You may have seen this article about a Quebec teen protesting the dress code.
Her argument for her impertinence: “Don’t humiliate her because she is wearing shorts. It’s hot outside. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects.”
I teach fourteen and fifteen year old boys. I also teach fourteen and fifteen year old girls. I can say with certainty that unfortunately, fourteen and fifteen year old girls have been conditioned to display themselves as sexual objects…because in their sexuality, they find validation.
Unfortunately, we live in a culture that perpetuates this behavior. We watch and giggle when teenage girls in romantic comedies walk out in slow motion at parties: all parts perfectly displayed for audiences to admire. We watch Jonah Hill and Michael Cera talk obsessively about the perfect girl and what she can do to satisfy their boyish fantasies. We hear little about the girl’s character and much about their perfect (fill in the blank with appropriate body part).
I say “we” because I am an avid consumer of these comedies. I watch ravenously and laugh heartily. I don’t even realize that my laughter keeps these movies produced. These movies and other shows provide a platform that objectifies women as simply body parts and a means to an end.
What worries me is that my son will be faced with a decision: respect his female classmates or fantasize about them…just as movies suggest he should and culture accepts because he is “full of hormones.”
I will teach him to respect women. I am a fan of teaching my son how to properly court a young lady and how to treat each girl appropriately. Still, my hunch is that no matter what, my little son will soon act just like any other boy.
If we have a daughter, I believe it is important to teach her that her body is sacred. No matter how hot it is outside, you must protect one of the most incredible gifts that God has given. Her clothes, unfortunately, tell her story before she can. I have a sinking feeling that she will listen but she will soon dress just how the media tells her to, because she wants to be accepted, valued, and admired.
My point is simply this: I can teach my kids lessons, but each day they are getting mixed messages about what is truly important. Instead of impertinence, I hope to teach my kids that no matter what, you must respect the rules that are put into place.
While I wish that the teen’s suggestion could work, our media works against these valuable lessons despite how “hot it is” outside.