Oh, I Love Posts on “Sexual Objectification”

Of course, everybody has the right to attach any sort of interpretation to their own life. Sometimes, however, it gives me pause to consider how easily people adopt weird and meaningless verbal constructions and hide behind them. Here is a recent example:

Horrible father, tragic situation, an appalling story. There can be no argument about this.

Still, what on earth does sexual objectification have to do with this? The father is a jerk precisely because he condemns his daughter’s very first attempt to present herself as a sexual being. His is an idiot because he attempted to prevent her from practicing her right to be sexual in society.

It’s like some people have memorized the idiotic mantra “sexual objectification = bad” and roll it out just because they can.

In case there are readers who haven’t seen it, here is my old post on why this whole “Oh my God, I’m sexually objectified, let’s all go crawl in a corner and die” routine is stupid.

103 thoughts on “Oh, I Love Posts on “Sexual Objectification””

  1. The father is not a jerk. He was just being honest with his daughter about how he felt; yes, he should have found a much more gentle way to speak his feelings to daughter. I applaud the father for caring enough about his daughter to take an interest in what she is wearing and to attempt to prevent her from presenting herself in inappropriate ways to the public–that’s exactly what good father’s should do for their teenager daughters.

    A 14-year-old has no “right” to be sexual in society. She can’t drive, she can’t vote, she can’t drink, she can’t even work–legally, she is not an adult, thus her rights are very limited.

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    1. “He was just being honest with his daughter about how he felt”

      – You are not serious, are you? Adults know how to control their unhealthy impulses and normally manage to avoid verbalizing them.

      “I applaud the father for caring enough about his daughter to take an interest in what she is wearing and to attempt to prevent her from presenting herself in inappropriate ways to the public–that’s exactly what good father’s should do for their teenager daughters”

      – If that’s your idea of a good father, I pity you with all my heart.

      “A 14-year-old has no “right” to be sexual in society”

      – The desire to decide when and how other people should be sexual betrays deep-seated sexual problems.

      “She can’t drive, she can’t vote, she can’t drink, she can’t even work–legally, she is not an adult, thus her rights are very limited”

      – You seriously compared sexuality with driving and voting? Gosh, you must be one hell of a frigid prude.

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      1. Now I’m pretty much of a frigid prude – 😀 – but a father calling his daughter a “whore” isn’t being honest and caring — it’s being really creepy and inappropriate. I’ll bet you’re okay with that dad who shot up his daughter’s computer because she disrespected him on Facebook.

        As for what the woman says she was wearing — miniskirts and tank tops haven’t been considered immodest in Western society since the 60s. I don’t even know if the woman had intended to “be sexual” when she dressed that way; I know that when I was fourteen the last thing on my mind when I put on a pair of shorts or a short skirt was how it would impress the boys. I was thinking that I lived in Florida and it was too hot for long pants!

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      2. “You are not serious, are you? Adults know how to control their unhealthy impulses and normally manage to avoid verbalizing them.”

        Yes, I’m being completely serious. The problem is in HOW he expressed his thoughts, not the fact that he expressed them. No, he should not have used the word “whore” but he definitely should have sat down with his daughter to discuss how she looked, the image she was presenting to the public, peer pressure/desire to fit in, etc.,

        Adults do not control their unhealthy or inappropriate impulses 100% of the time–none of us does that 100% of time, no matter how long we have been adults.

        “If that’s your idea of a good father, I pity you with all my heart.”

        I’m not surprised. You don’t have any kids.

        “The desire to decide when and how other people should be sexual betrays deep-seated sexual problems.”

        See my comment about your not having any kids.

        “You seriously compared sexuality with driving and voting? Gosh, you must be one hell of a frigid prude.”

        Not at all.

        If that’s your idea of a good father, I pity you with all my heart.

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        1. “If that’s your idea of a good father, I pity you with all my heart.”

          I’m not surprised. You don’t have any kids.”

          – I have a father, though.

          ““The desire to decide when and how other people should be sexual betrays deep-seated sexual problems.”

          See my comment about your not having any kids.”

          – You can keep repeating this completely irrelevant bit of knowledge like a broken record. I have, however, brought up a teenager all on my own, in conditions that you cannot even begin to fathom. And I did absolutely great without policing the kid or dictating what she should wear.

          I had no idea that so many deeply unhealthy people would be attracted to this topic. I’ve got to wonder how their parents bulldozed over their sexuality when they were growing up. A normal person with even a modicum of brain matter would know that parents who try to control the clothes their children wear are pathetic, ridiculous, sex-deprived freakazoids. What next? Going through the kids’ pockets and email accounts? Preventing them from getting piercings and tattoos? Controlling who they have sex with and when?

          A bunch of losers.

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        2. “but he definitely should have sat down with his daughter to discuss how she looked, the image she was presenting to the public, peer pressure/desire to fit in, etc.,”

          – The girl is FOURTEEN, not five. Have you even seen any 14-year-olds? I can just imagine the reaction of a 14-year-girl whose daddy starts offering her advice on women’s fashion choices.

