The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Turn a hose on ’em!

because-society.-best.

Writer Janne Robinson’s responses to turning a blind eye to our cultural assault on women.

After reading some of the creepy texts sent to my daughter, or hearing about ‘requests’ made of some of her middle school friends, I have a simple question: What is wrong with us men?

Pretty much for time immemorial boys have been hormonal beasts. Social media however has turned them into raging idiots. Look let’s be clear: I can only speak about the motivations of the average heterosexual male, as I am one; I can only speak from the perspective of a father of two teenage daughters, in his mid-40s. Now that we’ve taken care of full disclosure I will once again ask: what is wrong with these horny little bastards?

At the risk of sounding like some decrepit curmudgeon, what are things coming to when boys between the ages of 11 and 14 think it acceptable to text young women and request photos of their specific body parts, criticize the size and shape of other girl’s body parts, and then reply with “lol” when they are called out on it?  Somehow these young men believe that this perceived intimacy created out of cell phones and social media allows for them to ask, no demand, more that they deserve.

The nightmarish part is that this trend does not stop with the 14 year-old alone. These behavioral practices towards girls and young women are exacerbated throughout adolescence and into young adulthood. Unfortunately, some have questioned the legitimacy of the rise in sexual assaults against women on college campuses, and this attempts to minimize the trend of devaluing women in American society.

In recent weeks Rolling Stone’s article profiling an alleged gang rape victim at the University of Virginia fraternity was debunked as shoddy journalism. Unfortunately, this too helps some to argue that the problem of sexual stereotyping of women in our culture does not exist in any greater or lesser degree that it always has. Some such as conservative columnist George Will suggested that the problem isn’t a problem at all.

I know, right?

Technology and the ever-present display of female objectification does not help either. Social media seems to create more frequent opportunities for reductive and derivative attitudes and behaviors to root themselves in public and private discourse. Let’s be clear: I am not a Luddite decrying the scourge of technology. I have said this before —  social media is a tool. I cannot blame the ills of society on Facebook anymore that I can lay fault with my hammer for striking my thumb. That being said, I can blame us for the way we choose to use the tool. If I am using the hammer to open walnuts and I hurt myself, well… you get the picture.

Snapchat, for example is a parent’s nightmare. Now for those of you who don’t know, Snapchat is an app through which one can send a photo, text message or both which will then “self destruct” after the recipient opens the message, a la Mission Impossible. The message then leaves no trace. The application fosters the illusion that what is being sent is a secret, somewhat private communication between two parties. Problem is that if the sender leaves a lag time (5 seconds, 10 seconds) allowing the message to stay ‘open’, the recipient can screen shot the image. This is where things can get nuts. Those photos then can take on a life of their own. Parents, you see the dilemma, yes?

Again, Snapchat is not the problem it is merely a symptom. What then is the disease?

America’s relationship with sex, the human body and the relentless objectification of both.

When it was just television and magazines that used sex to sell by offering up unrealistic beauty standards as well as unrealistic portrayals of human sexuality, a parent could construct ways to avoid the visual stimuli and build teachable moments out of exposure to said stimuli. However, today that imagery and messaging exists on multiple platforms and most of them reside in your child’s back pocket. And if your 12-15 year-old is anything like mine, her back pockets are often out of your reach for most of the day.

Consider too the critical distance between sender and receiver of sexually charged communication. The demolition of physical space has led to a misinterpretation of personal space and propriety. If you don’t have to use your voice, actually speak the words to a person’s face, that reduces any hesitancy to ask for that which you desire no matter how inappropriate such a request might be. Decorum becomes non-existent when the lines between public sphere and private space become blurred if not erased altogether by the magic mirror of social media.

In the United States meaningful sex education is virtually non-existent. Ultra-conservatives have established the erroneous argument that by teaching children about sex, they will then have more sex and have babies and this will inevitably lead to the fall of the republic. Or, some feel this to be an over-reach into the private lives of American citizens.

The first argument is bogus. And the second, well honestly, families rarely have the deeper conversations that need to take place. How your children behave in public, at proms and frat parties is everyone’s business especially when our sons decide it’s acceptable to slip Molly into the punch in an attempt to get our daughters to take off their clothes. Perhaps this is a private matter that families should deal with in the home, true, but when the repercussions are seen in the prevailing attitudes that demean women and girls, someone is failing somewhere.

