Tag Archives: boys

FYI (If you are Mrs. Hall)

***UPDATE*** Mrs. Hall has replaced the slutty photos of her boys with images that are more wholesome and that reflect who they really are. UNFORTUNATELY, we can’t unsee their near naked bodies.

The following is my response to an open letter posted here.  Please read it before you read my response.

Dear Mrs. Hall,

I have some information that might interest you.  Today, as we often do, my co-workers and I sat around the office discussing your blog post entitled FYI (If you’re a teenage girl).  We couldn’t help but notice that you were critical of the photos being posted on social media by the female friends of your teenage boys -lots of selfies in pajamas and such.  You were quick to point out all of the ways these girls were being overtly sexual in their photos and how your boys were certainly noticing things like their sultry pout and their lack of undergarments.

I get it – you are just being a responsible parent and you want to keep your boys out of harm’s way.   But here is the point I want you to realize.  In your article you posted pictures of your teenage boys, without their shirts, flexing their rippling muscles and posturing like full grown men.  One of their swim suits is sitting super low on his hips – YIKES!!!  Did you know that once your boys have been exposed in various states of undress that other boys, and perhaps all people, can’t unsee that?  You don’t want the whole world thinking of your boys in a sexual way, do you?

Also – big bummer – social media is a (sometimes awkward) two way street and participation is not mandatory.  Perhaps you didn’t know that since you live on your own island.  If you want to be on social media, you’ll have to realize that not everyone has the same standards for things like character and having a “strong moral compass”.  Clearly you want the Hall boys to be “men of integrity”.  But you should know that it is impossible for them to soar like eagles if they are surrounded by slutty turkeys.

Hall family, it’s not too late!  If you think you have made a mistake being on social media (we all do – don’t fret- I once had a Google+ account), RUN to your accounts and delete them.  Practice ABSTINENCE ONLY when it comes to social media.  It is the only way to 100% guarantee the Hall boys will not get involved with girls of questionable character.  Your boys are like pieces of tape.  If they have been stuck to something dirty and peeled away they start to lose their stickiness.  If it happens over and over again then eventually nothing will stick to them.  I know your family would not be thrilled at the thought of having a pack of boys that are no longer…tacky.

Will you trust me?  Some day, there will be online communities for families of character.  It is an uphill battle, but I am sure you will eventually find some place that will keep your minds pure and your thoughts praiseworthy.  It will be worth the wait.

Thanks for listening.  See you off-line!

Ted

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Refreshingly Frustrated

I recently had a discussion with some high school aged youth (mostly males) regarding gender roles.  More specifically, the discussion was about how males and females are socialized and how that creates space for sexual and domestic violence to occur.  The youth ranged in age from 14-18 and were assigned to the juvenile justice alternative education program for a variety of offenses on their home campuses.  The group participated at a high level and had some fantastic insights during the group activities we did.  I was pleasantly surprised by the level of engagement of these youth.  Honestly, my expectations were somewhat lower.

The discussion was only scheduled for an hour each day for two days.  Everything went very well until the last minute of the first day’s discussion.  It was in that last minute that I realized just how much work there is to be done.  As I was wrapping up the group I pointed out that in today’s society men have most of the power.  I paused for a moment to let that sink in and before I spoke again one of the young men looked at me with a hint of disgust and said “whose side are you on anyway?”.  I was shocked.  I knew that there was a certain amount of sexist attitudes and beliefs in the room, but this comment caught me off guard.  I guess I had never really look at it as men vs. women or us vs. them.  The notion of being on one side or another hadn’t occurred to me.  At first I thought he might have been employing a bit of sarcasm, but the stone cold look on his face told me otherwise.

I responded to him by saying that if preventing rape and violence against women is the women’s side, then I am on the women’s side.  However, I knew immedately that my answer was wrong…but I wasn’t sure how or why.  It sounded right, but it didn’t feel right.  I spent the rest of the day doing my daily grind, but this young man’s question kept resurfacing into my consciousness.  Finally, I realized that the young man had unintentionally asked me a trick question.  It occured to me that there is no men’s side and women’s side.  We are all in it together and we are all part of a much larger picture.

The next day, I made sure I brought this up again in the group.  I had to make sure they young people in that room understood that there is no “us vs. them”.  There is just people.  This young man seemed to appreciate the fact that I had really considered what he had to say even though he didn’t agree with me.  He also used it as an opportunity to push me in other ways.  While that was frustrating, it was refreshing to have someone in the audience who was willing to question what I was saying.  It made me do some deeper thinking about what I really believe and how I convey that to others.

rm_caucasianman_withlogo-copy

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