I had the television on this morning. Parenting mistake, or at least, a mistake to do so before I was fully functioning on a Monday morning and ready to field questions about both Pope Benedict and Kate Upton and the role of women in today's society.
A morning news show was the television, and the news of the Pope's surprising resignation grabbed my attention. I was watching the show while waiting for my tween's father to drop her off after her weekend with him. My tween made it home, and I asked her if she knew about the Pope. She didn't, so we sat and watched the news coverage.
My tween was not as impressed as I was with the fact that this was the first pope to resign in approximately 600 years. She did, however, get rather fired up when talking about the conclave to select the next pope, and she is not happy that women cannot be Pope. She wondered aloud when the Catholic Church would recognize that women were equal. Discussion ensued.
As we were talking about the Catholic Church and its view and treatment of women, the television was still on in the background. The news reader shifted from the latest out of the Vatican to the fact that model Kate Upton has scored the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover for the second year in a row. The fact that she's the first model to do back to back covers since Tyra Banks in the 1990s was a big news story.
They showed a photo of the cover with Kate Upton wearing a parka, and not much else. Because she's in Antarctica. Of course, makes perfect sense. Well, actually no, and it didn't make sense at all, to me or my tween. Although I confess to thinking that the parka covered her more than most swimsuit issue covers and wasn't much worse than some red carpet dresses. But still, it was a strange shift to go from the Pope to Kate Upton's newsworthy cleavage.
More discussion ensued, about photos shoots on glaciers and what is appropriate for women to wear, or not wear. I am aware of the issues of how the media portrays women, but I was a bit taken aback with the amount of processing she was doing at 7:02 a.m.
If you asked me last night if I was ready to discuss Pope Benedict's resignation, Kate Upton's swimsuit cover and my tween's view of women in society at 7 a.m. this morning, I would've replied, "no" and thought you were crazy.
But that's precisely what happened. I'm glad I was there to remind her that she is smart and capable and equal and deserving of respect and what I think that means, be it in terms of religion or sexuality. I just didn't think of that as a message that I needed to deliver at the start of the week.
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Prior post: Museum of Science and Industry Chicago: A learning experience for me and my tween