The GEM Debate: Will Censoring
Sexy Selfie Takers Keep This At Bay? (POLL)
So there’s a big dust-up in the social media space and it has all sorts of groups choosing sides. But, like so many controversies, it doesn’t feel so cut and dried. Here, let me explain.
Kimberly Hall, a blogger in Texas, who also runs the women’s ministry at All Saints PCA, wrote a post called, FYI (If you’re a teenage girl). The point of the post was, in a friendly sort of way, to let teenage girls know that they ought not be tempting young boys, especially those under her roof, by posting so-called “sexy-selfies”
At any rate, the firestorm ensued when Hall wrote a blogpost detailing what she and her family do when they come across these selfies on her kids’ social media feeds.
“So, here’s the bit that I think is important for you to realize. If you are friends with a Hall boy on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, then you are friends with the whole Hall family.
Please know that we genuinely like staying connected with you this way! We enjoy seeing things through your unique and colorful lens – you are insightful, and often very, very funny.”
Which leads her to this:
“And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts. Because, the reason we have these (sometimes awkward) family conversations around the table is that we care about our sons, just as we know your parents care about you.”
There’s no question that teenage boys see a lot of sex everywhere; and when I say see, I don’t mean the stuff that’s front and center. That’s just about all they think about, as the parent of most teenage boys can attest.
So I sort of get what Hall is saying; I also see way too much skin, too much pouting, too many questionable photos on social media.
But is blocking the sexy selfie picture takers, the way to keep her boys virtuous?
One of the best responses to Hall’s post came from commenter Kyle David Greenberg, who (in part) said this:
“….. I’m just worried that the primary message you are sending your sons is that it is the responsibility of every women they encounter to make sure they aren’t exposed to something sexually stimulating. This message damages men and it is entirely unfair for all women. The primary message should be “son, it is your responsibility to control yourself. No one else is responsible for how you think, act, or fantasize. Don’t blame women for your desires. It is not the job of all women to look and act just how you need them to for you to not be attracted to them. It is your job to treat women as people. It is your job to understand your sexuality. It is your job to conduct yourself with integrity.”
Do you not trust your sons? Do you really view your sons in such a negative light that you had to compose this elaborate and often times accusatory, insulting, or belittling essay directed to every girl they have or may encounter rather than trust them with the responsibility?
I view this essay as very damaging. You have taught your sons to blame others for their own behaviors and thoughts, and you have added to the myriad of voices already placing shame and blame on young women.”
Greenberg captures the biggest problem I have with her post. You can’t control each and every circumstance, only your reaction to it. Applying Hall’s method would mean I’d need to chase after my kids their entire lives, making sure their eyes are protected from, not just social media offenses, but off-color things in the real world (while I can’t speak for Hall, I assume she is not planning to do this for the rest of her boys’ lives; perhaps only until they get to a point where they can control themselves).
I get what Hall is trying to do; she’s shocked, just as I was when I started seeing some of the things young women were putting on social media but here’s where she and I part ways.
What about the boys? I’ve seen just as much skin from that gender. Why are only the girls seen as temptress (note: it seems that in her initial post, Hall used photos of her sons and husband on the beach shirtless. Yes, I know they were on the beach but it does seem to fly in the face of the point she was making. She has since changed the photos).
As I said, I can see Hall’s point but it just seems like she’d have better luck changing the behavior of the people under her own roof, rather than take on the vastness of what’s outside her own four walls.
That’s my take…what say you? Is Hall on the money on this? Is she right to censor her boys’ social media based on girls sexy selfies or is she placing the blame only on girls when it needs to be more widespread?
Lemme hear ya!