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Feminspire | April 20, 2014

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FYI Mom Bloggers (If You’re Shaming Teenage Girls)

FYI Mom Bloggers (If You’re Shaming Teenage Girls)

| On 04, Sep 2013

purple lipstick

I really liked my purple lipstick this day, so I took a selfie. My mouth is partially open. STOP SINNING, SINNERS!

Can everybody please stop masturbating for five seconds so we can talk about modesty, but also talk about me? I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, and modesty was intertwined within every aspect of our teachings and culture. Our hems had to be a certain length, no makeup was allowed, and most of what I heard about sex as a child/tween was that boys want sex, they will do anything to get it, and you have to keep them from having sex with you, because they will try at all costs.

Of course it was never mentioned that girls will also want sex, so when the time comes and you do start feeling arousal and attraction, not only have you and boys both been taught that you’re responsible for keeping them out of your plaid skirts, you’re also responsible for keeping yourself out of their pants. (And if you’re gay, your sexuality was never ever brought up, but trust me, it’s still your fault and you are very very bad if you ever have an orgasm. Catholic guilt is always in abundance, enough to go around!) It’s confusing, indeed, to have the very idea of your own sexuality or arousal treated as non-existent or an illusion.

The message was loud and clear: ‘Boys and men are very sexual creatures and think about and want sex constantly. Women and girls don’t want sex. It’s something they do to appease men and it’s not something that women and girls think about or want.’ It can create a sense of guilt or shame when you do start feeling arousal, because ‘isn’t that just for boys?’ My own attraction and attractiveness were never to be discussed or acknowledged. And with that comes the burden, as an adult, of unpacking all of that dogma and conditioning and getting to a point of understanding that my own sexual arousal and desire are real, normal, and OK.

Further, it is OK for me to like the way I look and to be comfortable with that, and to not have to apologize for feeling pretty. And it can be difficult, as a girl or a woman, to feel beautiful. And if we can’t get to a point where we can feel beautiful, even feeling comfortable or accepting of ourselves can be a challenge. We are daily inundated with messages telling us how to perfect or enhance our beauty, how to change our bodies, how to adjust our clothes, how to attract a mate, and the focus, always, is on our bodies and the way we look. For many women, these messages are even more harmful, as the beauty standard constantly put forth is typically whiteness first and foremost, a white supremacist advertising utopia.  It is a form of cultural violence to perpetuate the lie that a woman’s worth is seated in her attractiveness, and that what can be considered attractive is limited to such a narrow construct.

I’m not a big fan of modesty programs or modesty rhetoric because it typically boils down to all the magical and myriad things that girls and women can do to stop boys and men from sinning/thinking or saying ‘impure’ things/masturbating/lusting/sexing/having wet dreams. I’m not down with that shit because I’ve never been a fan of blaming women for the actions of men or giving men a loophole through which they can escape responsibility for their actions. And after years and years of being told that I have to keep men from having sex with me, I’ve gotten to a point where I can step back and remove myself enough to see that what I was told as I was being raised was just my church and community enforcing rape culture through it’s children. In making women the arbiters of sexuality, while forcing us to deny our own sexuality, the onus of responsibility was always upon girls and women to avoid sex of any and all kinds, or you would be at fault. That’s rape culture, and I’m fucking sick and tired of it.

glasses

Do these hugely clown-sized glasses arouse you?

So when I first saw this piece, titled “FYI (if you’re a teenage girl), popping up in my newsfeed, I almost skipped it. It’s a super-shitty blog post by what I’m sure is a well-intentioned mother just looking out for her boys at the expense of their female peers. Totally normal Tuesday, amirite or amirite?

In this quaint little piece on how to effectively shame girls and make them feel uncomfortable with their bodies and burgeoning sexuality framed as spiritual guidance, this mother of three boys and one girl sets out a list of guidelines and rules for what young girls can and cannot post on social media and still be included in the lives or newsfeed of her sons. The first thing that this mom-of-the-year takes issue with is that a girl in her sons’ newsfeed was posing in her pajamas in her bedroom and maybe with no bra on.

For one, it appears that you are not wearing a bra. I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout.  What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know.

What the fuck is this woman on about? Why is she examining this teenagers chest enough to know whether or not she’s wearing a bra? Keep in mind that she was looking through these photos with her entire family, her husband, her three sons and her daughter. So she comes to this ‘scandalous’ picture where perhaps the outline of a breast can be viewed and she takes note of it in an ‘awkward family conversation.’ If the girl that posted the photo had not thought of it as being sexy, and then her friends’ mom writes a blog post all about how sexy she’s being and distracting her sons with her no-bra wearing self, that probably would make this girl feel ashamed and embarrassed if she ever found out. Arched back, hand on hip/waist and a duckface are de rigeur right now. They’re so the norm that they’re often not even considered sexy, it’s just how a lot of people stand in pictures. What that mom has effectively taught her sons, and so unfortunately, her daughter, is that the female breast is an object only of lust, it should be hidden and covered because it causes arousal and is, therefore, shameful.

 

handz

HEAD IS MISSING! COMPLETELY OBJECTIFIED MYSELF! I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY HANDS! And also, what a cute shirt! Look at my shirt! I love it!

She goes on to say

Those posts don’t reflect who you are! We think you are lovely and interesting, and usually very smart. But, we had to cringe and wonder what you were trying to do? Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say? And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts. Because, the reason we have these (sometimes awkward) family conversations around the table is that we care about our sons, just as we know your parents care about you.

