Lessons for Teens on Modesty and Respect

A post from a mommy blog by Kim Hall caught fire and made the rounds on social media a couple days ago. Apparently the message to teen girls about posting questionable photos and videos of themselves really hit home.

That [picture] doesn’t reflect who you are at all! We think you are lovely and interesting, and usually very smart. But, we had to cringe and wonder what you were trying to do? Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say?

. . . 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 in this sexual way, do you?

Neither do we. We’re all more than that.

The author then explained that she is raising her boys to have a strong moral compass, and encouraged teen girls to be women of character and not settle for anything less than a young man who will respect them.

Well, the next day, media-studies professor Rebecca Hains chimed in with her take. She felt that too much responsibility was placed on the girls and not enough on the boys.

I’m sure that [Hall’s] sons’ female friends don’t want to be thought of only in a sexual way, considering that they are complex human beings with a range of feelings, ideas and interests. So why ask these questions? Doing so places the blame for her sons’ thoughts and desires squarely on the shoulders of the teenage girls they know – dodging the fact that boys are responsible for how they choose (yes, choose) to think of the girls in their lives.

…Instead, we must teach our sons compassion. Help them understand that girls’ self-sexualization is prompted by a toxic culture.

We must teach our sons to always respect girls. Help them see them girls as complex human beings, like themselves – never simply as sex objects.

Our boys MUST be taught these lessons…

Though I feel that Hains misconstrues Hall’s post as chastisement instead of encouragement, there are good lessons all around: Young women should be mindful of how they present themselves to the world, and young men should show respect, self-control, and understanding.  




Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More