If we did engage in more meaningful, more realistic sexual education then maybe findings such as this would not be so prevalent, or so shocking:

Although adolescents make up less than 10% of the population, an estimated 20% to 50% of all rapes occur against them, and six of 10 forcible rapes occur before the rape survivor reaches age 18.[5-7] Ageton[8] reported 67% of raped adolescent and college-age women involved an acquaintance. Ageton’s[8] findings showed that between 7% and 9% of the adolescent female population has been raped, and 1 million teen-age females are raped each year. This study calculated that 1.5 million rapes occurred in each of the five years of the National Youth Survey.

http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/f/H_Gruchow_Preliminary_1995.pdf

This same study also seems to suggest that the majority of sexual assaults seem to originate in “sexual stereotyping myths”. So before you dismiss the relevance of a 20 year old study let me ask the following questions:

  1. do sexual stereotyping myths exist?
  2. would you consider sexual stereotyping myths more or less pervasive today when compared to 10, 15 or 20 years ago?
  3. if sexual stereotyping myths exist what mechanisms allow for their persistence and pervasiveness in our culture?

In case you are wondering, here are some examples of SSMs (sexual stereotype myths):

  1. a man is not a man unless he has sex with multiple partners
  2. a woman/girl wearing a short skirt and skimpy shirt is asking for it
  3. a man has a right to demand sex if he buys a woman an expensive dinner
  4. if a woman/girl is making out with a man and things get out of hand then it is her fault

Still think the findings from 1995 are outdated and old-fashioned?

April is sexual assault awareness month. My wife and one of our friends posted separate posts on Facebook trying to raise awareness. Clearly people saw it but few “liked” it. A cupcake recipe gets more “likes” than something important such as this.

Oh, I’m sorry does the subject of rape bring you down, put a crimp in the seamless texture of one’s falsified, Facebook persona?

All this miraculous technology that people around the globe are using to fuel revolution and dissent, and we are hesitant to use it in order to address an uncomfortable truth that one forcible rape occurs in the U.S. every 6.2 minutes (FBI.gov)?

imagesAny man who assaults a woman disrespects women. He objectifies them. He has not been taught how to desire women without seeing them as objects, or as meat. He has not learned the balance between sexual desire and social decorum; and he certainly has not learned the meaning of respect. This is the middle school boys joking about his classmates flat chest; the fraternity brothers holding a wet t-shirt contest as a fundraiser; the middle aged men cat-calling to the young women downtown on their lunch breaks.

Some will ask, “Well what about the girls? Don’t they share some of the blame too?”

No. No, they don’t.

No one, let me repeat, NO ONE has a right to another person’s body no matter how they dress, look or act. You have no right to demand, to force, to take anything that is not offered. That is common sense. That is respect. My daughter ultimately has the right to decide what to do with her body, but my plan is to build her self respect so that she understands that the images media offers us are not true representations of who we are as human beings. Those images are marketing tools. We are not products; we are people.

Here’s the thing, and I am going to be judgmental here, if you have a son and that son objectifies women he is an ass. When I meet him, when he comes to my house to spend time with my daughter I will turn a hose on him. He wants to be sexual, he wants to express his desire for all our daughters by repeatedly asking for nudes, or seductive selfies then I will put the fear of god in him.

Because if you won’t do it, then I will

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Updated: March 24, 2016 — 6:33 am

80 Comments

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  1. Great post. I’ll be pretty nervous when my kids are teenagers.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      The teen years are certainly a wild ride for sure. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Ugh, I totally get it. People are also complicit when they don’t even realize they are being so – if a male student makes unwanted advances on a female student, persistently after being told no – it’s harrassment. When we allow that to happen, saying the female student needs to be more assertive and that the boy just needs to have this as a learning experience with no consequences…it’s very frustrating, especially as the parent of a daughter.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      It is very frustrating. I often hear from my female students about the disrespect they endure in the classroom, and my wife has suffered similar disrespect from her male students. This is unacceptable. Hopefully with more awareness things will change. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

  3. I really, really hope I raise my boys to treat girls and women with respect. Id have no problem turning a hose on them myself if I found out they weren’t.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      I’m sure you will. Knowing to say something is a big part the battle and since you have a hose you’re already half way there! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Well said, I, as a dad, have sons and a daughter, and I have discussed with my boys this topic, I used a very wrong but effective way and basically said if you would not want it said/done to your sister don’t do it! Seems to be working.

