Encouraging modesty vs slut-shaming.
I see both sides' points. In other words, I have no opinions. And I'm not sure if I should have one or not.
Facebook was having one of those mini-meltdowns yesterday about the blog post "FYI (if you're a teenage girl)" that some mom wrote. She normally has an audience of 19, she said, and the fact it went viral was baffling to her. And it is to me, too. Maybe she was an easy target. Sex + Christianity + a smidge of pearl-clutching + apparent double-standards = controversy.
I see Mrs. Hall's point about how people should portray themselves to others. Acting all sexy in your bedroom for the camera AND then uploading it to social media is not a good idea. No matter how clothed or unclothed you are, it's probably not a good idea if you're trying to maintain a professional image. This applies to both men and women of all ages. (ahem, unlike certain Weiner weener incidents).
But then she went on to talk about bra-wearing and skin-showing and un-friending...and I suppose that became an easy target. She gradually shifted from giving sage advice to being, well, a mother. ie, You're not going out in that! And after that point I mostly skimmed. More modesty spiels.
I've heard my fair share of modesty spiels in the homeschool circles while growing up. I had no trouble with modesty--I was super-self-conscious about my waist, boobs, and legs, and wore granny-style clothes to cover them all up. Yes, I did wear frumpers. Including ones I sewed myself for Home Ec. I was so conscious of the possibility of people looking at my curves. I hated them. I thought I was fat. I felt like I was too sexual if I even acknowledged that I had curves. And sexuality is shameful, right?
Therein lies the point the other side is making about how the mother is focusing too much on the female body. Teen girls are so self-conscious about how they look that such "FYI" doesn't help. It only magnifies the shame they feel after developing hips and boobs. Like I was.
So many people have pointed out how she's wrong for saying that it's the women's responsibility to cover up so not to lead her teen boys astray, instead of teaching her boys to see women as people, and not bodies. How she's showing by example that anyone who even embraces her femininity in anything resembling sexuality should be shunned. Unfriended. Unfollowed. Shamed.
It IS admittedly slut-shaming of a subtle sort. Here is a girl who is wearing a nightgown, braless, in a bedroom, and therefore it is her fault if her sons get aroused. That is labeling her as a slut, and shaming her. For Pete's sake, she even unfriended the girl over such "shame" instead of talking with the girl or the girl's mother about it.
Maybe if she just talked about inappropriate photos with her sons and left it at that, Mrs Hall's post would have been much more reasonable. If she focused on using the moment to teach her sons to manage their attraction and see women as people and not as bodies. Even if you can see their curves, because, you know, women do have hips and boobs and butts. That's what makes us female!
Ask the question--would you be embarrassed if your future boss saw this? Is it inappropriate to be seen in a swimsuit? No. Is it inappropriate to make such a sexy pose in public (which it is when posted on FB)? Yes.
Then there wouldn't be a million people analyzing her Freudian hypocritical slip by including photos of her half-naked sons.
Huh. I guess I do have an opinion. I agree with only ONE thing Mrs. Hall said--about not sharing inappropriate photos on Facebook. Just one thing.
Everyone else's points about slut-shaming is absolutely true. I just hope that Mrs. Hall and her sons can learn from this.