So because the shape of this girls breast is visible through her shirt, she is now blocked from the sons’ newsfeed so as not to tempt the boys anymore. Also notice that the mom also says ‘usually very smart,’ implying that the girls intelligence is lessened or decreased by posing in a way that blogger Mrs. Hall finds unsavory. The lesson here, for her sons and her daughter, is that value IS tied to appearance, and if you are sexy or being viewed sexually, you are less intelligent. And as for ‘who are you trying to reach?’, it’s pretty presumptuous of Mrs. Hall to assume that the picture posted was to make anybody other than the girl that posted it feel good. Maybe she liked her jammies, or the way her hair looked, who knows? Maybe she was just feeling pretty that day and posted a picture, and Mrs. Hall had to turn it into a shameful act. But to jump to the conclusion that the picture is out there for the desires of others is demeaning and takes away this girl’s agency.

The idea that photos must be posted for the benefit of others and not to make the poster feel good or because the poster just feels like it is silly — but not a surprising notion coming from a woman who thinks that girls are responsible for the things boys think and do. If you think that, it probably makes a lot of sense to assume that girls are always acting for the approval of boys. If you don’t think that, it sounds … well … like somebody needs to get a clue.

Notice that in all of this discussion about what girls can and cannot wear or how they can and cannot pose and how they will be blocked from her sons newsfeed, there is no discussion of what she teachers her sons about how to deal with and manage their own feelings of sexual arousal, or how to treat women respectfully and behave responsibly. Her entire post is focused on shaming girls for their bodies and blaming girls for her sons sexual arousal. So what could have been a great teaching opportunity for the family about boundaries and respect turned into a session about the shame tied to the female body and erasing the female body from view if it is deemed too arousing.

megs wedding

I liked the way my makeup looked and took a selfie. For me. So I can remember how bad-ass my makeup looked. Selfies for our own approval and to look back on, it does happen, Mrs. Hall.

But the self-righteousness doesn’t end there. She goes on to further shame this girl by saying, “I know your family would not be thrilled at the thought of my teenage boys seeing you only in your towel. Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t ever un-see it?  You don’t want the Hall boys to only think of you in this sexual way, do you?”

Look, lady, I know it’s easy as pie to blame any lust or desire your sons feel on the actions and existence of girls in their peer group. It’s easy breezy! You don’t even have to teach them to view women as people and not objects because you’re telling them that once they view a woman sexually, they can never stop viewing them sexually. Mrs. Hall, YOU are the problem and YOU are the one with the warped perspective on sexuality and personal responsibility.

When you reduce women down to sexual objects and insist that once your child views them that way that they can never view them any other way, you are perpetuating rape culture and taking away the personhood of the young girl that YOU are sexualizing. You are also teaching your daughter that if somebody is ever sexually attracted to her, they will only ever be sexually attracted to her and never see her as more than a sex object.

I used to get messages like that too, and let me tell you something, it’s a total mindfuck to grow up and start dating after being told your entire life that all boys want sex and only sex and will do anything to get it, and once they think of you sexually that’s all they’re going to think of you as. It’s false, it’s untrue, and it is damaging. You are doing harm.

And really, if the image of this girl being ‘sexy’ is so firmly implanted in your sons brain that he can never unsee her that way, what is the purpose of blocking her from the newsfeed anyway? The indelible image of her lascivious flesh is already etched in his mind, and never again a person to him will she be (according to you), so why bother? And how little must you think of your sons, and of men in general, to assume that once a boy or man feels desire for a girl or woman, that’s all he can ever see her as? Don’t you have more faith in your boys? Shouldn’t you give them more credit? Please, for one moment, if you can’t stop and think about the horrible messages you are sending your son, consider the messages you are sending your daughter. And then just stop.

And the icing on the hypocrisy cake? These are the actual photos of her sons that she posts in her blog post that is all about how teenage girls need to cover their bodies so her sons don’t feel lust and so that her sons can still respect these girls. This is real. I am not making this shit upboys will be boys more hypocricy

So while it’s very, very, veeerrrryyyyyy important for teen girls to not just stay covered up, but also wear a bra under their clothes so that her sons cannot even see the defined outline of their breasts, she will post pictures of her sons in their bathing suits, posing and flexing their muscles. Because, after all, she is perpetuating rape culture, and furthering the myth that the female body is only a sexual thing and that the male body is exempt from this burden, this desirability.

Mrs. Hall, some girls and boys in your sons peer groups are looking at those pictures and feeling arousal. And I think it might be time to consider why it is that you find it so much more important for girls to cover themselves up to not tempt your boys and why you do not, in equal measure, cover up your boys to not tempt other girls and boys. It’s a double standard.

And then question why it is that instead of attacking a patriarchal system that tells us that men want sex, women tempt men, but must also keep sex from them, and that a woman’s worth is in her appearance, you chose to rail against teenage girls instead of against the system that created this paradigm. Evaluate why it was more important to you to create a sense of shame surrounding the very normal occurrence that is the female body rather than talk to your sons and daughter about respect and personal responsibility.

Don’t get mad at the girls that are operating within our fucked up culture. Get mad at our fucked up culture for providing girls so little room to explore and grow, their every action analyzed, dismantled and criticized. Get mad at a culture that tells boys that they are not responsible for their actions, that girls are responsible for the actions of boys. And then, after you get mad, change the conversation in your home from what girls can do to keep from tempting boys, to what boys can do to see and treat girls and women as equals, as peers, as friends, as people. Be part of that change.

Written by Sara Luckey
Tweet with her here, talk beauty with her here , or engage in a conversation about current events as viewed through a sociopolitical, feminist lens here.

  • Kiana

    You go, Sara. That blog post is so full of wtf. Excellent response on your part! And in echoes of that woman’s own words, A NEKKID CHEST. I CANNOT UNSEE THAT. SO SEXUAL. SO DAMAGING.