    But the sad fact is I hear, at work, men talking in derogatory ways about women (I pull them up when I do), but these men (and I’m talking people in their 30’s, 40’s and plus) seem to have no idea that women are people too (and it frightens me).

    It reminds me I saw a meme the other day of a young lady and below someone had put “you come home and find this in your bed” (it was taken from Facebook) and ALL the comments below were about rape! Sadly we live in a world that has gone made, where rape has become acceptable yet talking about it is not.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      That is the sick irony — no one will address how wrong the behavior is but when people take steps to confront the topic they are called “femi-nazis” or “prudish”. I mean, come on. I think your approach makes sense in the way you laid things out for your boys. If it works, it works. Thank you for weighing in.

  5. I think you know how very much I agree with this. More and more people need to write about this, awareness is key! Thank you!

    “No one, let me repeat, NO ONE has a right to another person’s body no matter how they dress, look or act.” 100000 times!!!!!!!

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Appreciate the time taken to read and comment. We all need to talk about the things no one wants to address since that is the only way that change happens.

  6. Good post and I agree with it! I am constantly talking about and reminding my boys that women are not to be objectified. I remind them that they have a mother and a sister and if a guy was to do any of that to their sister they would and I will put it as I say it to them “kick his ass”! They get what I am talking about and they are respectful of that! I have seen group texts that they have actually said to their friends to stop!

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Glad you are a role model. It seems self-evident that some parents are just not with it. Sure it is easier to assume our kids are doing the right thing, but that cannot be taken for granted. Thanks for commenting.

  7. As a woman myself, and the mother of a ten year old daughter, well, I love you.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Thanks, Jen. Much appreciated. I am sure your 10 yr old will be able to handle herself. Hopefully by then anyone interested in dating her will be better behaved…

  8. Couldn’t agree more. Such a perfect place for righteous anger!

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Glad it resonated with you. And, yes I was righteously angry when I wrote it…

  9. What a great post, thanks so much for sharing. I have been really worrying about the kids because 2 of them are preteens and society has gone to hell. Boys need to be taught respect at home but that’s not happening it seems. They grow up to be men with attitude who thinks no means yes.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Hopefully by us having public conversations and sharing our concerns this will affect change. If we ignore it, or write it off and “boys being boys” nothing will ever improve. About that you are correct…

  10. I love that a Daddy Blogger has taken on this subject. My husband and I are raising two daughters 17 and 12 soon to be 18 and 13. The 18 y/o will be off to the West Coast to study soon, and trust me even though she is gay, we have warned her time and again boys want one thing at this age, be careful!!!

    Both of my girls have more guy friends than girlfriends because the guys they know are respectful. Why you ask are they? I think because I and the hubs have raised strong girls who demand it.

    I do worry as she goes off to college after living in the Midwest and being surrounded by the same boys for the past 17 years, that she will expect the same and be disappointed.

    My husband has pointed out as I have brought up the same view point as you, that boys are no different than 50 years ago, they are still horny little bastards. The problem is social media which has given them the ease of hiding behind it. They are sneaky little bastards too.

    Again love your post. Also I had to write a post a while back with regards to something very similar, as one of my oldest daughters friends was being harassed by a boy at school. That boy was lucky that she put a stop to it before I went in there and put a stop to it. She is like another daughter to me, as she lost her mum several years ago.

    Great post.. Thank you…

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Someone else commented to this post said something about raising our girls with self-respect, too. I think that may be the key. If we empower (at the risk of being cliche) our daughters to demand better then perhaps the men who desire them will act better. If the men/boys act better then perhaps they will value the intimacy they simply demand. Strong ladies, that’s what will change this.

      1. Oh, I have something to say about your article and these comments.

        This is coming from a father of 12 (8 daughters–2 whom are now married).

        First off, let me start by saying “ABOUT FREAKIN TIME SOMOENE OTHER THAN ME IS SHOUTING ABOUT THIS CRAP!!!” [end quote]

        You made me smile. Truly smile.

        Yes, one of the keys is teaching our daughters—to you fathers out there, BY SETTING THE EXAMPLE OF WHAT THEY SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR! My girls come to me for advice, to help sort out their problems and concerns and each one of them has been educated as to what is out there, in the world, in its varying aspects.

