[originally posted for onebadmomma.com – 2013.09.09]
This week, there was some controversy over a blog post called FYI (if you’re a teenage girl) by Given Breath – someone I never read before and have no reason to read again. This poor, albeit boring, woman was trying to advise young women to be classy and not send revealing texts of themselves to teen boys. I will agree that her post was a bit creepy and her post was bush-league*. However, at the heart of it, we all know that she had good intentions.
As the interwebs does, there was a backlash about Given Breath’s post. The post went from a Christian (important detail) woman’s advice to young girls about ways to behave to outrage about the fact that she is slut shaming. Others in turn responded by writing pretty vicious parodies of the original one. The result being that those who judged Given Breath about slut-shaming were basically Christian-mom shaming her.
I don’t want my daughters taking pictures of themselves in their underwear and sending it to boys. Does that make me a terrible person or a Christian? No! It means that I don’t want my daughter to regret her decision when her ex-beau posts it all over Facebook. On the other hand, do I like to show off my tits when wearing a slinky thigh long dress to feel “sexy”? HELL YEAH! But, I’m an adult and I understand the long term effects and consequences of my decisions.
I’m not going to say too much more on the topic, but I wish everyone would get off their high horse. Because every child and family dynamic is so diverse, I don’t know anyone who can call him/herself an “expert” at parenting. Our roles as parents is to help provide guidance and tools that will help our children live beautiful lives while being contributing members of society. For every person, that’s different, even if it’s our own child. As parents, we’re all trying to do our best.
Last year, I wrote a piece called 10 Thing to Remind Your Daughters (or sons). While I don’t encourage you to waste all the time I did reading the FYI (teen girl/boy) crap, I hope you’ll take some time to read the list below and maybe pass it on as a simple reminder to be good people.
1. Don’t be a bitch – being rude or mean doesn’t make you anything but rude and mean.
2. Stay classy – respect yourself and respect others even in the most trying of times, you don’t have to sink to their level.
3. Have a set of rules/beliefs and follow them – take time to understand what they mean to you and how they affect your life and the people around you.
4. Find compassion and patience – it will make dealing with difficult people and situations much easier as you get older and you’ll be better for it.
5. Go ahead and wear white after Labor Day – some rules are meant to be broken.
6. Forgive yourself – you’re bound to make mistakes, learn from them, then apply those lessons to become a better citizen of our world.
7. Learn to change a tire – you don’t need a man around to get things done. (for boys: learn to bake cookies because who doesn’t like boys who can bake cookies?!)**
8. Remember the power of politely asking – Please, thank you and have a good day goes a long way, trust me.
9. Love and laughter is a never ending resource – give it away and take it in as much as you can for as long as your can.
10. Listen to your mother – more times than not, she’s actually right.
11. Don’t judge – Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird put it best, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”**
12. Forget labels – You don’t have to label or be labeled. If you’re a slut, that doesn’t give anyone the right to label you one, even if it’s suppose to be “liberating”. You are who you are. And if you’re happy about who you are, you’ll never need a label.**
*Actually listed in the dictionary! WOW!