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      3. Hmmm, do I wade into the frigid waters on this one? I would never call my daugther a whore regardless of what she was wearing or doing. We would discuss things though. I let her listen to this song to get an idea of how her choice of dress might affect her night out. 😉

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      4. Its not about convincing, its about awareness. Her choice may be the same but she cant cry ignorance when she gets the obvious outcome, especially at a bar.

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      5. The only thing that AC/DC would ever convince anyone to do is ROCK.

        Seriously though, TFT: you do know that this band was notorious for insane drug-fueled backstage orgies, right? And that they wrote a lot of songs about fucking?

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      6. Its not about convincing, its about awareness.

        Awareness about how she was knocking me out with those American thighs. How she told me to come but I was already there. How she was working double time on the seduction line.

        About women to the left of me and women to the right. Lock up your daughter, lock up your wife.

        About where the red hot girls keep on dancing through the night.

        About the biggest balls of all.

        If you have your kid listen to AC/DC during a talk about the birds and the bees, you are all but guaranteeing that s/he will one day put them on the stereo during sex. Same goes for GNR, Queensryche, Joan Jett, and, on rainy days, Tom Petty.

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      7. And hang on a bit here. I just checked out the lyrics to this song. First verse is about how a guy treats a woman like a whore and gets told off. Okay so now you’re steering the conversation toward whether we should blame the target of an inappropriate advance, which is what you seem to be advocating, or the perpetrator of that inappropriate advance.

        I know which side I’m on and it’s not the one with the guy hounding for sex in the dive bar.

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      8. Meh, I feel like she’d probably just roll her eyes and say “oh my GOD why do you listen to such old boring music what is that like 30 years old?” 🙂

        Or at least, that’s the reaction I get when I try to explain how awesome Joan Jett is to anybody under the age or 20 or so…

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      9. @P.rhoeas Queensryche Seriosuly? Don’t get me wrong Operation Mindcrime is an awesome album but I don’t think its a particularly appropriate as a mood setter.

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      10. @P.rhoeas Queensryche Seriosuly? Don’t get me wrong Operation Mindcrime is an awesome album but I don’t think its a particularly appropriate as a mood setter.

        Oh I can’t even remember the song, it was years ago, and I was probably very drunk. All I remember is that I asked what the cool song was and my partner said it was Queensryche and then the rest is a blur.

        Okay, so let’s replace it with Tommy James. Anybody can rock the horizontal groove to Mony Mony.

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  2. The entire approach to sex by American feminists is distorted from inception by two factors: the historical prudery in American society and the dominant role that lesbians acquired in the movement post 1970. There is nothing wrong with lesbian feminists but by nature they have no interest on developing a balanced relationship with males, which colors their proposed solutions and approach to them.

    Feminists outside the USA see their right to seduce whoever they desire whenever they so desire however frequently (or infrequently) they desire as one of the key freedoms to be won by women.

    They will take you home, be your sexual object for a night while you are theirs and send you packing with a smile the morning after. Imagine the thought!

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    1. This is exactly why I’m so uncomfortable with US feminism! I always considered sexual freedom for women to be one of the main achievements of feminism and now I keep hearing that whenever I enjoy a consensual sex act with a man of my choice, I’m a victim of something. That’s very demeaning to me!!!

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  3. “There is nothing wrong with lesbian feminists but by nature they have no interest on developing a balanced relationship with males”
    Whaaaat?
    I live around males, work with males, collaborate with males, have friendships with males, and share a society with them. Just because I am not having sex with a man at doesn’t mean I have no interest in developing a balanced relationship with men as a whole. It would be kind of foolhardy for me to not want to develop a good, respectful relationship with people who will inevitably be a part of my life, especially since I may one day have a son.
    Really, ideas of Lesbian separatism hasn’t been in vogue since my mother was my age.

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    1. Let me qualify what I meant there. Sure, you interact with males at work, but at the end of the day you don’t have to “sleep with the enemy” to quote Quentin Crisp. This certainly colors your responses to them.

      Let me illustrate: at work there are some colleagues who I don’t particularly like–of either gender–but I can easily tolerate in a working environment. If I had to marry any one of them that would be an entirely different proposition and we would have to work on mutual concerns at a much deeper level.

      In my sentence above that you quote I had in mind an intimate relationship with males, not a working relationship with males, which as you point out, you do have to develop.

      Really, ideas of Lesbian separatism hasn’t been in vogue since my mother was my age.

      I don’t choose my political ideas according to what’s in fashion. Do you change yours with the seasons?

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      1. No one has have to sleep with or marry a person to achieve a “balanced intimate relationship” with them or their gender. Sex and intimacy are not po-tay-to po-tah-to. Jesus Christ, what a stupid idea.

        Also I’m really not sure that lesbians dominate feminist discourse. That sounds like you’re extrapolating from caricatures. The fact that the Grand Feminist Issue of the day has to do with the politicization of abortion suggests to me that het women have a pretty big stake and voice in things.

        I don’t choose my political ideas according to what’s in fashion. Do you change yours with the seasons?

        Since the political landscape is in a constant state of flux could try keeping up with the times instead of living forty years in the past.

        Maybe until you are a lesbian you should stop telling lesbians what their lives and relationships are like.

