Does size matter to your
Maybe the real question is, should
I saw the ad for the above ruler at the Planned Parenthood store when those shirts
came out. I questioned the topic of the rulers, but let it go for a while.
I suppose you see things like this differently when you actually have a teenage daughter. Back before I had kids, I was one of those naive people who would say things like "I'm going to let my kids make their own decisions when it comes to sex. Yea, I'm going to be a cool
And then I had a kid and that idea went to hell. To make matters worse, I had a daughter. Suddenly, the idea of being casual about my kids having sex seemed ludicrous.
My daughter is 14. She's taken the requisite sex ed classes already. She knows the ins and outs (no pun intended) of sexual activity, sexually transmitted diseases and appropriate and inappropriate touching. She knows about reproductive health, pregnancy, and condoms.
I'm ok with all of that. Forewarned is forearmed. We talk about this subject honestly and I know how Nat feels about boys and relationships. Honestly, my daughter is too self-centered to be bothered with a steady boyfriend. And she's too proprietary over her personal space to be into even minor kissing. She tells me this and I believe her, because we've established a relationship based on trust.
But how hard is it for even the most chaste girl to remain so in this society? Even teenage girls who aren't interested in sex are still interested in being sexy
. The shorts are short, the skirts are shorter and the shirts barely come below the breasts. I cringe as I watch a parade of girls walking through the mall, all showing more skin than clothing.
Where do these girls get the message that they must dress this way in order to impress? Who told them that wearing suggestive messages on their shirts and folding down their sweats so their ass cracks show is a proper way to carry yourself?
It would be easy to blame the media here, but someone is buying these girls their clothes. Someone is letting them walk out of the house dressed that way. For the life of me, I can't fathom why any parent would let their teenage daughter wear a shirt that says "My boyfriend's out of town." We're talking about teenage girls here, mostly in the 12-16 range. Then again, what can you expect when even our Olympic athletes do the skank routine
(might be NSFW)? [they will also be appearing in Playboy
I decided to take a look at teenwire.com (the teen appendage of Planned Parenthood) to see if I could get an idea of what the average teenager is up to in regards to sexuality.
Here, go look at this advice page
. I'll wait.
Are you as appalled as I am? I hope so. Or am I just a prude or hopelessly naive when it comes to teens and sex? There are words on that page I never even heard of until I was in my 20's. Kids are doing things I haven't attempted myself. Anal sex? They are giving advice on anal sex to teenagers?
I don't buy into the "oh, they're going to do it anyhow, so let's just educate them properly about it" attitude. Maybe they
are going to do it (it obviously including every kind of sex imaginable) but my daughter is not
. Sure, sex can be wonderful and pleasurable and beautiful. But not when you're 14 and you don't fully understand the emotional consequences of giving it up at such an early age. How many 14 year old girls are going to remain with the guy they are with now? Does anyone tell these girls that 10 years from now they are going to most likely regret all of their sexual escapades? 14 year old girls go through guys faster than Jennifer Lopez. Are we supposed to believe that it is healthy for these girls to go down on every guy they date? I'm sorry, but a girl at this age is not capable of having a deep, meaningful, mutually respectful, healthy relationship that could withstand the emotions that come with intimately sharing your body with someone.
Somewhere between Nat's birth and puberty, I became a proponent of abstinence. Not condoms, not any other kind of birth control, not even oral sex as a replacement for intercourse. Complete abstinence. Oh, I'm sure I'm being unrealistic. But as a parent, it is my job to keep my daughter safe. Not only physically safe, but emotionally safe as well. It's a huge task and I know there will be hurts that I cannot prevent nor heal. But why open the door for things that can only end badly? I know her heart will be broken several times, it's pretty much inevitable. If I can prevent the damage that comes from having sex or giving your body to someone before you are emotionally equipped to do so, then I'll do my damndest to complete that part of my job.
Looking through all the questions and answers on teenwire.com, I see some thoughtful suggestions and advice. I am more unnerved by the fact that teenagers are questioning how to give a proper blowjob than the fact that there is a site answering that question.
Still, I have to wonder about the size matters ruler. I don't get it. I don't know what the message is supposed to be.
Right now the only message that matters to me is the one I am giving my daughter: Your body is not a commodity. Respect yourself.
Barring that, the other message is: I know a nice convent that's looking for a few good nuns.
[This has been the unedited rant of a somewhat worried mother of a soon-to-be high school student.]