usually defined.  Lust seems to end up meaning the finding of a person of the opposite sex attractive or even sexually attractive.  This definition of lust doesn’t refer to disordered desire or an inordinate focus on sex.  This definition focused on normal attraction.  A man can find a woman attractive but not think of her in a sexual way.  This is normal however modesty/purity doctrine says just looking at a woman is almost lust and finding her attractive is lust and that’s like having sex with her which is definitely a sin.

Sex is any act that stimulates and/or involves the genitalia of a person.  Just thinking about a person is not sex or lust.  Finding someone attractive is not sex.  Using a person for your private sexual fantasies is lust and if you self abuse, then it involves sex.

Attraction is finding qualities and/or attributes of a person that you like and possibly admire about that person. A man can find a women with blue eyes attractive.  A man find another man ‘attractive’ because he admires how he treats his family and his coworkers.  There is no sex involved.  Just appreciation and admiration of qualities of a person.  Don’t worry men, you can keep using admire instead of attractive but I’m pointing out that attraction isn’t based merely or solely on sex, if at all, in many cases.  It’s largely about appreciation and admiration.

These  terms gets misdefined or strongly wrongly defined and then get bantered about as if everyone agrees to the same definition.  That’s a major problem.

Seventh, boys and girls are taught to be ashamed of their bodies.  Girls are told that looking like a girl and having curves is a bad thing because boys look at you and therefore you are causing them to lust.  No explanations.  Just blaming.  Boys are taught that girls shouldn’t be looked at because they might like them and will start listing after them because girls dress in a manner that invites lust and boys can’t help it if they lust. 

Girl are taught that they are need to hide their shameful bodies and boys are taught to be victims and helpless.  Both boys and girls are taught wrong.  Neither are guilty.  Both are forced by adults to adhere to their impossible standards.

Both boys and girls need to be taught and reminded that they are human beings made in the image and likeness of God.  They are not objects.  They are not victims.  They are not demons.  They are not destroyers.  They are not helpless.  They can learn how to treat people with respect and dignity.  They can learn to treat themselves with respect and that they don’t have to hold themselves to somebody else’s impossible standards.

But it starts with parents.  I’m not going to point fingers or blame.  I will point out that parents are the first teachers and that they are the ones who kids will listen to first. 

Teach respect. 

Teach boundaries and that they aren’t to be violated. 

Teach not to judge on physical appearances. 

Teach that modesty isn’t about dress codes but about behaviors and attitudes and how we see ourselves in light of our being children of God. 

Teach boys to respect girls and girls to respect boys. 
Model it yourself because actions speak louder than words.

Learn the real definitions of words not what you think a word might mean.  You’ll be smarter and more knowledgeable and won’t make stupid mistakes and maybe better at doing crossword puzzles.

Challenge modesty and purity doctrine and how they are taught to kids and stop the focus from being exclusively on girls and how they dress.

Don’t demand behavior and dress that you don’t do yourself.  Again, actions speak louder than words.

Don’t shame.  Put downs only make you a bully and nobody likes a bully.

Give second chances. Nobody can change overnight.

Support and praise go farther and last longer than shaming and bullying.  Applaud effort.

Remember, just because someone is selling it doesn’t mean you have to but it.  Don’t buy into the lies about sex and clothing and how people are just objects to be used. 
NOBODY IS AN OBJECT.  EVERYONE IS A PERSON ACTUAL AND WHOLE, WORTHY OF DIGNITY AND RESPECT.

Girls Are Sex Objects (And You Better Treat Them That Way)

Yes, the title is provocative but it’s also true.  Two, no, three different blog posts I read on WordPress Reader TODAY have mentioned modesty and how girls dress.  Girls not even teens but prepubescent girls.

The first post was under the Catholic tag and was about modesty.  Anytime religion or faith enters into a discussion about girls and how they dress I an very, very, very wary.  And I’m Catholic   but some take it too far.

