Rant. Not safe for work. Or children. Or not.

kayakwoman1960Sexting. Y’all know what that is, right? Just in case there is anyone who doesn’t, it is the act of sending a revealing photo of yourself to someone else via a text message. Don’t worry, I will never sext you. I am too old and saggy and about the one thing that my otherwise wonderful iPhone won’t let me do is send pictures via a text message.

Sexting is something that some teenage girls do. They send a sext to their boyfriend and then a couple days later, the happy couple has a fight and the boyfriend gets back at the girl by forwarding the sext to everybody in his phone’s contact list. And all of those wonderful honor-student-good-citizen-award-winning folks tease the girl unmercifully. You know, all of our good kids who are going to Harvard someday. And then parents and school officials get involved. And maybe they should get involved in some way but you don’t get to pick your parents and you don’t often get to pick your school officials and what the heck is a blasted “official” anyway? And things blow up and the upshot is that the boy ends up being on the sexual offender registry for life (?) and the girl turns into a pariah and ends up committing suicide (extrapolating here, but apparently some girls have done that).

Okay. What is wrong with this blasted picture. So many girls *still* lack any kind of self-confidence when they hit their teens. Everybody is after them to perform in one way or another. Be a good girl, don’t go out with boys until you are 16 (say what?). No, you can’t a have navel piercing (not to mention the de rigueur three ear piercings). Get good grades so you can apply to all the top colleges and get admitted with a free-ride scholarship. Yeek! These girls are remembering just a couple years ago, when they were riding their bikes all over the neighborhood pretending they were riding beautiful horses through the Great Plains with the Shoshones or whoever. And looking ahead to living the American Dream with that 13-year-old with the Beatle haircut. Confused? Sigh.

Should our children be sending porno-type pictures of themselves around the internet? No, no, no, no… Should our CHILDREN be penalized for the rest of their lives for sending porno-type pictures of themselves around internet? No, no, no, no…

That photo is of me when I was six and I was walking on Fin Family Moominbeach. I owned the world at that age. As a young teenager, not so much. My self confidence was low in those years. I wonder if I would have sexted if the technology had existed then. I’d like to think not but who knows? I am glad that the only thing I could do in those days was dance in front of my own bedroom mirror and wait for my so-called boyfriend or, really, anyone to call me.

Don’t get me wrong. My life is good and my teenage years may have been hard and angsty but I was largely okay (and yes, I did have friends!) and then I ended up with female children and *they* don’t seem to seem to have some of these issues. I can only partially credit myself. Family and friends and our youth theatre guild helped me so much with this stuff.

I do not think that this sexting thing should be taken quite so seriously. I think that many of these children (and that is what they are) are experimenting. Of COURSE it is not a good thing to sext oneself to your boyfriend and of COURSE it is bad for the boyfriend to forward the sext. Is any of that a criminal act? NOOOOOOO! Most of these kids will grow up. They’ll go to college and beyond and they will eventually regret whatever they did when they were young. If we give them half a chance.

3 Responses to “Rant. Not safe for work. Or children. Or not.”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I agree. We’ve all done stupid stuff, me included. Yet I’m now an upstanding (aka boring) member of my community. Not much excitement going on around here!

  2. isa Says:

    Go mom. You know one thing you did right? Mouse and I weren’t bullied about our appearances (except for maybe the time dad told some well-meaning family member that I wanted make-up for Christmas).

  3. isa Says:

    Also, it makes me mad that the minute teenage girls express any sexuality they start to be accused of misbehavior, when really teenage boys have been allowed to “express” theirs by harassing teenage girls and scratching themselves for eons.