        I have taught my children not to settle. That means, and many won’t like this, but tough crap–to keep themselves pure for the one they choose to marry.

        See, in my mind, I can’t quite connect the all on men, none on women view. Not that I disagree one whit when you wrote, “No one, let me repeat, NO ONE has a right to another person’s body no matter how they dress, look or act. You have no right to demand, to force, to take anything that is not offered. That is common sense. That is respect.”

        Totally agree. But I’m not talking about blame. I’m talking about responsibility and accountability.

        Where we go, what we do and how we interact sets up circumstances. It’s the choices we make that determine the outcome. Yes, I hold ANY man 100% accountable and “to blame” for rape. Hell, I don’t understand why rape isn’t a crime punishable by death.

        Yeah, I consider it that evil.

        …yet my daughters also MUST be responsible for the decisions they make that determines where they are, who they associate with, how they present themselves as well.

        Are they to “blame”? No. I don’t believe that. What I believe is that they cannot rely on men for what they will do and won’t do. There is no failsafe with men and you cannot expect men in this day and age to HAVE that respect. Demand it, hope for it and ask for it all you want–I think things will get worse, not better.

        That being said, it falls upon us to teach our children–both by precept and example, how to be. How to navigate and HOW TO DISCERN THE LANDSCAPE.

        Otherwise I DO feel that some of the actual “blame” rest with us, as parents.

        My two daughters married who they wanted. Good, honorable men, who both asked my consent to ‘court’ my girls. I set rules. If they broke ANY of them, it was over (I guaranteed it). This comes from having earned the respect and confidence of my daughters. They trust me.

        In both cases, the rules were followed without a hitch. I have 4 lovely grandchildren and 2 happy marriages thus far.

        Taught My oldest son how to act. He has done so. Just got married to his sweetheart and until they were married, he chose not even to kiss her–because he felt he had no right to that.

        (Even I thought that was bit extreme, but I backed him and she LOVED him for that…)

        I guess my core issue is—this is all still the symptoms of the real problem: Teaching Our Kids.

        Sorry for rambling–awesome article.

        My buck fifty.

        1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

          Certainly one more layer to the discussion. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and share. Good luck to you and your family.

  11. This is such an amazing and TRUE post. I’ve been followed in grocery stores, back to my car on numerous occasions and have even been told that if I didn’t wear a certain type of item that I wouldn’t be sexually harassed at my workplace. More people need to write about these issues because awareness is key! Just because you don’t see it happen doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Ridiculous that you, or any other woman has to deal with that. Sometimes I am embarrassed to be a man — not that I am perfect, far from it. It just really pisses me off to think that my daughters might be treated the same way by people out there. A very disturbing thing.

  12. It’s scary when you watch programs like SVU and what they talk about then to be given the reality that is it’s actually happening is even more scary. Thank you for writing this post, I totally agree with you 100%

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      I know, right. Sometimes when I hear about what is actually going on at my daughter’s school it sound as if someone is making the whole thing up.

  13. Hell YES! Thank you for this! And yes, cupcake posts or cute doggie pictures get more likes and notice on FB. People are afraid to deal with what is right in front of them. I’m glad you’re not.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Thanks Gretchen. I don’t understand how people can act indignantly over a outcome while ignoring the ignorance that generated the outcome in the first place.

  14. It is really scary what teens are facing these days because of advancements in technology. Staying on top of your kid’s apps and cell phone use is a great way to make sure you know what is going on. It is so easy for one thing to spiral out of control.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Yes, this is true. I can be daunting and time consuming but once you take your eye of the ball, well that’s when the potential for disaster mounts.

  15. This is so true and I do absolutely get it. And rape is rape is rape. It is WRONG!!! No matter how the girl or woman dressed or acted, and we need to teach our son’s acceptable boundaries and how to treat women and that no means no.

    BUT…I also highly believe that we need to teach our daughters that nobody will hold them in higher regard than they hold themselves. Nobody will respect them or their boundaries if they don’t respect themselves.

    What I’m trying to say is, rape is wrong and disrespecting women is wrong on all fronts.

    But as for guys snapchatting and making obscene requests of girls–we do need to empower our daughters to not stand for that. If a boy does it once, they need to be taught how to react and how to demand respect so it doesn’t happen again–and then if it does happen again, how to cut that person out of their lives.