It usually ends up being a blame fest pointing the finger at the girls and making them at fault for a man’s actions.  It’s the Professional Weaker Brother Syndrome and it’s a deliberate misinterpretation of a Bible verse which I’m not even going to bother to post here.

Now this a blog post was mostly okay up until the blogger mentioned that men and women are so different that women can’t understand that men are so visual and that women’s fashion are hurting them. 

Hello, No. 

Men are visual but that does not excuse them for their actions, attitudes, and behaviors.  There was more than that but it basically came down to: Women, you are dressing like sluts and hurting our poor, weak men by making them lust and so you hussies need to get with the program and dress how these poor men tell you to dress.  And you should be so ashamed of yourselves for being born female with breasts and curves.  You need to hide and cover up.

And all of this is coming from WOMEN.  How messed up is that?

Then there was the blog post about a dress code for middle schoolers.  The dress code wasn’t so much the problem as the enforcement of it was.  Remember, these girls are 11-14.  But the blogger made very important points.  Girls are being told from a very young age and even in school where they shouldn’t have to deal with theses issues, that their looks are more important than any abilities or talents they might have.

Like I said sex objects.  Girls and women are being assaulted visually and mentally into being sex objects.  Advertisers know sex sells so they use it in everything.  Even toys and clothes for little girls.  We are  being turned into sex objects and told to stay there. Human beings need not apply.

And girls and women get it from all sides.  Christians, Muslims, and Orthodox Jews (believe me, it’s not just Fundy Christians who have dress codes for women) all point to women and outright blame women for men’s behavior.  I know Christian and Muslims back up their unrealistic proscriptions with Bible and Quran verses, respectively.  They focus on how women behave and dress but they also send the message to boys and women that women are constantly setting traps so that men are forced to sin.  Yes, forced because, at least Christians, choose to selectively forget that it is the individual who chooses to sin.  You cannot force a person to sin.  That’s a sin in and of itself.  But then as soon as it involves women, men, and any hint or idea of sex women are automatically at fault no matter if it was the man doing the sinning, as in the case of rape.

Especially in Fundy circles, where boys are indoctrinated at a young age to see women as objects and that anything girls and women do or say or wear can make a man sin, this perverse idea of modesty has taken hold.  Women are objects unless you are married them it’s a person but boys, just as much as girls, are hurt by modesty doctrine.  They are told girls are objects, sex demons that are out to trap them, that they aren’t to think about sex or their body or anybody’s body because that’s lust and sin but then it all becomes okay after you get married and that being married means you will have awesome sex all the time and lust will never be a problem and then you have ALL sorts of problems.

Worse, this has leaked into secular culture.   Preteen girls are being told they can’t wear this or that because they have hit puberty which means breasts have started growing and other physical changes.  Girls and women are being punished for being born female.  They aren’t supposed to dress indecently but then are punished for dressing like a girl.  

It’s not just dress codes.  It’s about sex and gender.  Feminists can argue all they want that women are better treated than they were a hundred years ago, two hundred years ago but really, in many ways, things haven’t changed.  Or they have gotten worse.  Women are expected to turn themselves into sex objects and are punished, usually by OTHER WOMEN, when these women refuse to and instead, see themselves as living, beating human beings worthy of dignity and respect.  Worse, many feminists are guilty of telling women to dress like sluts and them slut shaming these women for doing what the feminists tell them to do.

So, like I said, all sides. Women aren’t objects and it’s a lie that  women and girls are being force fed from a young age.  Dress like a women and you will upset a whole bunch of people.  Christians will say you causing man to sin and that you are a stumbling block.  Secular authorities tell you that you are causing problems for boys.  Feminists say you can dress how you want but then shame you no matter how you dress.

So it sucks to be a women.  You are at fault for EVERYTHING.  Turn yourself into an object.  Many men, and even some women, will be happy that you are a sex object they can use and discard for their pleasure.  Many men, and a whole lot more women, still think you are an object but an object of shame and ridicule, something to be made an example of and then thrown in the trash.