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      2. What I meant by “in fashion” was, “nobody really thinks that way, and it’s not representative of the way lesbians think or act, and was always more of a caricature from the 1970s”, I.E, “Most lesbians have an interest in interacting with men, rather than existing in a fantasy all-woman commune.”
        While you single out work relationships, I also mentioned friendships and other forms of connection I have with men. I have male friends I am very close to and love very dearly, and I don’t see how not having romantic/sexual feelings for them means I have no interest in developing balanced relationships with them. How many lesbians did you interview to come to that conclusion? It’s still an emotionally intimate experience I treasure to have close man friends whom I trust implicitly. Besides, saying that lesbians aren’t interested in balanced relationships with people other than women leaves out lesbians who date trans* and nonbinary people (They do exist, and are still in their right to call themselves lesbians if they wish)

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      3. Maybe until you are a lesbian you should stop telling lesbians what their lives and relationships are like.

        You just agreed with my argument. You are saying that since I’m not a lesbian I do not know how their relationships are like. I’m saying that lesbains do not know what heterosexual intimate relationships are really like, or more precisely, even if they know, their space of solutions subconsciously contains some that are not acceptable to heterosexuals. Of course an enlightened lesbian would notice that, but sadly this does not seem to be the case among their most vocal proponents, judging from the discourse emanating from that side.

        Plus one doesnt’ need to be a lesbian to know that, by definition, they do not “sleep with the enemy”. Otherwise they would be bisexual instead of lesbians if they did.

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        1. I’m kind of lost on how we got to the lesbians here. The bad parent in this story is a guy. Bad parents who solve their sexual issues at the expense of children are the enemy.

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      4. I’m not sure what argument you think I’m agreeing with. It’s definitely not the one where you imply that lesbians are somehow screwing up feminism because they don’t sleep with men. Or the one where you imply that lesbians have shanghaied feminist discourse.

        As it turns out, I’m bisexual. I’ve had intimate and sexual relationships of all kinds within and across genders. From that perspective I have to agree with the sane people here that you do not need to have sex with someone to have an intimate relationshiop with them. Nor do you need an intimate relationship with somebody to have sex with them. I would agree that avoiding relationships with people because of arbitrary social constructions egregiously limits your ability to relate honestly to others caught within those constructions, i.e., if a lesbian avoids all contact with men then she is unlikely to have more than a very limited perspective respecting them.* But the same goes for men who have limited relationships with lesbians, with feminists, and with women in general beyond sex, which is a limitation that your posts are screaming at me. That is to say, if you really think that sexual contact is a necessary component of intimacy and understanding between genders, then it seems unlikely to me that you’ve had many relationships with people of the opposite gender that did not have a sexual component.

        *I can’t give you data because I don’t imagine such a thing is quantifiable, but I really doubt that the notion of the lesbian cloistered away from men in some lady commune is a good representation of homosexual women as an aggregate group, even limited to this particular country.

        P.S.: The gender of my sex partners is not my enemy. Assholes who try to control other people’s lives and bodies are my enemy.

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      5. I’m kind of lost on how we got to the lesbians here. The bad parent in this story is a guy. Bad parents who solve their sexual issues at the expense of children are the enemy.

        1. Sorry for perpetuating the derail.

        2. My last comment was for CC.

        3. CC tried to spin this whole shebang into something to do with feminist prudery involving lesbians who can’t relate to men, or something. I think. Nomina and I then got a little pissy about that.

        4. Done with this derail. Sorry again.

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      6. The gender of my sex partners is not my enemy. Assholes who try to control other people’s lives and bodies are my enemy.

        Good. Clearly then you are not one of the people I have in mind.

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      7. and was always more of a caricature from the 1970s

        If this had happened only then I wouldn’t be talking about it. I’m basing my opinions on contemporary happenings. Say, just a few days ago we had comments here about a man (Mike?) not being welcome in a feminist movement.

        The local feminist movement banished men about ten years ago. I wasn’t particularly active in the meetings so to me it made no big difference, but it was incredibly damaging to the organization as about half the heterosexual female members left together with the men in disgust.

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        1. Yes, I blogged a while ago about these folks who suggested banning men from a feminist site (and did it). But that had nothing to do with sexual orientation. That was a very popular post.

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  4. Isn’t calling someone a “whore” basically the textbook definition of sexual objectification, though? The phrase “you look like a whore” in this context seems to mean, “if you dress like that, the only thing you are good for is sex.” She want to be seen as a sexual *person*, in all its complexity. She want to be sexual without giving up her rights as a human being. Her father tells her that’s not possible, she has to remain pure or she’ll only be seen as a sex object, and not a person—even by him.

    People do roll out the sexual objectification accusation far too often (especially when there is a clear intent to be sexual) but this case seems to be a very good example to me.

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    1. Your post identifies some key issues. There is a rather fine line between sexual person and sexual object, as well as being sexual and being sexually objectified (in a negative way).

      You know it when you see it, but is kind or hard to define precisely.

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      1. “There is a rather fine line between sexual person and sexual object,”

        – What line? It is simple grammar. Other people are always objects of our actions. We are always subjects of our own actions. I can only be a subject from my own point of view and an object from another person’s point of view.

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      2. …and an object from another person’s point of view.

        I agree and as a consequence most of the sexual objectification resides on the mind of the objectifier, but not always entirely.