  • Bitsy

    My personal favorite comment on this mom’s atrocity of a blog is one by Randy saying “Double standard you say? Well you’re darn right it is! And in this case, absolutely nothing wrong with it.”
    Despite that fueling my disgust for humanity, your post is well put and thank you for saying it.

  • Jaycey Rae

    Yes yes yes!! Thank you! I hope Mrs. Hall reads this.

  • Guest

    Also, I’m twice that age and wearing even shorter shorts today. Ha!

  • WhatKatiDidThere

    Bravo, Sara. I especially appreciated the discussion of the consequences of these views. I’m still struggling to have a realistic view of my relationships, due to the nonsense I was fed about men being overly sexual, women not being sexual, and the importance of trying to control how others see you. I feel terrible for the girl who has to know by now that it was her that blog was about. She must be humiliated, and she has no reason to be.

    One day at the end of 8th grade, at age 13, I wore not-too-loose, not-too-tight jean shorts that went halfway down my thighs, with a cute little flower pattern at the bottom, just because it was a hot day in June and they were comfortable, and I was pretty sure they fit in our school dress code. You couldn’t even find longer shorts in the stores. Well, a teacher and some school staff punished and shamed me for them. Sent out of the classroom in front of everyone and made to go to in-school suspension. I was a straight-A student, too, not that anyone else deserves to be sent out of the classroom either. The sense of shame I felt was very deep and real, and looking back, very unfairly put on me. School staff sent the message that I was disrespectful and dirty, that I was trying to tempt boys and that would be a very bad thing, and that I wasn’t taking school seriously. Nothing could have been further from the truth. I took school very seriously, and I just wanted to be fashionable and comfortable. But apparently those shorts negated all of that! Suddenly I was reduced to a pair of pale thighs and calves (that few boys even looked at anyway, not that it matters.) Instead of reviewing for finals with my classmates, I spent the whole day doing homework and getting to know the other kids in ISS, who couldn’t believe why I was there. They’d all done things like thrown books, cussed at teachers, and skipped school. I still have the yearbook they signed with things like “your ISS buddy.”

    A few years later I was a regular attendee of Fellowship of Christian Athletes at my high school. One of the leaders was a guy we’ll call Kevin, who was very earnest about his faith. He was a deep thinker, both in the classroom and in Bible studies, and a very kind guy. One day he got up and told everyone at FCA (maybe 30 people or more) that he was addicted to porn. I wasn’t there that day, but when someone told me, I felt so uncomfortable. Part of me was horrified for him that he’d felt so bad about something very personal and fairly normal that he’d felt the best way for a Christian to handle it was to tell everyone. The other part was weirded out. I assumed lots of guys looked at porn, but I couldn’t tell who based on how they treated me. They were either jerks or they weren’t, but I didn’t know of any correlation with porn viewing. Now I was worried that every time I talked to Kevin, he was imagining me in porn, even though he never acted interested or attracted to me. And knowing that he would feel bad doing that, I felt weird talking to him, imagining that he was having some internal struggle every time he talked to women — whether that was true or not, and as if it should be my responsibility. I doubt it was his intention, but his confession made me feel overly sexual and dirty just for being female.

    I’m sure porn addiction does legitimately happen to some people, and that much of it reinforces sexism and patriarchal values, but I’m also pretty sure that poor Kevin was well within the bounds of healthy consumption behavior, and he was still treating the women around him respectfully. The whole thing was terribly awkward. (Side note: At that age, I figured straight women watched porn solely for curiosity or education, not arousal. Probably because my only exposure to anything other than Playboy was a grainy video of a girl blowing a horse.)

    There’s a lot more I could say, but you’ve covered most of it. I especially appreciate your mention that the male body is assumed to be free from the burden of desirability. Oh, what a false assumption, and what conversations we could have about what it means to be desirable. Thank you.

    Also, I’m twice that age and wearing even shorter shorts today. Ha!

    • nyssa23

      Thank you for telling that story! I still cringe thinking of the shame I felt when a guy in my class threw pennies down my blouse in high school.

      • Sara Luckey

        And HE is the one who should feel ashamed! I’m sorry, Nyssa!

      • WhatKatiDidThere

        What a jerk! :(

  • http://www.xojane.com/author/claire-lower Claire Lower

    You said it all. GOD THAT WOMAN.

    And yes, it probably is awkward when you are looking over your sons shoulder while he browses facebook, only to interject “IS THAT GIRL WEARING A BRA?”

    In my experience, girls are better at noticing lack of bras then dudes.

    ALL OF THE RAGE.

  • SabraO

    This is fantastic. You hit on every single problem I had with her post. I will admit it took me a little while to get around to complaining about her pushing motivations on the girls who took photos, just because there is SO MUCH WRONG with the post. Since last night I have had the urge to post photos of myself on Facebook braless and wearing my pajamas, and it’s nothing that ever even crossed my mind before. I totally took my bra off after reading that post yesterday and went about the rest of my day without it.

  • http://twitter.com/mlledeejay Deejay

    I love this response! I saw the piece posted last night and was disgusted. This mother is teaching them the wrong things about females and our bodies. I hope she sees this and changes her stance and explains to her sons and daughter and that womens’ bodies are more than just sexual objects.

  • lauraleemoss

    Wonderful rebuttal. Thanks.

  • Cassidy Burgess

    WHITE HOT RAGE. But DAMN girl you laid ‘em out!! Thanks for making me feel like some people have sense. P.S. Your brain is sexy.

