On the Megaphone: Double Standards in the World of Teens
This is not going to be a shiny and happy post. If you need shiny and happy, click elsewhere. Christie has lost her shiny and happy right now, and there is not enough chocolate right now to bring it back.
I am so sick and tired of double standards. I am tired of all that is wrong with the world, and I am really tired right now of yelling at it and it not fixing one damn thing.
If you are a POC, you are NOT going to be represented in the media. At all. Hugo Schwyzer, a Pasadenda City College instructor and “internet-famous male feminist” has now admitted on Friday that he has been having SEX with his students (which, from statistics at PCC will likely be POC, as well as low socio-economic and/or new to the country). Not only THAT, he was CAUGHT in 1998 but WASN’T FIRED THEN. According to his claims, he “started again in 2008.” See here. Yet, if you Google search as of Sunday, September 8, only the local news and student reports are picking it up. WHY? Because it wasn’t white college kids. If it had been white college kids, it would have hit CNN, NBC, Post, Times, and everywhere else.
This is the world that the kids I work with, and the kids I call my heart-kids live in every day. They are almost all POC, and they are all right now shiny and innocent, and when the world looks on them, they see someone not worthy. And it breaks my heart.
And I haven’t even reached the idiodicy of the double standard of teenage sexuality.
I’m not going to touch GLBTQ in this (I don’t have the energy in this post). I’m just talking straight male/female gender/sex.
A mother somewhere posted on her family blog about how girls on her sons’ facebook pages shouldn’t post immodest pictures and profile pictures. I see what she’s trying to do, but what pisses me off is that instead of trying to reach out and minister, she starts throwing shame:
I know your family would not be thrilled at the thought of my teenage boys seeing you only in your towel. Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t quickly un-see it? You don’t want our boys to only think of you only in this sexual way, do you?
Huh. Really? What about having a discussion at the family table about how NOT to look at girls at only that sexual way? I have a brother-in-law that is a minister, and I’m sure that he’s seen a bunch of immodest ‘selfies’ on Facebook, but I don’t think he thinks about those girls in only sexual ways.
Have you looked at guys’ facebook ‘selfies’ (that is a stupid word, BTW)? My teens show off abs that they’ve been working on, side shots, profile shots and mugging in the mirror. A few of them could have been Treyvon Martin. My girls do duck faces and other faces. They’re TEENS. They have more access to instant social media that anyone before, and their brains are NOT COOKED. They think before they act. They’re flirting with each other online, and one picture does not a reputation make. If I was known by one stupid picture, I have many where I’m flipping off a camera about that age, but that was on FILM (where we couldn’t take it back and it got developed and then we got BUSTED for it).
If we’re going to go after the girls for being sexual and exploring what it means to be BE a girl (which is what they’re supposed to be doing) and wanting them to be virginal in mind, then go after the BOYS as well, and make them be monks.
Actually, why NOT start teaching boys and men not to think of women as sexual objects? And if they actually have to think about them that way (READ as sarcasm please) then how about learning SELF CONTROL? Because really, a 14 year old girl is not in control of her hormones any more than a 14 year old boy, yet for some reason girls are expected to be responsible for everything. The judges in Montana say so. A rapist gets 30 days in jail (correction: sentence currently in dispute) and the judge says that the 14 year victim was “older than her chronological age when it came to sexual matters.” Yeah. She killed herself in 2010 while awaiting this justice.
How about instead of treating a teen like “boys will be boys” when they abuse/rape/violate a girl, have them take responsibility? So it doesn’t repeat again?
Or when they rape/violate/abuse boys?
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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