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Friday, September 6, 2013

The Viewpoint of a Woman with a Son

Not trying to be white noise, but over the past few days a couple blogs have gone viral regarding how men look at women. Specifically young men looking at women who wear less rather than more.
For me, I see both sides.
I know what it is like to be the teenage girl that is ignored by boys. That sees all the attention going to a girl that accentuates her cleavage, and wanting to do the same. But I also know that it is even harder today, because our society is so clicked in to social media. Even today I fall victim to the trap of "How many likes/retweets/favorites can I get on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram?" Growing up when MySpace was just beginning, I got a small taste of the desire to be liked via social media. I cannot imagine if it had been a major influence in my life from my pre-teen years on.
Yet at the same time that I understand it, I also want to encourage girls to have the self-worth to ignore the beckoning of IG bra shots. Try getting likes for a brilliant status update, or a breathtaking image showing your creativity rather than your body. It's hard in this time to get a boy's attention without showcasing your physical attributes, but that brings me to my next point.

I have a son. While he is too young now to understand, it will not be too many years before he begins to look at women differently than men. I will not block one of his friends if she posts a seductive image on Facebook, but I will have a conversation with Jace. I will not shame him for looking (because as humans we ALL notice each others physical attributes), but I will ask him if he sees his friend as more than a body. Does he know her hobbies, her passions, what books she loves to read? I will ask him what he has in common with her, what does she believe in, and what does he admire about her personality? I will help him to see her as a person, no matter how she portrays herself online. And with many of the generation I know that are raising young men today, I have hope for the little girls that so many of my friends are about to bring into this world. I have hope that the young men growing up will see women as equals and as partners, whether they wear a hijab or a bikini top everywhere they go.

xoxo,
Camille