  • cherrybombsodapop

    I was getting so mad at that blogger when a FB friend posted it yesterday. She comes across as so ignorant to me. Like she is validating her sons harassing and raping women. Then, she laughs about it. This is not a woman of God, this is a spoiled little white girls all grown up with her inability to come to terms that her life purpose (aka raising her kids) is coming to an end. She is so stupidly ignorant about the rape culture in America that she inadvertently supports. Instead of telling her kids that those attention seeking behaviors are probably from a difficult home life, she does just what those girls don’t need. She marginalizes them, validates her own spoiled kids to harass them, and then she brags about being so self-righteous. I honestly cannot stand people so stupid and ignorant. Your response is helping me cope so much. Thank you.

  • MissJenny

    wow – I mean, wow. I get that a mom doesn’t really want her kids (boys or girls) ogling other kids (boys or girls) on social media. It makes a mom feel queasy to think of her children as sexual beings. More, I would prefer my kids don’t *post* really blatantly sexual pictures of themselves online or texting it, etc. Primarily because once it’s out there you can’t take it back. But the misogynistic tone of the piece is shocking. The idea that if the boys get aroused it is the fault of the girl just gives me the heebeejeebees. The idea that there is any fault with boys or girls getting aroused gives me the heebeejeebees. If this mom thinks that her boys don’t have outrageously “sinful” thoughts when looking at a girl in a fisherman’s sweater and snowbibs, she is sadly mistaken. But the worst – the WORST – was the picture of the boys in swimsuits striking a pose that is absolutely designed by biology to arouse and attract females (a show of strength and masculinity). It is so absolutely, outrageously, shockingly hypocritical. I mean, I just don’t have adequate adverbs!

  • Renee Quick-Chapman

    This was a fabulous response!

  • Helena Fortissima

    Loved this!

  • guest

    NICE!

  • Holly

    I just read her blog and was pretty disgusted with the ending which implied that girls need to stay modest in order to be pure for their future husbands!?! Now there’s a great lesson for young women.

  • BoynGirlParent

    I, for one, loved Mrs. Hall’s post. She has since admitted poor judgement in her choice of pictures and has replaced them. However, I think your decision to post pics of someone else’s kids on your blog is pretty questionable as well. Take them down?

    • Sara Luckey

      She didn’t replace them. She posted a second blog post with the boys wearing shirts and left the initial post up. She had no problem posting the pictures on her blog post which, at last check, had over 8k likes and shares. I’m assuming that if she felt like her sons being viewed this way was problematic, she would not have posted the pictures in the public sphere and would have turned off like and share buttons or taken them down once she realized it was going viral. Thanks for your comment!

    • http://www.sarahcooksthebooks.com/ Sarah

      Part of Mrs. Hall’s whole point is that you shouldn’t put things out there if you don’t want people looking at them (Or more, don’t put ‘inappropriate’ things out there so her poor, brainless sons don’t have to see things Mommy doesn’t want them to). These pictures are hanging out on Google’s cache somewhere still, so why not use them to illustrate how ridiculous and shaming her whole post was? Every time you put something out there, there’s a chance it can end up somewhere else.

      • Sara Luckey

        You are always so smart and on point!

  • Paige

    This comment from the original blog post is extremely disturbing to me:

    “Kara says: Thank you so much for this! Teenage girls have no idea what they do to
    boys by trying to be sexual. I have been much enlightened by my husband
    as to the extreme difference in men and women and just how visually
    stimulated men are. (Any replies denying this dichotomy are not true and
    show a defensive person rather than one seeking the truth.). I had no
    idea what immodesty could do to a guy until I had some very honest guy
    friends in college and grad school. Teenage girls need to understand
    their part in not providing further temptations for boys. Thank you for
    raising your sons to be men of character. As I raise my daughters it
    gives me a glimmer of hope after looking at a world full of permissive,
    child-centered parenting, and a morally decaying nation. And do not
    take these negative posts to heart, ‘in this world you will have
    trouble…’ Clearly your boys innocence is shown in happy times at the
    beach, which is in sharp contrast to the intentionally seductive photos
    of females that was mentioned.”

    I know I’m preaching to the choir, here, but COME ON! “Teenage girls need to understand their part in not providing further temptations for boys”??? Are boys and men not in control of their own thoughts and actions? Are they human beings? I’m assuming they are, in fact, human beings and yes, they have control over their own bodies. Further, this mother should potentially look at her husband, her friends in college, and her sons: What do these men in her life do when “temptation” is presented? Just how did her college friends react to immodesty? My guess is they responded via sexual harassment, assault, or rape. At best, they called “immodest” women “sluts” or “bitches.”

    Your blog post, and it’s comment on viewing women as sexual objects, is clearly presented in Kara’s comment. Oy. Vey.

    • Sara Luckey

      So glad she let her husband educate her on the differences between men and women. Apparently he has more insight to being a woman than she, a woman does. Also great that she sets it up so that if you disagree, you’re intellectually dishonest/defensive. It’s a great way for her to shut down debate before it happens, which is always a great way to learn and grow.

      Her words, put out where people can read them and absorb them, contribute to a culture that devalues and objectifies women, and they are harmful.

    • WhatKatiDidThere

      I also love (not) that she contrasts the boys’ photos as innocent and the girl’s as intentionally seductive. What?!

    • Sarah

      Here are Mrs. Hall’s lovely, saintly, innocent teenage boys air humping and assaulting the family salt shaker (maybe it’s a pepper mill, who knows?)

      http://videos.videopress.com/F5SD0e6g/movie-on-2013-06-04-at-20-43_dvd.mp4

  • Anon

    This ladies and gentlemen is what happens when you take Femininsm too far. give me a break

  • Megan Maas

    Her letter goes way beyond slut shaming. We have a lot to learn from what she didn’t say. I am a sex researcher and sex educator and so of course, I had to blog about it too.
    http://www.meganmaas.com/2/post/2013/09/10-things-to-learn-from-what-wasnt-said-in-kim-halls-letter-to-teenage-girls.html

    • Sara Luckey

      I love your piece and it’s a great resource! Thanks for dropping it here!

