Girls Are Cool and Boys…

are also cool.

What? That's not exactly the way that little rhyme goes, is it? Somewhere along the way we as a culture decided it was okay to send mixed messages to kids on how to relate to the opposite sex. Here are the accepted norms:

1) Despise them

2) Objectify them

I don't know about you, but I'm not okay with either of these options. I'm not okay with boys despising girls for the mere sake of their being girls, just as I'm not okay with the whole "boys will be boys" mentality when it comes to accepting the sin of the lust of the eyes.

But guess what? This behavior is not reserved for boys alone. Girls have picked up the baton and have started running full force. 

Case in point:

Troy

Does this look familiar to anyone? Think I'm being too hard here? Think I'm an over-the-top-homeschooler and trying to be a culture dodger?

Not so much.

I have watched the High School Musical movies with my girls, primarily so they would have a point of discussion with their peers when the movies invariably enter into their tweenage conversation. Is it cute? Sure. Is it catchy? You bet. Does it place a heavy emphasis on parents-are-idiots-kids-always-know-better thinking? I believe it does. I also believe it places an unhealthy emphasis on the dating game and portrays kids in relationships they really have no business being in while in high school.

Yet everywhere I go I see at least one under-teenage girl wearing an "I love Troy" t-shirt. And their parents wonder why their little girls are obsessed with boys at earlier and earlier ages.

I scratch my head. 

On the flip side, a year or two ago we went to the store to buy a baseball bat. Did you know they make them in pink now? My girls thought that was awesome. We picked up one of the pink bats and written in swirly pink script on the side it stated, "Girls Rule!"

You know what? We didn't buy that bat. I'm trying hard to teach my girls to respect men, even young ones. How in the world can they do that when they are surrounded by propaganda that teaches them to either belittle or obsess the opposite sex? Is there no middle ground?

I think there is a third way. And it isn't an easy one. Sure, it would be simpler just to convince my girls that boys are dumb and not worth their time. Maybe teaching them that would delay some tough conversations that will come up soon. Likewise, as they approach their teen years, it would be easier to turn a blind eye to their growing interest in boys and employ a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

I don't believe either of those options to be in the best interest of my girls or any of their future friends who  may happen to be guys. 

As they grow, I want to teach them to be kind, compassionate and gracious to both girls and guys. To treat others the way they want to be treated. To view boys with the respect they are due as fellow people made in the image of God.

My girls won't be wearing any "I love _______" clothing, nor will they be hanging any "We hate boys" signs up on their walls.

Because you know what? Girls are cool and boys…are too.

10 thoughts on “Girls Are Cool and Boys…

  1. Margaret says:

    Thank you! As a boy’s mom, I am grateful that a mom of four girls has such respect for boys. I love having one of each. And by the way, I read “HSM” (Which I’ve never seen or have my kids) as HMS. As in HMS PInafore. Think I should get out more?

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  2. RT says:

    HSM and Hannah Montana are marketed to the preschool set! Unbelievable. It’s not like I really mind either program (well, to be honest I’ve only seen the first HSM and no HM at all), but why in the world would I want to dress my four year old like a preteen?
    I like your principles.
    Girls rock. Boys rock, too.

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  3. antonia.ponder@yahoo.com says:

    Hey Megan! How are you? Been away awhile from your blog. More than bats and clothes, I think children model what they see and how to treat the opposite sex via their parent models–not through clothing or bats (but yes, I’d agree TV shows are a distant 2nd). I think it all depends on your world view. Case in point, Mark is not the head of our house, my children and I don’t “obey” him. While, I think in many households, women and girls look to the father husband as leader etc. We choose to be co-equals. I think for so long women and young girls have been raised with the mentality that boys rule and husbands rule, that I have no problem instilling the mentality that “girls rule” whether it be on a bat or at home, and it by no means, is disrespectful to boys or men to have that mentality. Anyway, just my world view. I hope you are doing well! Maybe we will see each other at the pool this summer. Heidi misses Katie!

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  4. Megan says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Toni! I agree – worldview does speak volumes into how we seek to train and raise our kids. We do see Craig as the head of our home, per biblical instruction, which by no means means he doesn’t value me as a leader and helper, but ultimately, we submit to him.
    Honestly, I’m tired of the womens rights thinking that have encouraged women to rise to the top in such a way that belittles and demeans men. Chivalry means nothing anymore and that makes me sad. We’ve trained men well. We’ve trained them not to care.
    That is a sweeping generalization, of course, but if I can do anything to teach my kids that no, girls aren’t better than boys, we all carry value in the eyes of God and should in the eyes of each other, then I will.
    πŸ™‚

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  5. Edi says:

    I hate the typical clothes for young girls – my dd is almost 11 and I generally will not buy anything that is tv, movie, music marketed…though I bought a shirt for my son a yr ago and he just wore it a couple of times when a teen at church pointed out that his tshirt was representing a rock band…I totally had no clue – it was military looking and the name didn’t quite make sense in regards to military but I didn’t think much about it πŸ™‚
    Recently I was at the grocery store and there was a young girl (maybe between 8 & 12 – I don’t remember but she was too young for the shirt she had on) wearing a tshirt that said “DITCH HIM”. What on earth?? She shouldn’t even be thinking about dating at this age.

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  6. Lisa-Jo says:

    So glad you sent me this link. What an interesting post. Yes, I have shared similar frustrations when it comes to how popular culture force-feeds our kids insane stereotypes that would catapult them into roles far beyond their years. But I will say, I would certainly take HSM over the Twilight series in a heart beat. And not because of the vampire/werewolf stuff. But rather the all consuming, death defying love that they idolize above all else in a young girl’s life. It’s enough to make me pull my hair out to see Bella ditch family and friends for passion. But worse still is her determination to sway Edward from his chaste commitment to her. She wants to be consumed; and the audience is made to want him to break down and consume her.
    I could basically write a whole novel about my frustration about the series, but I fear I may already have said enough to anger both Teams Edward and that other guy.
    ~LJ out

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  7. anna says:

    What an encouraging post! Thank you. I often pray about how to have these conversations —they come up daily—in a God honoring way.

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