Women are not objects.  We are people, actual and whole.  Our exterior appearance is part of us but it isn’t all of us.  We are more than the sum of our external parts. We are not objects to be used but people who want to be loved and cared for, for who we are as a whole, not for some little piece of us.

How we dress is not that important though it may reflect that person’s personality.  We are not breasts and butts for you to ogle.  You have no right to judge how we dress or how we look or if we have the right body parts or not.  You do not get to judge or look at my body for your own depraved desired and then blame me for existing. You do not get to decide if I am pretty or not, attractive or not.  You do not get to decide if I am worth fucking or not.

I am not an object.  I am a woman with talents and abilities.  I will dress however I want.  I am not here to serve your depraved desires or to “serve” you in any way.  I will not listen to your stupid judgments about me, about how I dress, about how I look, about how pretty or not I am.  I will not let you have a say in my life.

Like the poster said, I am Me and I am Okay.

More Reblogging

Yep, two more reblogs that have to do with girls and consumer culture.  Plus expectations we have for girls and women.

The first deals with Disney and how those shows are influencing girls to be cruel, bullies, and buy into a sexist, demeaning stereotype that girls only want to be seen as pretty and that success relies on physical beauty. 

For me, growing up, Disney was mostly movies.  They didn’t have TV shows and a channel until I was in high school.  And it was largely repeats (nothing really original) and showing their movies constantly.  But then I grew up mainly watching crime shows and 70s and 80s comedies, such as Bob Newhart and M*A*S*H and The Commish.  Really dating,myself, I know.  Disney was still Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck plus Aladdin and Lion King.  Like I said, movies.

The only kid shows I remember were Wallace and Ladmo which was specific to Phoenix and really awesome and of course Sesame Street.  I also remember watching Nickelodeon with such shows as Hey Dude!, You Can’t Do That On Television, and Salute Your Shorts.  I remember cartoons such as Garfield and Friends, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I.Joe, and others I can’t remember.  But I knew they were fake and not real.

Even if I did want to be the female version of MacGyver.  Yes, watched that show too, especially since brains and duct tape rules the day instead of guns. 

I remember from about second grade onward wanting to be known for being smart.  All, at least most of, my classmates wanted to be smart.  While unfortunately by third grade most of those girls thought boys had cooties (I never did; my friends were all boys at this point), they didn’t give up wanting to be smart.  They didn’t need boys to figure out if they were smart or not.  That was something they could figure out on their own.

I never lost that desire to be considered smart, genius even, though it was challenged and squashed more and more as I grew older and didn’t perform to my mother’s excessively unreasonable expectations.  But I didn’t pick this up from watching TV. 

So now we have a generation of programming that says girls shouldn’t be smart or kind or helpful.  Girls are to be vapid, vain, cruel, and mean.  They should wait around to be rescued, not rescue themselves.  And girls are picking this up and reinforcing it in their sisters and friends through shaming and through social media.

When I was kid and even in my teen years, computers were around, I grew up with them but they weren’t the center of my life.  They were in one room and largely used to type up essays and maybe a little research on the Web.  But that was it.  TV was limited as well but more through lack of channels and variety than anything else.  And I watched a lot of TV growing up.  I mainly watched crime shows and sci-fi with the occasional cartoon (yes, I watched Pokemon and Digimon in high school but mainly because it was cute and cheesy).  Cell phones were big and expensive.  Kids still played outside, for the most part.

To put this in perspective, I graduated high school in 2000 and had my first college degree in 2004.  While I used email and the Web, I sill did a lot of communicating in person.  Social media like Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist.  MySpace was lame and blogging was just taking off.  Most often interactions and those of my peers were face to face.  If we needed to call about being late or wanting to know something, we used a landline or left a note.  Texting didn’t kick off until I was back from Belfast and that was 2003. 