    • Benjamin

      Why does she have to subscribe to your point of view? Everyone doesn’t have to worship sluts for their promiscuity, sorry.

      • Ian Osmond

        Are you actually a real person? That lives, y’know, NOW? In this century?

      • Megan Maas

        How could you possibly interpret that from my blog post? I speciifaclly say that when “we defend, excuse or label self-sexualizing and self-objectifying behavior as liberating for girls we enable that behavior to continue.”

  • nyssa23

    Thank you so much for writing this, Sara! You hit every point I would have made, but with less rage-weeping. I am teaching my kids to respect everyone’s “body boundaries” now while they’re little, so they can better understand consent when they’re older.

    I’ll never forget my mother’s lectures on how my body had to be covered up 24/7 when I was a kid, or the deep shame I felt knowing how much my fat body disgusted her. I never want my kids to feel anything but proud of their wonderful little bodies, and I only want them to have partners who respect those bodies. (Because dammit, it was hard work making those bodies…I kid, I kid)

    • cicatricella

      good job, @nyssa23:disqus – your awesome little people are going to turn into awesome big people, I bet. Hope I can manage the same if and when I potentially spawn in the future.

  • Melissa Ackerman

    That is hands down the best article I’ve read

  • Melissa Ackerman

    That is hands down the best analysis I’ve read about that situation. And it’s an important piece, because not only because its so awesome and intelligent, but people can use it to point out the logic fails.

    Anyway,Your purple lipstick rocks

    • Sara Luckey

      Thank you! (MUFE #15 if you ever wanna pick some up)

  • Erika Lynn

    LOVE THIS, I read that ridiculous blog yesterday (while the original pics were still up) and I think you really hit the nail on the head. Your conclusion is perfect.

  • Mgregs

    I guess its just the type of guy that you want to attract. If you want a guy who is into his girlfriend having a past littered with suggestive actions and social media pictures then you’re going to get what you asked for. However, these guys are the same guys that this website lambastes over and over again, article after article. These guys who are so evil to women are the guys that look these specific aspects of a girls personality. These aspects include, suggestive behavior/pictures/actions/etc. Now I’m not saying don’t post these pictures or have sex with these guys, but if you do, know what type of man you are going to attract.
    In my experience, those type of girls that this mom is so embarrassingly talking about are the same ones that you find in your college bar that you never have to talk to again. The point of all of this is, you cant have your cake and eat it too. Act one way and you attract douches that wont ever call you back or treat you with respect. Act another way and you’ll find that there are a million guys out there that want to treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Or keep trying to find respectful, good, successful guys who are ok with you acting like a slut and accepting your actions as a statement against the world.

    • L.OHilo

      You do realize that not every woman is lining up to the Man Store to go shopping for her own Flesh King, don’t you? Some of us don’t give a flying f*ck about your expectations or the consequences to us if we don’t follow them. You mean you WON’T DATE US? Please tell me that is a promise and not just a threat.

      • Sara Luckey

        And I know this is gonna blow minds but….not everybody is straight. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?!?! Not all girls even want to date boys!

        • L.OHilo

          Precisely.

        • Benjamin

          Most that claim they want otherwise just do so to get more male attention. :)

          • Alley Lane

            Because “I want absolutely nothing to do with your penis for reasons that cannot change” is the ultimate tease, of course. So arousing.

          • Mgregs

            Ya know I have been reading this website for 2 weeks and I have found some pretty funny things to think about, and the one that most attracts me is the deep need for standing out and demanding a social equality that a lot of women and men alike dont really care for. I think the irony in the fact that men dont like you because you think that you can act like a slut, and turn around to cry about how men are evil and they show you no respect. respect isn’t something that’s given, its earned. If you dont want dick guys coming up to you, and hitting on you then stop attracting them. If you want a guy who has a good job, will treat you with respect and everything else girls deserve then stop posting selfies in your bra after a shower.
            What I find most hilariously ironic is that women hate modern feminism too. I cant tell you how many of my female friends have asked us why guys dont do things like they use to do for them, and the answer is simple. Girls want to change the status quo of what is and isn’t acceptable social behavior. In other words, you asked for equality. We dont buy our guy friends drinks, or offer up our seats, or compliment them, listen to their stupid stories about their roommates, etc. because we dont want to have sex with them.
            So guys cant stand you and, women are ever steadily breaking away from your fringe concepts. No one wants to be a part of a group that agrees with an article attacking macemore for singing a song about gay rights because hes never been gay.. Do you not see how crazy that is? It is certifiably insane to say a straight guy cant make a stance on something because he isn’t gay.. My feeling is for the most of you, you never really fit in with the other girls at school and most guys didn’t give you a second look, so you became these hate filled people who spew nonsense like the tea party for all the world to see how simply dumb your opinions are.

          • Jex

            No they don’t; this is the ‘fake geek girl’ thing. Men just think that because everything must revolve around their dick in order to be a legitimate sexuality. It’s not, and fuck you.

          • Sarah

            Yeah, man. I was totally in a 1+ year committed relationship with another woman so I could get more dick.

            Yep.

          • Benjamin

            you mad?

      • Mgregs

        LOL its not just me who wont date a dirty bird, its all guys with self-respect. Here’s a conversation between two guys:
        Guy 1: Yo, you know that girl who is always posting pictures of her boobs on facebook and banged both of our roommates?
        Guy 2: Ya
        Guy 1: brought her home last night, and ill never have to call her again lol
        Guy 2: Nice! Gotta feel bad for her boyfriend though
        You want those type of guys, shoot for the stars. But don’t come on a website and hate on men who specifically seek out this behavior in women and call them dicks. If you want to be treated with respect you need to earn it. If you don’t want respect, well then we don’t really care and you wont get it.

