In defense of Mrs. Hall

Mrs. Kim Hall’s post “FYI (if you’re a teenage girl)” has a lot of things to say. Here’s what she’s NOT saying:

She’s not telling others how to parent.

“I know your family would not be thrilled at the thought of my teenage boys seeing you only in your towel.”

That’s as close as it gets to telling other parents what to do. She’s assuming that parents of girls (she has a girl, remember) wouldn’t like their daughters sending that type of picture. Pretty safe assumption.

She’s not in la la land about her own kids.

“I also pray that my sons will be worthy of this kind of woman, that they will be patient – and act honorably – while they wait for her.”

She’s saying, “Help a motha out. I know that my boys are gonna get boners and want to jerk off to you lovely ladies. Can you please just leave a little to their imagination? I’ll do my part to make sure they notice how you aced your Spanish final, scored the winning goal, and can do a triple pirouette. Oh, and that Victoria’s Secret models are NOT REAL PEOPLE.”

She’s not slut shaming.

“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?”

If this post was coming from a potential employer, it wouldn’t be labeled “slut shaming.” It would be labeled “common sense” and “professionalism.” If you think a teenage girl is too young to consider professionalism, then she’s probably too young to be uploading suggestive photos.

“And so, in our house, there are no second chances, ladies.”

We choose how to represent ourselves; people choose how they react to us. She has a right, nay a responsibility, to make parenting decisions that reflect her moral compass, as long as that does not hurt other children. And here’s where some of my Chicago Now friends part ways with me: I don’t think she’s hurting other children by telling them that they are representing themselves in a poor light. I think she’s giving them a gentle, even humorous, reminder that potential friends, mates, and employers can see these pictures. And can see them for eternity.

Think how differently this post would be viewed if:

1) There were no beach photos.

2) It wasn’t obvious that she worked in ministry.

Nowhere in the post does it talk about God. She says “I pray.” I’m not even sure if I believe in God, but I still pray. And I still believe in Mrs. Hall’s good intentions.

The purpose of my post is not to discuss our society and culture and why girls feel they need to do post sexy selfies. I’m defending another (at one point, but definitely-not-after-today) small time blogger.

It takes a village. She is trying to make the young citizens of her village the best that they can be. You may not agree with her ideas or her approach. But, she is not throwing parental advice down your throat. She is not unaware of the sexual desires of her boys. She is not slut shaming. Please don’t burn her at the stake as so many are saying that she’s doing to teenage girls.

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Filed under: Parenting

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