FYI (Gender Discrimination Exists)

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September 6, 2013 by Devin

Blogger Kimberly Hall recently stirred up controversy with her latest blog post, “FYI (If You’re A Teenage Girl)”. Hall, who works with a women’s ministry at her church, argued that the teenage girls of this generation need to be more modest with the pictures they post on Facebook. She goes on to say that she has 3 boys, and so she wants them to be protected from temptation. She even mentions that she has a zero tolerance policy and has blocked posts from some of the teenage girls her boys are friends with.

It is the typical modesty argument, made humorous by the fact that the post was originally covered in pictures of her half-naked boys posing at the beach.

I apologize in advance to anyone sexually tempted by this photo.

Honestly, when I first saw this blog post, I thought it was satirical. “Oh, look, she’s deliberately breaking her own suggestions with her boys to show how males and females are looked at differently! How nifty!”

Unfortunately, that was not the case, and Hall has since changed the pictures to more modest pictures of her family.

But just because it was not meant to be satirical does not mean that we cannot learn a lesson from this post, and not necessarily the one the author intended. I am sure that Hall meant well, but in her post she accidentally highlighted the hypocrisy in her thinking.

The responsibility for what her boys think is on the shoulders on those who would tempt them while the responsibility for what the girls think is on their own shoulders.

In more feminist circles, people call this kind of attitude, “slut shaming”. Slut shaming is pointing out how awful women are for wanting to look sexy or have sex whereas that sentiment is rarely, if ever, pointed back to men. For example, if there were a movie about a woman that goes around sleeping with a bunch of men and then leaving them right after, there would be a moral outrage, but Bond movies have been doing this for over 50 years.

Imagine if I had commented on the above picture with, “Wow, these guys seriously want attention. It’s clear that they’re just trying to look sexy. Why don’t they have some more modesty?” There would be a grain of truth in that. They are trying to look as appealing to the opposite sex as possible, just like many women do on Facebook. But for women, they are a source of temptation while boys are just being boys.

In my opinion, I do not care if you think that everyone should always be covered up from head to toe or if sex is something that everyone needs to have as much of all the time. What I do care about is that if you are going to have an opinion on modesty, make it the same opinion for men and women and understand that, ultimately, the one most responsible for reacting to temptation is the individual.

After all, you could always just get off Facebook.

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