    • Sandrilene

      Actually I think it’s the Christian teenage boys who will grow up into douches.
      They won’t have learnt how to interact with girls during their youth. They’ll have been told by their parents that girls’ clothing is to blame for their desires.
      They’ll probably go through college harassing women they dismiss as ‘sluts’ and then feel entitled to marry a good Christian girl.

      • Mgregs

        I grew up Roman-Catholic, but I consider myself more of a pragmatic person. Pragmatically, girls who act a certain way are just easy targets for guys who are looking to get laid. (Which is all of us) I’m not saying don’t act however you want, but if you do decide to go that route please be prepared for how you will be treated. Its like The guys at Goldman Sachs saying we don’t care what you think of us, we’re just doing our jobs. Ya, true, but youre also responsible for the actions that you take. You don’t get to just walk away and act like no one cares.

        • hobbsan

          You manage to demean both men and women without my ever understanding the point of it. I’m really sorry that you have such a low opinion of your own sex – maybe you should get rid of your current male friends (like that guy Mike you mentioned) and find yourself some decent guys to talk to. I have plenty of male friends that don’t live up to your horrible image of men as nothing but a penis with a person attached to it.

    • hobbsan

      Yes, exactly. It’s all about which people you want in your life. Me, I want people (partner, friends, colleagues etc) who understand the very, VERY basic idea that my body is MINE. Mine to do whatever I fricking want with and to, without them needing to have or inform me of any personal opinions on it without my explicitly asking for them. That’s respect in my book. Valuing women’s integrity by how well they act “modest” by some totally random, local (in both time and space) norm is on the other hand simply daft and I don’t care much for having daft people in my life. I would especially not want my partner to be that douchey.

      You do realise that our concept of modesty is forever fluctuating, right? Unlike your great grandparents I’m guessing that you’re not too worried about women’s ankles showing? But, just like societies advocating burqa for women you seem to connect women’s contemporary “modesty” with regard to their bodies to their right to feeling self worth. Nice touch that. Very nice.

      PS And just so you know – I managed just fine finding a “respectful, good, successful guy” some 15 years back so don’t you worry about us crazy feminists thinking we can actually have both self respect and the respect of a decent partner. You just happen to be very much mistaken on what I demand of a man for him to deserve to be called respectful.

      • Mgregs

        I would say that you most likely do not commit the actions of a modern 22 year old women. Its one thing for women to be independent, free thinking, and self-sustaining. In fact, that type of independence is attractive to guys. What isn’t attractive, and what many of the feminists on this site fail to realize is that you cant just act however you want and expect respect from others especially men. Ill give you an example of two guys, one being me and the other being my best friend from college. We graduated in May and took two very different routes when it came to girls.
        I got a girlfriend my freshman year. We have been dating for four years and I legit fell for her when I was 18. She is modest in the fact that she’s only had sex with two guys, doesn’t flirt/dance with other guys out at parties, worked hard for the job she got after school. She also has no problem with staying home with the kids, loves to cook, and has no issues with my laundry. I have been praised by my closest friends for finding the girl that they are all looking for. I was lucky to not have to sift through all of the other girls at school to find the right one.
        Now, Mike on the other hand had sex with one girl in high school, and finished college with a number up in the thirties. How did he do it? Finding the girls who act a certain way, the same way a lot of the women here on Feminspire advocate for women to feel comfortable doing so. The “We don’t care how we act, men should treat us with loyalty and respect no matter how we act in public.” Those type of girls were easy targets for guys looking to just get laid. A few carefully placed texts and a few promises that wouldn’t be kept and next thing you know, he never had to talk to her again. Then these girls turn around and call him an asshole and so would all of you. Why? Because he went after girls who acted a certain way. If you give off these “We can act any way we want, no matter how slutty we look” vibes, all guys are going to exploit that, and we see no need to treat that girl with respect. We don’t want to date her, and we sure don’t need to be friends with her, so why does she deserve anything from us? She doesn’t, she has earned the label as a slut. So If you don’t want to be treated like a slut, just don’t act like one.
        Why? Because any decent looking girl can walk into a bar, ask ten guys to have sex with her, and I will garuntee at least 5 will say yes. If a guy does the same thing, just with 100 girls, maybe one will say yes, and only after a dinner. There’s a double standard because of women’s insistent need on denying men the one thing that they are looking for from them, when in reverse, supply is unlimited.( for 6 and ups)

        • hobbsan

          You poor, poor thing – understanding so little yet presuming so much. I honestly feel very sad for your “girlfriend” – she sounds like a nothing more than a glorified housekeeper and I feel sorry for her that she should have been fostered into believing she will be perceived as a “good girl” based on the wonderful description “[she] is modest in the fact that she’s only had sex with two guys, doesn’t flirt/dance with other guys out at parties, worked hard for the job she got after school. She also has no problem with staying home with the
          kids, loves to cook, and has no issues with my laundry”. Well, isn’t that nice, but I wonder; what kind of issues do you have with your laundry that you’re not doing them yourself?! Disgusting.

          As for your reasoning in general it just lacks every kind of logic possible and it makes me sad.

          1) Owning your own body and being unfaithful are not the same thing. I really don’t understand why some people have such a difficult time of understanding the concept of equality. Try boiling it down to this: “if it’s ok for men, it’s ok for women”. Consistency is the key word here. In a relationship this is no more difficult than stating what you both feel you need for yourself and from the other person. But don’t mistake your needs for some absolute rule about how women in general should behave! If you want a “modest” woman then, by all means, go out and find one. But don’t shame all women who do not want to be “modest” according to the book of you. You have no business to be trying to dictate what everyone else does and how everyone else lives, so just lay off.