        You might choose to put yourself in that situation. Clothing is a language which can send any number of messages: I’m wealthy, I’m an intellectual, I’m a country-music-fan, I’m a soldier, I’m gay, I’m a lesbian, I’m single, I’m a policeman and not least “I’m looking to interact with you primarily sexually” (i.e. sexual object).

        The father was pointing out to his daughter (rather poorly, if I may say so) the implicit message in her clothing choice. Aside from doing so rather impolitely, I don’t think it was news to her, and in her mind the message to her friends was quite different: “you guys know I’m not a whore, so if I dress like this, it should tell you a lot about how comfortable I am with my sexuality”.

        Now I differ with mainstream feminism in that I think sexual objectification in its proper time and place is A-Ok. For example, all I have in mind when we are in the middle of a romp is the sexual pleasure of my partner and mine. This doesn’t mean in the least bit that I don’t care about my partner as a person, it is just not in my mind at that particular moment as neither is the presidential election, mowing the lawn, her job, or the sorry state of my pension fund.

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        1. “Clothing is a language which can send any number of messages”

          – These messages only exist in the mind of people seeing them. Hence, their reaction to those messages is 100% their own problem.

          “The father was pointing out to his daughter (rather poorly, if I may say so) the implicit message in her clothing choice.”

          – In this very thread, a reader shared that when she dressed this way, her only “message” was that it was hot outside. There is no meaningto any clothing choice other than the one YOU assign to it.

          “in her mind the message to her friends was quite different: “you guys know I’m not a whore, so if I dress like this, it should tell you a lot about how comfortable I am with my sexuality”.”

          – Or not. Who can possibly know that about another person?

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      3. These messages only exist in the mind of people seeing them.

        This is just not correct. A police uniform sends the message “I’m a cop” and said message exists very much on both sides.

        The fact that the language of clothing is ambiguous and imprecise (like in the case of “I’m hot”) does not imply that it doesn’t exist.

        There is no meaningto any clothing choice other than the one YOU assign to it.

        See the police uniform example above. The message can and does exist on both sides at least in some cases, which is exactly why people often (though not always) choose to dress in ways that describe their personality.

        You can argue that reading whore in a top and short skirt is improper interpretation of the signal or even that in this case she meant no signal, but claiming the language is not there is absurd.

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      4. I would argue (speaking as a male who has used such language in the past before becoming a feminist) that one of the key indicators of crossing the this line is the use of certain words: “slut” “whore” “cunt”, possibly “bitch.”

        Clarissa: I think there’s a disconnect in terms here. “Sexual objectification” as it’s being used here doesn’t just mean “seeing in a sexual way.” Imagine seeing somebody who you think of as highly sexual. Then imagine that this sexuality degrades them so much in your eyes that nothing else they say, think or do has any value. Their only purpose is to have sex with you (or for you to fantasize about), and then go away so they don’t dirty you by their presence. They’re no better than an animate blow-up doll. That’s objectification at it’s extreme.

        In practice, most people who engage in this kind of thinking operate on a sliding scale; the more sexual a woman is, the more they dehumanize them. This in turn cause people to try to control a woman’s dress, behavior, etc., because “you wouldn’t want to be a whore!”

        Jarmila’s comment “a 14-year old has no right…” illustrates this perfectly.

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    2. “Isn’t calling someone a “whore” basically the textbook definition of sexual objectification, though? The phrase “you look like a whore” in this context seems to mean, “if you dress like that, the only thing you are good for is sex.””

      – ??? Isn’t it obvious that the father’s message here is “Stop doing this immediately because I do not approve”? He is obviously trying to prevent her from being sexual. How can you “objectify” somebody sexually while telling them not to be sexual?

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      1. “Isn’t it obvious that the father’s message here is ‘Stop doing this immediately because I do not approve’?”

        Of course, but he just didn’t just not approve, he called her a whore. If he had said “I understand you are trying to expresses yourself, but by dressing that way you might give people the wrong idea” then I would agree, but the word “whore” is so loaded I can’t imagine that’s all he meant. He was telling her people would see her, dressed like that, as nothing more than a sex object. Without actually being there, it’s possible that he was only speculating on other’s reactions—telling her she would objectified without actually doing it—but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was objectifying her to some extent himself. I’ve heard plenty of men admit that they feel sexual attraction toward their daughters when they dress a certain way. Objectification is so ingrained in the culture that many (possibly even most) men will assume a woman’s sexual availability, start fantasizing about her, and completely dehumanize her in their minds, only because she’s dressed provocatively.

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      2. Just to clarify a bit further; I’m not disagreeing, I’m saying you’re underestimating how horrible this father’s behavior is. He’s sexualizing his daughter and trying to suppress her sexuality at the same time.

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      3. Got it; In that case, I think we’re all (except for the people defending the father’s behavior, what is wrong with all of you?) saying the same thing using slightly different words.

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    3. While the father’s choice of words does not necessarily indicate that he himself is sexually objectifying his daughter, he is definitely very concerned with other people sexually objectifying her. Which suggests a highly paternalistic view of his daughter as his sexual property, in the sense that he considers her sexual availability as his to control as he sees fit.