So communication and how and means have changed.  Cyber bullying is on the rise which isn’t monitored as much and is not as well understood as, what I call, in person bullying.  Girls learn bad behavior from TV because they see it, the actresses they admire “are doing it”, and the line between fantasy and reality is so blurred with all the social media they are bombarded with that they bully in person and then go online and bully more.  They also are able to shame someone with a larger effect.  Calling a girl a name in person, then going on Facebook and Twitter and posting about that girl you just name called, other girls read those posts, engage in name calling, and the vicious cycle grows.  It doesn’t help that put downs and verbal abuse have become de riguer, especially with Simon Cowell popularizing it on American Idol. 

Basically, being rude is considered acceptable behavior.   And that talent and ability don’t really matter as long as a girl is pretty and popular.  So Disney and other shows and networks are sending damaging messages to out girls and getting away with it because it’s “entertainment.”

I thankfully.don’t have to watch their garbage because for one, I don’t have a working TV, and two, it’s on cable which I won’t pay for.  So I live without TV.  Besides, I’ve had the serious misfortune of having to sit through episodes of Hannah Montana and other shores while babysitting.  I would label them cruel and unusual punishment and should be banned under the Eighth Amendment.  There was little acting and definitely no talent.

The second reblog is about the lack of diversity in female protagonists in Young Adult fiction, especially in dystopian literature.  Heck, I never read much YA fiction growing up.  I found adult fiction much better. 

Female protagonists in fiction overall, I think are lacking.  Sci-fi and fantasy tend to do better, largely I think because they are about pushing boundaries and they take place in worlds and universes that are not Earth.  So there’s more freedom there.  While there are more women, stereotypes are still at play.

Hair color, as mentioned in the post, plays a huge role, as does skin color.  White girls with brown hair are the heroine of choice.  Red heads are considered too hotheaded and blondes are too pretty.  And we all know white is superior to any other ethnicity.  And these are all stupid stereotypes that hurt girls.

Then you get publishers who whitewash their covers to make characters, well, white.  Because, unfortunately, white sells and it’s that stupid ideology of white being superior.  Though considering publishers are in it for the money, this isn’t surprising. 

And yet, thankfully, women and girls are protagonists in stories where they get to save the world.  Instead of just standing around and waiting to be rescued. Or waiting till some good looking guy shows up and she can finally get married (cause that’s girls are good for: being a trophy spouse) because romantic relationships solve everything. *rolls eyes* So there is hope but there is also much, much room for improvement. 

Who Run the [Dystopian] World? [White] Girls

Be Young & Shut Up

Sharyl Sandberg was right, y’all. In the future, we’re all gonna lean in, and when the world goes to shit, it’s the white ladies that come out on top. A study that shows boys’ numbers lagging behind girls’ in reading might explain the reason for women having to constantly take up the mantle around all these inept future-dudes. But it might better explain the new demographic for the YA (young adult) dystopian novel, which is popularly read by girls and young women. This is neat, considering the sci-fi canon is often thought to belong to male authors and narratives about men, but YA has cornered its niche market by creating tons of female characters for young readers to see themselves reflected in. And even though it’ll take a miracle to get YA to be taken seriously, it’s still a step in the right direction.

But not so fast, have you…

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Disney is Ruining My Kid.

IndeedIAm

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Disney has been ruining my kid…. a job I can do quite well on my own, thank you.

 I know, it sounds drastic.  Don’t worry, I am not going to launch into a ridiculous diatribe about how Frozen has a hidden gay agenda (huge eye roll) or is turning my girls in to glittery, sparkly princesses who need a prince to save them, (we are over that stage, thank god) or that Miley Cyrus grew up and dared to climb out of her Hannah Montana box.

In the interest of being a pretty laid back mom,  who fights against my extremely conservative upbringing, I have tried to adopt a more moderate view of the world and it’s evils.  With my girls, I am trying a more balanced approach, believing that they should not be sheltered constantly from American culture, taught to fear and judge and overreact to everything they see…

View original post 1,283 more words


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