          2) “There’s a double standard because of women’s insistent need on denying men the one thing that they are looking for from them, when in reverse, supply is unlimited.”
          Your reasoning here is just laughable. So, what you’re actually saying is
          1) Some women act like “sluts”
          2) These women get treated poorly by guys who just want sex out of them
          3) These men who will use a “slutty” woman purely for sex and discard her exist because men generally have a more difficult time getting sex than the average woman
          4) Your brilliant conclusion: Women should be less slutty?! It didn’t even once, as you were writing this, occur to you that in a society where the female and male sexuality is viewed in an equal fashion, men wouldn’t be so darned desperate for sex because women wouldn’t NEED to “[deny] men the one thing that they are looking for from them”? Maybe you should try this thinking business again.

          And finally, please refrain from presuming anything whatsoever about my actions in comparison with those of “of a modern 22 year old women [sic]“. I have no need for your trying to assure me you don’t think I’m a slut. I do what I want with my body without reference to your or anyone else’s weird ideas about modesty. With regard to my husband, we discuss what we need from one another to feel safe on an equal footing and I would never accept a different standard for him than for me; if he can for example go bare chested in public without asking my permission then so can I. Simple as that. And if I didn’t share my life with someone then there would be no one to take into consideration but myself (and possibly the law).

          • Mgregs

            This one is just too good to pass up. First off I’d like to say that my girlfriend is exactly what your average guy is looking for in a partner. What is wrong with my laundry? It’s not my job, that’s what is wrong with it. That’s like saying what’s wrong with the lawn? It isn’t her job to do. She understands that and thank god for that. I enjoy my relationship that’s based on me doing the chivalrous acts and in turn her “thanking” me in the appropriate way. Don’t get me wrong, she is nuts, but at least its a controlled nuts.
            Secondly, “What is ok for men to do, is ok for women” is just an inherently false statement in the world we live in. Maybe in Obama loving, la la land you can pretend that the same rules apply for both sexes, but here in the real world, that just isn’t the case. As stated before, an attractive girl can walk into any bar and within 15 minutes leave with a guy. She doesn’t need to be smart or witty, have a good job or anything like that. She just needs to be cute. That is where the difference in men and women lies. We don’t have that luxury, if we did the world would spin a lot differently. That’s why women who give it out too easy are labeled, because they can give it away and most guys would take it. Isn’t that obvious or does that reality escape you too?
            Now, it has occurred to me in that world that you presume, where men and women treat sex equally, the male gender wouldn’t need to be so desperate, but where is the fun in that? Sex looses its appeal when its just given out. The “worn out” look isn’t in fashion just yet. My conclusion, women should decide what they want from men. Do you want to be treated equally and have us show you the respect that we show our male friends? Where we don’t buy you drinks, offer our seats, hold the door, buy you dinner, do the lawn work, lift heavy things, etc. Or you can act like a modest lady and we will continue to treat you with the respect that you earn, doing all of the things that we have been doing for thousands of years.
            Honestly, I really wish I was attracted to men. Life would be so much easier I didn’t have to deal with people who want one thing and act like they want the other. Just tell us what you want and we will give it to you, it is so simple. Equality in the social setting or chivalry, you pick.

          • Sandrilene

            Seriously? You actually think mowing the lawn and doing the laundry are equivalant tasks?
            Laundry needs to be done at least once a week per person. My mum would do laundry almost every day. Is there anyone who mows the lawn as often as they do their laundry?

            An equivilant task would be more like someone cooking for you, so you do the washing up. That’s fairer.

            As for heavy lifting, yes men are often stronger but all it takes is a bit of logic and you can figure out a safer way of moving things. Sometimes I look at guys struggling to move something and think they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for a hand or move things one at a time.

            In case you can’t tell I loathe chivalry. But some women like it. Imagine that. It’s almost as if you can’t fit women into neat little boxes.

          • hobbsan

            Oh my goodness. You really don’t get it, do you? No, I don’t want you to buy me drinks, hold the door, lift heavy things bla bla bla. Where do you live, the dark ages? I can do those things for myself (and I bloody well do!), thank you very much. So, to answer your question; no, I don’t want your “chivalry” – you just work at treating me like any other human being and I’ll be fine.

            “First off I’d like to say that my girlfriend is exactly what your average guy is looking for in a partner.”
            I’m sure your girlfriend is what many of your below average guys are looking for – that still doesn’t impress me. I still feel sorry for her being little more than your housekeeper and go to sex supplier wrapped into one. I’m not debating the fact that many men, brought up to believe they have a patriarchal right to be pampered by a so called “partner”, will feel entitled to get one who will do just that. In my world, however, it is definitely not my job to do the laundry and it’s not my husbands to “lift the heavy thing” – taking care of our common household is something we do together, but I think that might be too complicated to explain to someone like you.

            “Secondly, “What is ok for men to do, is ok for women” is just an inherently false statement in the world we live in.”
            I’m sorry – I probably have the upper hand on you here. See, I don’t live in the American backwaters of the me Tarzan, you Jane view on the sexes. So, I know that it’s fully possible to strive for a world where the statement is true. If you choose not to, that says more about you than the world. That says that you are the kind of person that would always have been found on the wrong side of history; you would have been found supporting slavery and apartheid while opposing women’s right to vote. And that’s where future generations will find you – opposing equality between the sexes with the same tired arguments that all those other questions about human rights were met with.