      There’s nothing wrong with a parent encouraging their teenager to practice sex safely and responsibly. Teenagers are human beings just coming into sexual maturity. If they really want to they are going to fuck, and there is nothing you can do about it but try and raise them to be aware enough of their bodies and with enough respect for themselves not to get pregnant, get a disease, or fuck just to be popular. There is something backwards, creepy, and oppressive about a parent trying to coerce their child into a particular form of sexual expression or practice.

      However you feel about that, whether you agree or not, a father called his daughter a whore. That is straight up emotional abuse. Everybody defending this slime should quit it. You’re only getting slimy from it.

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      1. Thank you, P. Rhoeas, for bringing a voice of reason to this. Because I’m getting very annoying with this whole “His choice of words was not very good but he’s a great, caring parent.”

        No.

        He is the opposite of a good parent. How can anybody justify this at any level? What’s wrong with people?

        As somebody who has experienced this, I can tell everybody: THIS IS NOT OK.

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  5. He shouldn’t have said that and he should apologize to her.
    Couldn’t he simply forbid her to wear this type of clothes ? Or not buy them in the first place ?

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    1. “Couldn’t he simply forbid her to wear this type of clothes ? Or not buy them in the first place ?”

      – I hope that this, at least, is not serious. Normal parents do NOT decide what their children wear. Stupid freaks do.

      I’m getting kind of spooked by these comments.

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  6. “The girl is FOURTEEN, not five. Have you even seen any 14-year-olds? I can just imagine the reaction of a 14-year-girl whose daddy starts offering her advice on women’s fashion choices.”

    Yeah, so I guess 14-year-old’s are now ready to run the world just like Beyonce sings about in her song. I’ve seen plenty of teens that age–which is exactly why I know and understand they need guidance, lots of it.

    If her father were to sit her down and frame the issue correctly–“What do you think the boys you like will think of you in that outfit?”; “What do you think your favorite teacher would say if she saw you?”; “Do you think such-and-such (insert girl’s favorite singer) dresses that way?”

    Good parents will find a way to connect with their kids, and if they don’t connect the first time they don’t give up trying.

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    1. So, let me get this straight. “Letting” fourteen year olds decide their own fashion means we have to let them run the world? What?

      I suppose this makes sense if you think that a fourteen year old can control what every person in her life thinks about her.

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      1. “I suppose this makes sense if you think that a fourteen year old can control what every person in her life thinks about her.”

        – And does to her. We are a small distance away from victim-blaming here right now.

        “Of course, you were assaulted. What did you expect, dressed this way.” Personal experience, once again.

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    2. “If her father were to sit her down and frame the issue correctly–”What do you think the boys you like will think of you in that outfit?”; “What do you think your favorite teacher would say if she saw you?”; “Do you think such-and-such (insert girl’s favorite singer) dresses that way?””

      – That’s horrible vile manipulation you are describing. And a normal teenager sees through it in 2 seconds and never respects such a father again.

      For the especially gifted readers: I’m saying this from vast personal experience with precisely this sort of manipulation.

      “Yeah, so I guess 14-year-old’s are now ready to run the world just like Beyonce sings about in her song.”

      – It would be nice if people could concentrate on the topic. How is Beyonce relevant to any of this? Is she a 14-year-old? Or a father?

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    3. //Good parents will find a way to connect with their kids

      Agree. But asking those questions doesn’t seem to be the best way. The questions do sound bad, that’s why people strongly react to them. Imo the key is not losing the connection in the 1st place by being loving, respectful & honest (all 3) to your kid since birth.

      Btw, her favorite singer most probably dresses in a MUCH more attention grabbing & open outfits since it’s a part of her job.

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    1. Guessed wrong. I was forced to get married against my will because I was “such a whore.” 😦 This is precisely why the comments that this is a GOOD father make me so livid. I was that girl and I know how much this destroys you. Just destroys you.

      I hate people who defend this. (I don’t mean you because I know you don’t defend this.)

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  7. “I have a father, though.”

    Did he suggest that you start practicing your fellatio technique when you were 14? Did he suggest that you starting pole dancing at 12 in preparation for the day you would one day be married? No, I don’t think so.

    “You can keep repeating this completely irrelevant bit of knowledge like a broken record.”

    Sure I can. You have 5 degree and the best argument you can come up with is “you’re a prude” and “I pity you,” as if being pithy is the same thing as being logical or correct.

    “I have, however, brought up a teenager all on my own, in conditions that you cannot even begin to fathom.”

    You have no idea what I can and can’t fathom. And I’m sure that with that teenager you didn’t start suggesting that she practice being sexual the first time he/she asked where babies come from.

    Did you ever tell that teenager, “hey, it’s cold outside, you might want to try on a thicker jacket or put a sweater on underneath that?” Did you ever make any suggestions about anything at all or were you just like “hey, whatever will be will be”.

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    1. “Did he suggest that you start practicing your fellatio technique when you were 14? Did he suggest that you starting pole dancing at 12 in preparation for the day you would one day be married? ”

      – Could we possibly keep everybody’s weaird sexual fantasies off this thread. I can open a thread for sexual fantasies, if there is a need.

