On a lighter note…

So I’ve been reading parenting blogs lately, and was trying to have a serious discussion with Spouse-Man about stuff that’s almost certainly going to come up when Susannah hits the teen years.  Things like “what do we do when she wants to try alcohol, or cigarettes, or pot?  How do we warn her off this stuff without coming across as big fat hypocrites?”

Conversation was going well until the question of young girls wanting to look and act “sexy” came up.  At which point his response was (pretending to speak to our imaginary daughter), “Look, I didn’t want to tell you this, but the minute you start looking sexy, I’m selling you.  I’m not kidding, I’ve got buyers on the line.  So put your burlap back on.”

I can only assume that this is his way of telling me that sexuality talks are MY problem 😛

Seriously, though, it’s something that’s been on my mind.  Not necessarily the dressing sexy part – most of you know my feelings about clothing and expectations and “dressing like a slut.”  (For those of you who don’t know, here’s a quick summation: it’s my goddamn body and my goddamn clothes, I’ll wear what I feel like wearing and if you don’t like it, fuck you.  If you think it makes me look like a slut – or anything else, for that matter – that’s your problem, not mine.)  But… I feel very strongly about trying to instill a sex-positive attitude, NOT engaging in slut-shaming, not making girls feel ashamed of their own bodies, and making my daughter understand that she is a subject, not just an object – when the time comes, her decision to have or not have sex should be based on what SHE wants, rather than what she feels society or religion or authorities or her boyfriend or even her parents want her to do.

And yet… I also do think that there is such a thing as “too young,” even if you’re knowledgeable and safe.  Call me crazy, but I really don’t want my daughter having sex in high school – or, gods forbid, middle school.  Problem is, I’m having trouble coming up with convincing arguments for why that don’t undermine the other points I want to teach…

And yeah, I know I’m borrowing trouble, and it’s a little early to be worrying about these things when the kid isn’t even out of the womb yet.  But honestly, I’d rather worry now then be blindsided in 15 years because I kept telling myself “oh, there’ll be time to think about that sort of thing later…”

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3 thoughts on “On a lighter note…

  1. Susannah is a lovely name. And actually, teaching her about things like informed consent and sex-positivity might be a pretty good deterrent of early sexual activity. Most of the other kids, alas, will probably not have gotten the message about how rape jokes aren’t funny, and that kind of idiocy and insensitivity are fantastic at making someone look really, really unattractive.

    • Point. Very good point. I know I personally started dating kinda late (not because I wasn’t allowed or anything, just because I was pretty socially awkward for most of my life), but even when I did get into serious relationships, I held off on having sex. Not because of moral grounds or scare tactics, but just because I knew enough about it to know it was a big step, and one that I, personally, wanted to make sure I was ready for. So, y’know, there’s that.

      There’s just this voice in the back of my mind dreading the day my, say, 14-year-old says “But if there’s nothing WRONG with having sex, and we love each other and aren’t hurting anyone, why shouldn’t we??” And having to come up with a decent explanation. And the fact that it may never come up at all isn’t stopping me worrying one bit!

  2. Will you stil love Susannah if she does have sex at an early age? Start there. Let her know that you love her, and let her know that while you would rather she wait, (and state a reasonable preferance for age, like 18 or so) it is her decision. Make it clear that while sex is not a bad thing, it is also a big step, and that she needs to know that it will change things. Let her know that she needs to be careful, and that it is not something to be rushed into. Then, let her be (easy for me to say now, so remind me of this when I am giving my own bebe “the talk”).

    Make it something to think about, and make it honest.

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