I’m going to chime in on the flurry surrounding the FYI post. In case you are unaware of what I’m talking about, a mother of three teenage boys posted on her blog about how she and her family were upset by selfies taken by teenage girls in which they posed in their pajamas without…here’s the shocker…bras! Gasp! According to Mrs. Hall, any girls guilty of posting inappropriate pictures or videos are banned from the Hall online world (I’m sure the girls are tragically upset that Mr. and Mrs. Hall will no longer be viewing their pictures). What is galling is that Mrs. Hall says this as if she’s really upset about the whole thing, as if she wishes things could be any other way, but alas, she can’t possibly allow pictures of bra-less girls in pajamas to infect her innocent boys.
It’s all so self-righteous and sanctimonious. And infuriating.
It makes me angry. She is implying that these teenage girls are responsible for the actions and reactions of her sons. Her sons can’t “unsee” these pajama-clad girls, so the GIRLS must change THEIR behavior. I’m tired of women being held responsible for the actions of men. I’m tired of this assumption that boys and men are basically animals who cannot control themselves. Honestly, it’s insulting to men as well as demeaning to women.
When we hold women responsible for the actions of men, when we accuse women of making men do things because of the way they dress or behave, then we become no better than the Taliban.
We are so much better than this. Our boys and men can see women expose their bodies without losing control, because they are better than that.
Maybe, instead, Mrs. Hall should praise these young women, these women who are so comfortable with their own bodies that they take pictures of themselves in their pajamas and show it to their friends. Maybe we should celebrate these young girls who are helping us to see our society’s repressed views of sexuality and gender. Every time someone like Mrs. Hall and her ilk speak out and talk of “modesty” it allows the rest of us, those of us who are not ashamed of the female body, to speak out in turn. We will not allow our society to turn into one in which women must cover themselves from head to toe.
We are so much better than this.