      “And I’m sure that with that teenager you didn’t start suggesting that she practice being sexual the first time he/she asked where babies come from”

      – Could you concentrate on the topic of the discussion? I did not make disparaging comments about her appearance. Ever.

      “Did you ever tell that teenager, “hey, it’s cold outside, you might want to try on a thicker jacket or put a sweater on underneath that?” ”

      – Absolutely NOT. This is why she grew up to be a powerful, independent and self-sufficient woman.

      “Did you ever make any suggestions about anything at all or were you just like “hey, whatever will be will be”.”

      – We are not discussing just anything. We are discussing a very specific issue: to which extent should parents have a say in their teenage children’s wardrobe choices.

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    2. Did he suggest that you start practicing your fellatio technique when you were 14? Did he suggest that you starting pole dancing at 12 in preparation for the day you would one day be married? No, I don’t think so.

      Ugh I just read this and jack you are one creepy dude if this is where your mind goes when people have a problem with a guy calling his daughter a whore.

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  8. These comments are horrifying! God!
    > I would speak with her and ask her ‘what would your favorite teacher think’
    First off, teenagers aren’t stupid. They don’t dress provocatively because they’re confused by peer pressure or the media or don’t understand social norms they dress provocatively – just like the rest of us – to look attractive and sexy and get attention.
    You don’t need to warn them about getting attention from males – that’s exactly what they want. If her teacher would judge her for wearing a sexy outfit, that’s the teacher’s problem for being a judgmental prude, not the daughter’s problem.

    In general I find it really appalling how incapable many of you seem to think fourteen year olds are of making their own decisions.

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    1. GREAT comment, B&B!!

      I’ve started to lose faith in humanity here but now I’m getting it back.

      Do people not remember themselves at 14? How did you react when your parents tried to preach to you about your clothes? Listened with interest and exclaimed “Thank you, Dad, for helping me realize that I only wear this skirt because of peer pressure! I will now go put on a modest dress”? Really?

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  9. //The problem is that preaching to teenagers always has the exact opposite effect. Because they are teenagers.

    Imo preaching to anybody, who is respecting his(her)self, doesn’t work regardless of age. However, there is a huge difference between preaching & sharing your opinion. Sharing your pov on any topic, even including clothes 😉 , in a normal way, not “you, whore”, shouldn’t have “the exact opposite effect” in a good, respectful relationship and I feel like the distinction is not stressed enough in our discussion. Many teenagers aren’t the picture of a teenager that seems to be implied here – irrational, doing the opposite to “rebel” without using their brains, hormonal in a unique way (do hormones disappear at 25 or 30?), etc. Ironically, it’s the same picture of a teenager presented in pop culture. Not the picture of thinking before acting, taking responsibility, understanding your limits which lets not make *big* stupid mistakes, having a great relationship with parents in which even if you understand (& are already supposed to understand) their fears & interests & views you don’t share, you still think on them seriously, etc.

    You complained several times about students being serious, not partying, avoiding risks too much. Also in other posts described several great, *mature* students. Most were teens not long ago or are still in their teens. Would they 1-2-3- years ago do the opposite their parents tell them out of spite, without considering that may be, just may be there could be a grain of truth somewhere? Part of being mature is not having this opposite effect.

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    1. This isn’t about spite. This is about the completely normal process that every teenager absolutely has to undergo to develop into a normal adult. The entire point of the teenager rebellion is to find an identity of one’s own. And the way to do it is to start with the very first step: rejecting the experience of the parents. They get over it eventually but this step is crucial.

      Let’s remember that somebody who is “a good girl or boy” at 14, 15, 16 has a very miserable adulthood ahead of them.

      Parents should get seriously worried if a 14-year-old asks for their advice on either clothes or sex. SERIOUSLY worried. These are kids who will have extreme trouble developing a happy sexual identity well into adulthood.

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      1. //Let’s remember that somebody who is “a good girl or boy” at 14, 15, 16 has a very miserable adulthood ahead of them.

        Probably the trick is how one defines “a good girl or boy”. Using 1 definition, you’re absolutely right. Using another – not. F.e. at my high school I saw several young men, who were studying hard, dated & went with friends too, but didn’t do “teenage stuff” like drinking a lot or doing something very stupid, etc. They also didn’t seem at all to be the kind to “rebel” (as I defined previously, I don’t know whether they talked with parents on sex in [un]healthy way). At least one couple is still together & now happily living together after both graduated from university, so it seemed to work for them.

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      2. Forgot to add that their parents didn’t see dating at 16-17 as “rebelling”, which certainly helped in both (probably) not needing to rebel and still grow up. I would guess that parents controlling every step tend to get “rejecting the experience of the parents” result, while parents who give much more freedom get “I’ve been developing my own perspective since childhood and continue now, which doesn’t make me suddenly see every word you say as Completely Wrong, Not Listening Mode (though still very much listening because do the opposite and not what I really would think), La-La”

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        1. Once again, teenage rebellion is a very positive phenomenon. A normal parent is happy to see it occur and worries when it doesn’t. Of course, that only happens to parents who don’t want their kids to be convenient little puppets but actual individuals.

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  10. All right, then fathers shouldn’t say anything about their children’s choices no matter what. Treat children like adults, okay ? Of course, it means that they have adult’s responsibilities and as soon as they turn 18- they get out of the house since they (the children) do not want their parents’ guidance, advice or whatever.