    I was a teenager once and now I have a teenage daughter. I have seen how boys treated other girls they had respect for, and I know how they treated me-who unfortunately was not taught to respect myself and that certain actions were wrong, and I did invite much of the slimy actions.

    So that being said…while rape does rest solely on the perpetrator…how boys treat our daughters also rests on them, to an extent. It’s about empowering our young women as well.

    Thanks for the great thought provoking post 🙂

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Indeed. I am in complete agreement, but that will be another post at another time since it is powerfully relevant. Thanks for bringing it up.

    2. Thank you for your eloquent reply. In a perfect world all our daughters would treat themselves, and be treated, like ladies.

      1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

        Very true words indeed.

  16. What a great post!! I don’t have children of my own yet, but I do agree that the depravity of teenagers nowadays seems much worse than when I was growing up. Granted, I’m only 31, and I know my generation had it’s fair share of bad decisions, but I would take the world we had back then over this one any day.

    I sometimes feel like kids are dumber now than we were, and I can’t help but attribute it to technology, and overly aggressive media. Camel ads in magazines were nothing compared to Miley Cyrus spreading her legs on a a magazine cover. Is that what’s considered class now? I never thought I’d be so disgusted by society at such a young age. And don’t even get me started on Snapchat (or Tinder for that matter)! Stupid, stupid wastes of time, and it makes objectifying both men and women so easy. Ugh.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      I am coming to the conclusion that our vice as a culture (and perhaps a species) is objectification, reduction and derivativeness. We can’t seem to want to meet anyone or anything on its own terms. Everything needs to be boxed up and wrapped for mass consumption and the faster the better. Everything is a distraction. I’m with you Erica…

  17. America does have a problem with sex. I hate to hear a statement like that said and for someone to chime in and say well Iran does too… Who cares?! If we could focus on teaching our children right, first, then maybe we will have a guide on which to help others with their sex problem. This is an issue that starts at home, and unfortunately, social media is the vehicle.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Indeed! Could not agree more.

  18. Oh this this this THIS THIS THIS!!!! YES!!! Thank you so much for this! I’m sick about. And my sweet innocent daughter is 11, and I am terrified about her future because of this exact reason.

    What an excellent article here. You delivered your message perfectly, in my opinion. And I stand at my laptop and applaud you for the eloquence and intelligence and integrity and insight you shared on this topic.

    I could quote so much of this piece… but I will say the most powerful one is this:

    “What then is the disease?

    America’s relationship with sex, the human body and the relentless objectification of both.”

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Thanks, Chris. You can sit down now, no standing ovation necessary, well if you insist…Glad the post resonated. Always a pleasure to have you drop by.

  19. See this is why I completely love you both. Completely. I felt like I was “amen-ing” along at a Great Awakening revival. This is what more people need to be thinking, saying, and doing.
    I have a suspicion that if your family and ours spent time around a kitchen table, we would have a very grand time.
    Thanks for this. Sorry it took me so long to get over here. Life.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Always great to have you stop by. Glad the post struck a chord. Always wonder if the things my wife and I see are really there. Based on the feedback I guess this crap is on a lot of people’s minds. Let us know: your table or ours?

  20. All of this scares me. I am not looking forward to the things my kids will deal with as they get older. They’re innocent little kids and I can’t imagine the things they may be exposed to as they get just a bit older. Right now, they’re 2 and 5.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Enjoy 2 and 5. Hell, even 13 is enjoyable. The rules of the game change before your eyes when dealing with teens; some days the game itself shifts right on the board as you’re playing. Flexibility is critical to survival parenting. Don’t be scared you will figure it out as you go — somehow we all do.

  21. And this is why I don’t want my twin daughters to grow up. I’m so nervous for this stage. It is disturbing what is going on – and I don’t like hearing, “well, every generation says that about the next”…but in this case, social media and it’s effects on our children is unchartered waters and what we’re seeing is downright scary. Great post. Agree on all fronts.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      My wife and I used to tell my 13 yr old, when she was small that we were only going to feed her candy so she would not grow. Can’t stop the tide, I guess. All we can do is talk to them, but I agree it really seems scarier these days…

  22. Thank you for your thorough, insightful, and thought-provoking post. I really appreciate it. It is a nightmare for us parents to think how detrimental social media tools are being used to objectify our children. It’s not a matter anymore of kids just ‘being stupid’. Certainly as parents we have to really play an active role in educating and teaching strong values. But I wish there was also an app created that policed this kind of behavior and stopped it before it becomes the norm in the way a child acts.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      I particularly agree with you last sentence — if someone makes an app for my daughter’s phone that will holler at her, “What are you doing?” in my voice that would be sweet. Hey, some developer out there get on that! Great comment, thanks.

