If you are a girl who is Facebook friends with Kimberly Hall’s sons, don’t expect her to approve of photos that show hints of your nipples. Posing in pajama pants might be questionable too. She will block you, the Texas women’s ministry director writes, in an essay going around social media titled FYI (if you’re a teenage girl).
Once a boy sees you “in a state of undress,” that’s how he will always see you, Hall writes. She knows this because as a family they look at the boys’ social media pages. If you’re friends with one of them, Hall writes, you’re friends with the whole family, and you can expect to be blocked if you post pictures of yourself without a bra, or wearing a towel.
The piece did not mention inappropriate posts from her sons’ male friends. Based on my own experience growing up, I have to think there must be a fair amount.
Nor did she mention if there is a Mr. Hall, and whether he takes part in all of this too. Personally, I think reasonable fathers would stay far away from perusing girls’ Facebook photos for sexually suggestive images and making comments on them, particularly if they know the girl in real time.
Hall does not explain why out of the three pictures she posted with this essay, two feature her sons in bathing suits. The sons look like Aryan beefcakes. Oops, did I just sexualize your sons Ms. Hall? Sorry. It’s just that when I see a half-naked male, that’s how I will always think of him. Kidding, I kid. Thank god. because my boys and I are at the YMCA pool a lot.
Speaking of which, Frank, 8, and Alan, 7, are more interested in Smosh, KevJumba and Minecraft right now than pictures of girls not wearing bras. But somehow, slut shaming has reached them even at this tender age. My oldest equates sexual public behavior with “completely losing your mind,” which was his take on the Miley Cirus VMA performance. That disappoints me–I thought her infamous twerking dance was pap, but not demonstrative of her mental state–and I I blame people like Hall.
And myself and my husband, for not doing a better job of filtering the sexist material our boys watch on their beloved YouTube. Slut shaming reaches children incredibly early. I never want mine to feel that their inappropriate behavior was caused by what women wear, or how we choose to present ourselves.
Besides–sometimes I am Facebook friends with people solely because I enjoy watching the train wreck that is there life, which they share freely online. When the boys reach the age of 13 and are old enough to have Facebook and Instagram–or whatever will be popular then–why should I deny them that guilty pleasure?
“We hope to raise men with a strong moral compass, and men of integrity don’t linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls,” Hall writes in her piece. I’m working on that raising men of integrity thing too. That being said, I know that one day it’s entirely possible they will be lingering over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls. Or boys. That’s normal. Parents and kids together checking out pictures of scantily-clad teenage girls who are not in their family? Not so normal, if you ask me.