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      1. And I already stated that he shouldn’t have done that and that he should apologize to her. I think there is a middle ground between telling a daughter she is dressing like a whore and not giving a shit.

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        1. Who suggested “not giving a shit”? All we are talking about is letting a 14-year-old decide which skirt she wants to wear, that’s all. And giving a person that choice comes precisely from caring about them. Dictating one’s clothing choices is so far from caring that you need a spaceship to get there.

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      2. @Clarissa

        Nope, not pregnancy but objectification. For whatever reason some people think they can dress any way they want and only attract attention from the people they want. The POINT of the song was that you open the door to a good many other people. I see that was missed by most on here, though I am not surprised. 😦

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    1. Children who are treated with respect and allowed to learn to make their own choices are precisely the ones who become independent and self-sufficient early. The mollycoddled ones are incapable of growing up because their development was stunted. Sheesh, if she can’t choose her own skirt at 14, how do you expect her to choose a career??

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      1. I know a woman (a colleague of mine) who did not learn the basic facts of reproduction until she was in college. Her parents were very closed mouthed about sex, and she was a loner with no friends who might have explained it to her.

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        1. “I know a woman (a colleague of mine) who did not learn the basic facts of reproduction until she was in college. Her parents were very closed mouthed about sex, and she was a loner with no friends who might have explained it to her.”

          – This is very tragic. Sounds like a story that came straight from my country. 😦

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  11. 14 year-old daughter becomes pregnant. Will she pay for abortion or support a baby herself? Will good parents leave her alone: “you take care of that kid, you’re adult now, go to shelter”? Or a son/ daughter is ill with a serious STD – who’ll pay for treatment since many teens don’t earn much? How far in your opinion “independent and self-sufficient early” go?

    If parents are stuck with results and are responsible by law to care for their own children until they’re 18, they can explain their pov.

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    1. Or is it implied that
      a) a good parent raises a daughter which won’t choose to have sex, if she can’t deal with potential results herself
      OR/AND
      b) this happens only to people, who don’t know how to use birth control correctly. And the chance is small enough to be ignored.

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    2. A way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STDs is to educate a kid about contraception. Of course, that needs to happen way before they turn 14.

      There is absoutely no correlation between mini-skirts and STDs. 🙂

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  12. “men will assume a woman’s sexual availability, start fantasizing about her, and completely dehumanize her in their minds”

    – This is very confusing. What does anybody’s availability have to do with fantasizing about them? Do you know how many people fantasize about Brad Pitt? The absolute majority of them don’t think he is available for sex with them. And how is fantasizing about a person dehumanizing??? Isn’t it just the opposite of that? Or are you suggesting that all people who fantasize are zoophiles?? I mean, if you are fantasized about by somebody who is not into animals, then how can that possibly be “dehumanizing”?

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    1. Your comment are amazing , and always what annoyed me about american culture ( The argument that She causing THE EVIL or causing someone to fantasize and causing to sexualize ) Most idiotic nonsense I’ve ever heard , there are man that have fantasy a completely modest completely cover woman . Hell in Japan Man prefer modesty for sexual purity fantasy and are bloody terrified of sexually aggressive woman and won’t touch them with a 50 ft pole . It the inverse of what we imagine in America . People can form sexual fantasy about anything , it has nothing to do with the subject , we just use that junk as an excuse to demonize woman based on are supposed christian values.

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  13. “The POINT of the song was that you open the door to a good many other people. I see that was missed by most on here, though I am not surprised. ”

    – I’m just not into this kind of music.

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  14. ” Imagine seeing somebody who you think of as highly sexual. Then imagine that this sexuality degrades them so much in your eyes that nothing else they say, think or do has any value. Their only purpose is to have sex with you (or for you to fantasize about), and then go away so they don’t dirty you by their presence. They’re no better than an animate blow-up doll. That’s objectification at it’s extreme.”

    – OK, lotsa stereotypes here. 🙂 If the sex is good, nobody will go away. In fact, in this sex-starved and completely sexually inept culture (sorry, I’ve got to be honest), if you are even marginally not horrible in bed, you will be worshiped as a goddess and every word you choose to utter will be imbibed like the message of a prophet.

    What you are describing is the image of sex that a very sexually insecure and inexperienced person has. Such a person sees being desired as inherently dangerous and “degrading” for the simple reason that s/he has no idea how to respond to it. The “don’t dirty me with your presence” is what such a person projects ONTO the desiring individuals.

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  15. “For whatever reason some people think they can dress any way they want and only attract attention from the people they want. ”

    – I don’t understand what you mean by “attract attention.” That “the wrong people” will notice one? Why should anybody care? That they will engage in unwelcome actions? That makes them criminals.

    I think that people should dress any way they like and everybody else should deal with their reactions, interpretations and readings of their clothes.