            As for the complete lack of coherency on your views of sex – maybe you should try rereading what you wrote. On the one hand you don’t want there to be a level playing field between men and women when it comes to sex, because “where is the fun in that?” but sometimes you really wish you were attracted to men because life would be so much easier? Maybe you should just try to let go of your frantic belief that the current inequality between the sexes has some sort of inherent necessity, work towards a more equal society and make us all happier. Buy buy!

  • dtsb

    you need to calm down and get a life. you have too much time on your hands to write such a long response. lol

    • Sara Luckey

      Right? Isn’t it just like, so totally weird when people who write about news or trending topics for websites take time out of their day and write articles about news or trending topics for the websites? I mean, the gall! lol

  • Benjamin

    Men are portrayed as inherently lustful creatures who cannot control themselves and think about sex constantly. Woman claim they are being oppressed. WTF?

    • Lana

      Hello! That’s part of the problem that people are trying to address. Men should not be portrayed this way and this article and many comments do talk about that. Men are humans, not beasts incapable of controlling themselves, and should be held in that regard instead of being portrayed as monsters on the loose. Its time that churches, media, and society as a whole start holding men up to higher standards. Men certainly can achieve them.

      Woman are being oppressed too though. We are being told that we are responsible for the actions of every man we ever encounter as well as ourselves and that our entire lives and actions should revolve around keeping men from doing “bad” things.

      • Mgregs

        But, men don’t need to be seen as anything more than we are. Unlike the feminists on this site, we don’t feel the need to pretend to be something that we aren’t. When we go out, we are looking for sex. Not a good conversation, not someone to connect with on an emotional level, none of that. We do think about sex constantly, we get good jobs, work out, act interested,buy you drinks/dinner, etc. all in the pursuit of the one thing. What annoys us is when women pretend that we arent looking for that one thing, knowing full and well that they control the key. Any girl can go to a bar and within 30 minutes leave with a guy. Do you think a guy could do that? If we could then we wouldnt do all of those things. The simplicity of the male gender is so terrific that life just flows for us..

  • Jenn

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. I was completely enraged by the original post. For instance, in the pajama scenario. Do her sons wear undershirts under their pjs? Or do they just wear boxers to bed like a huge number of men? I cannot wear a bra or constrictive clothing due to a medical condition, I suppose that makes me a slut. I spent a considerable amount of time in Europe, where it was not uncommon to see a woman topless, either due to hot weather, location of beach or pool, or nursing her infant. And, surprise! The woman was just a normal woman, not a slut, and the men there were not expected to flock and rape because they saw a breast, though that seems to be what the author of the original blog entry implied would occur in such a “scandalous” situation. Even in the US, there are locations where toplessness in women is legal. The double standards and perpetuating of the rape culture. I do hope this woman reads your article, and writes a reply which you can share with us viewers.

  • http://saerilee.tumblr.com SaeRi

    I wasn’t aware of the post in question, but now that I am, I almost want to take the time to write a gender-swapped parody. Granted, I probably don’t *have* the time to do it, so I’ll just be directing people to this fantastically written piece to explain why that post was just so wrong.

  • Brian Shaughnessy
  • Jex

    The moment we tell a girl how she needs to live her life is the moment there’s a huge fucking problem. You wanna take selfies of you wearing no bra? Do it. You want to go to the beach topless? Fuck it but make sure you follow the laws because I don’t want to see anyone go to jail. Do what you want whenever you want with yourself (just nothing illegal folks please and thank you we have enough issues with jail as it is) and if you’re happy that’s all that should fucking matter.

  • Andreya

    You put into words every single problem I had with the Hall post. Well done.

  • Gaby

    BRAVO!

  • brainmist

    I’m so glad so many people are counterblogging about this. Because the comments on the original post, even while pointing out the hypocrisy of posting the Hall Boys in cheesecake poses, were still more supportive than otherwise. Hopefully this woman will recognize that her view isn’t the only one. And hopefully her sons will think a bit on how they’re being indoctrinated to abandon responsibilty for the actions.

    I quite liked this blog too: http://nerdyapple.com/our-bodies-ourselves/

  • T.A. Niles

    Absolutely terrific piece! We just had a situation here at home with the very same double standard at play. Too much for me to go into here, but I would be interested in hearing what you think would be a good way to go about mitigating the gender and sexuality double standard extant in our culture.

  • A mom, NOT a mom-blogger

    What a great post. I applaud you. :)

  • Karly

    You make me happy. <3

  • Mgregs

    I am in no way saying that these men that you are friends with are gay or liars or weak, Im just saying that you don’t know how men act when we are alone with our other friends. And, Im sure that as an 18 year old girl you just haven’t seen what the real world is actually like. I assume that your 18, because only an 18 year old would think a foreign guy in a band is a catch. Now, All im saying is that the MAJORITY of us go out to bars, clubs, whatever is to get laid. Not to have a nice conversation and a meal. But, the game mandates that you not know that and believe that we are out here to learn about who you are.
    Ill give you a personal example. I love my girlfriend to death. Mainly because she does all the things that I think a good girlfriend would do. All of my friends really think that I’m lucky for no longer having to sift through the trash to find a meal. I tell her friends about how “nice” they are (they’re not, they’re all dicks) and in turn she hooks them up. If they only knew the things we said the day after a Saturday out drinking, well things wouldn’t be the same. My point, you don’t know what we do when you’re not around, so don’t be naïve and tell me that “All the guys I know treat women with respect and think they’re great people”. You might as well be giving me your address to la la land U.S.A. Because I guarantee you that’s exactly what all girls think about us, even though it couldn’t be further from the truth.

  • Shannon Aud

    thank you so frikkin much for writing about this STUPID piece. it was circulating on my fb as a great message for girls. and its the worst.