  23. WOW, I have a pre-teenage daughter and 2 younget boys who have no mobile phones and very limited access to social media for now… I am pretty savvy on social media but didn’t know anything about snapchat so thanks for the info!

    I think as parents we have to do our best to guide them and let our kids know we are there for them and open to communication.

    Awesome post and thanks for sharing it!

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Thing is no matter how tech savvy we are, our kids are 10x more with it. Trying to stay one step ahead is daunting so really, as you say, it makes more sense to guide them through teachable moments and hope for the best… Thanks for dropping by.

  24. Being an “ultra conservative”, I don’t believe that sex shouldn’t be taught, but that chastity and waiting til marriage should be as well. Because those are valid options 😉 Anyway, I think Pornography and bad examples in their male role models are big culprits as well. Any person or thing that objectifies women tells boys that it’s ok. -Jess

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      With any luck, sometime soon, people will stop paying so much attention to the “bad examples” surrounding us realizing those are all visual lies. People are people and not objects. Thanks for weighing in.

  25. This kind of thing terrifies me. As a mom of two young girls I dread the teen years. There is so much to watch for, to educate, etc. Is it wrong to want to build a cabin out in the woods and do the whole Little House on the Prairie thing?! LOL

    Thank you for sharing such an important message. I, as a woman, and a mother, appreciate it.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Well, Jenn, one could build a cabin in the woods but it would probably end up having wifi anyway. Don’t forget the prairie had scarlet fever, food shortages and really bad winters… Thanks for reading and sharing.

  26. Man, great post. This problem has become so ingrained into our society and culture it unfortunately is unlikely to go away quickly. Makes me sad for my sons and my daughter as they grow up. Something fundamentally needs to change about how we portray rape in the media, including music, movies, TV, advertising and the news. Objectification of women is getting ingrained into our boys heads at such an early age and it’s hard to reverse. Even if you are a great parent it’s hard to isolate your child from all of society. Thanks for linking up #BigTopBlogParty

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Thanks for the opportunity to link up with your group. Hopefully the more we talk of these things the bigger picture will come into focus.

  27. Great post – and if kids aren’t called out on this kind of behaviour they’ll think it’s ok to do. I don’t think it’s ok to do at all, well done for writing about a subject that many would rather not mention at all #pocolo

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Too true. Thanks for taking the time.

  28. Great post. I have two boys, and know how important it is to instill in my men that they should respect women. I think we had it easier when I was a teen, the technology could be so overwhelming and confusing, on what’s acceptable/safe/dangerous etc. My hair stands on end when my niece tells me what her friends do online. I know her parents have the parental control on all devices at home, but of course, she goes to school, and they all look at each others’ iphones etc. It’s a scary world out there.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Yes, it is a scary world filled with scary people. Our only hope is to fill it with less scary people by paying attention to what goes on and where… With any luck we can all have some small impact… Thank you for taking the time to visit us.

  29. The Mother says – A brilliantly written and thought provoking post. Thanks so much for linking to #PoCoLo

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Our pleasure.. Thank you for reading…

  30. I loved this! I have a daughter sandwiched between two boys. A tiny petite girl, who will have brothers who are at leat 6’5. My hope of all hopes is that these boys are the guys at the parties who cover up the passed out girl and stand guard. I hope they look at every girl and and remember how they would want their sister treated. We are pioneers, us parents (I am 40) when it comes to this parenting in the techy age… and I HATE IT. We have zero experiences from our youth to draw on… (“When I sent a naked snapchat…” nope.. didn’t happen…) Thank you for your honesty. No one wants to talk about the rampant porn and sexually driven society combined with technology that is creating a generation of kids who will be unable to have deep connected relationships.. Keep writing! LOVE IT!