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    1. I think that people should dress any way they like and everybody else should deal with their reactions, interpretations and readings of their clothes.(Clarissa)

      Of course you can, the point is dont be surprised when you get certain outcomes. Dress like a slob for a job interview(your right), dont be surprised if you dont get hired. Dress sexually provocative, dont be surprised if you get sexually charged comments from strangers. In a perfect world this wouldnt happen but as we both know this isnt a perfect world nor will it ever be. Informing your child that her/his choice of dress could have negative outcomes is a smart thing to do. It is neither abusive nor controlling, it is loving. Ignoring her/his choice of dress and its possible negative outcomes is being an absent parent(imo). Calling your daughter or son a whore or any other demeaning word is very unloving and abusive.

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      1. Once again, at 14? These people don’t live on a deserted island, I assume. There is television, they go outside from time to time. And a 14yo needs an explanation that you might get sexually-charged comments when you go outside?

        “Informing your child that her/his choice of dress could have negative outcomes is a smart thing to do. It is neither abusive nor controlling, it is loving. Ignoring her/his choice of dress and its possible negative outcomes is being an absent parent(imo). ”

        – Which negative outcomes exactly? Sexually charged comments? What’s so negative about that outcome?

        I can also say from personal experience that one can dress like a total nun and still get tons of such comments. So it isn’t like one can avoid them by choosing a style of dress.

        The only consequence of opining on a teenager’s clothing that I can imagine is losing all connection with a teenager and becoming a boring, preachy adult in their eyes. Which positive purpose that serves is a mystery to me.

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    2. /I can also say from personal experience that one can dress like a total nun and still get tons of such comments.

      Where can such happen? May be in a bar with lots of drunk men, yes, but in other places?!

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      1. “Where can such happen? May be in a bar with lots of drunk men, yes, but in other places?!”

        – 🙂 How about a university campus, a grocery store, a post-office, a bus (which is not going to a bar, but might be passing by a bar without stopping). These are my own most recent examples.

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  16. Yeah, there is such a thing as inter-subjective relating, which is the best way, in my view, to relate to a family member. Sure, sure, that sounds odd grammatically — subject to subject– but philosophically, it acknowledges the double dimension of our humanity. We are both subject and object, but we do well to relate to each other as a subject to another subject.

    Here is an extract concerning Buber’s views on the topic:

    “According to Buber, human beings may adopt two attitudes toward the world: I-Thou or I-It. I-Thou is a relation of subject-to-subject, while I-It is a relation of subject-to-object. In the I-Thou relationship, human beings are aware of each oher as having a unity of being. In the I-Thou relationship, human beings do not perceive each other as consisting of specific, isolated qualities, but engage in a dialogue involving each other’s whole being. In the I-It relationship, on the other hand, human beings perceive each other as consisting of specific, isolated qualities, and view themselves as part of a world which consists of things. I-Thou is a relationship of mutuality and reciprocity, while I-It is a relationship of separateness and detachment.”
    http://www.angelfire.com/md2/timewarp/buber.html

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  17. Speaking of clothing and policing teenagers’ wardrobes, Clarissa, you’ll get a kick out of this ridiculous story about schools banning dresses that are deemed too “sexy” for girls to wear to prom:
    http://shine.yahoo.com/fashion/prom-dress-rules-high-schools-ban-sexy-gowns-182000932.html?fb_action_ids=3248613928298%2C10150613481452203%2C10150701907365699%2C3330224210998%2C10150761834156101&fb_action_types=news.reads&fb_source=other_multiline&code=AQCmYVLjU6-wkw5CmNPowfI8u3TQKLMJDN9HHnnLIfgBRmuKZn4g73Azrdpq-POnHozkje2u1GalKnsYfFtAqkglETllIfLMcv4JZTPSxHVXMFKz8Ard7HyO_GEaGVIDynvpTREk9ztody9OXwtMGDFmRo-_3tYHH6E0IdJGtaYlnGKSxkF0Gitnv6Zp-Wlqmrc#_=_

    They even have a measuring tape ready for teachers to measure the students’ skirts to see if they meet protocol. Blech.

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    1. //Typical prom dress fails include gowns that are shorter than three inches above the knee, have low backs, are sheer, or have thigh-bearing slits.

      I checked and 3 in = 7.6 cm . Seems too prudish to me. I even measured it on my own body and if you’ve not short legs, it’s a quite long dress. In FSU in my mother’s youth there was a fashion for shorter dresses!

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    2. Oh, welcome back to a Soviet school! We were dragged to the principal’s office for wearing ear-rings and bracelets. And we all bunched our skirts at the waist to make them shorter. At the end of the school day, the skirts would get unbunched and we’d return home looking very modest. 🙂 Parents constantly wondered why skirts were so crumpled on top.

      My mother told me about tricks that she used to make her very short dresses seem longer when she was around her father. And then I used the same tricks with my parents.

      I wish people remembered their own youth when they did such things.

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  18. Telling someone they look like a whore is NOT the same as calling them a whore.
    I cannot imagine doing either, but they are definitely not the same. This kind of imprecision is distressing when people are having a discussion on a serious topic.

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  19. I really wish the phrase ‘sexual objectification’ weren’t so overused, because it detracts from the biggest problems.

    It’s not to say that there aren’t problems with his interactions with his daughter – there are, for more than one reason – but it’s not sexual objectification. He’s not objectifying his daughter, nor treating her like a sexual object. Phrasing and wording is very important when trying to get ones point across.

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