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Thank you. I am sure your boys will be good men when they grow. You are so right about feeling ill-equipped and overmatched. Writing about it seems to help put things in perspective so please keep reading.

  31. She’s only just about 18……months old now, but I fear for my daughter knowing so many ill-meaning boys/men are out there. But I also know I’ll raise her to be a strong (physically and willed) female that will hopefully never find herself in one of these mentioned situations.

    Love the post, and I fully agree. That part about posting on Facebook and having a cupcake post with more likes truly does say a lot about the population. Well, on Facebook at least. It shoes our growing obesity issue and the fact that sexuality is so taboo as to make things like rape more prevalent.

    Glad I found your blog through the #BigTopBlogParty, looking forward to more now!

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Glad you found us too! We certainly don’t seem to use the tools we have to build better lives with stronger connections. That’s why communities of bloggers, such as yourself are out there building dialogue and awareness.

  32. WOW! Guts in public. How refreshing. The sheer number of responses here shows that a great number of people feel as you do. Thank you for coming out loud and proud in favor of teaching our children instead of letting society and and apps do it for us and sending a wake up call to parents of both sexes how important it is to be aware and involved in what our kids are doing.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Your comments are appreciated. Guess I’m just at the point where I don’t see the value of keeping my mouth shut… Can’t say it is always welcome though… people get very touchy.. anyway thanks for “getting it”.

  33. I’m so glad that I read this post. I have a two-month-old son, and I worry about the teenage years already. It’s not that I won’t teach him to respect himself, men and women as people of equal worth, but I worry that something bad will still happen, or that he’ll fall in with the wrong crowd. All those things you try to control but can’t always succeed in. I’m glad my husband is one of the most respectful, kind and generous people in the universe. My son and any other future children have a great role model in him.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Think you nailed it — it comes down to role models. Your boy will no doubt escape this mess. Thanks for reading.

  34. This is a great essay; thank you. It is probably the title listed on the FBI site and not your chosen phrase, but “forcible rape” is redundant.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      It is redundant, I agree. But yes, it is how the FBI classifies the crime. Thanks for reading!

  35. Thanks for your post. Some of the stuff you cite in here is really scary. I am so glad my baby is still a baby. I would be on tenterhooks the whole day and wouldn’t want to let my child access the internet without my supervision.

    This is such an important issue.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      It is definitely difficult navigating those waters. We just have to stay informed, and as parents help each other with resources. Thanks for reading!

  36. Very interesting. I think that certain things – like the hormonal nature of teenage boys – are just the way it is & are not a concern in themselves. I think that, as you say, where it becomes an issue is if those boys are also developing ingrained views that it is okay to objectify and degrade women and girls. I also agree that technology and social media can be a concern because of that distance it creates, where people can separate themselves from their actions, and dare to say and do things that they would not do face to face. The issues of group mentality have always been there, and there have always been specific settings where concerns have commonly been raised – fraternities, military training bases, boarding schools – due to that. But, of course, the more young men who have developed worrying attitudes towards girls and sex, the worse the behaviour will become when they are able to validate each other within a group. And problems only worsen if girls are also learning that they need to accept and encourage objectification in order to fit in. I went to school in the States for a year at 17, and I agree – I think, and I thought then, that the attitude that tends to be prevalent in your country towards sex education is extremely damaging. There was much more concerning behaviour going on in the High School I was in, under the conservative, restrictive controls and refusal to acknowledge teen sex, than I ever saw in my School in the UK, where the topic was much more open.

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      I truly appreciate your insights and the way your points help clarify the issue, as well as offer another cultural perspective.

  37. I’m the owner of one “horny little bastard,” but I think he’s not so bad. That’s part truth and part mom speaking. I do my best to teach him how to respect girls. And yes, I call them “girls,” because I’m tired of hearing the boys his age refer to them as “females.” A female could be a pig. It could be a goat. It’s a terrible term for a young lady. Thanks for raising your fine points here. Good article!

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      Thanks and best of luck with your own HLB. I’m sure he’ll turn out fine. Besides, we all have our moments despite our best intentions…

  38. First of all dad to two teen daughters, I have one and I can SO feel your pain!
    Second, thanks for sharing this, and adding your voice. We need men to speak up and speak out!

    1. plaguedparent@gmail.com

      A pleasure Rosemond. And thanks for adding to the conversation.

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