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Thursday, Oct 02, 2014

Debate Sparked Over Mom's 'Slut-Shaming' Blog Post

September 7, 2013|10:15 am

A Texas mother, who is also a director of women's ministry for a Presbyterian church, sparked an Internet debate this week after publishing a blog post directed toward teenage girls who share suggestive photos of themselves on social media sites.

In her blog post, "FYI (if you're a teenage girl)," Kimberly Hall said she and her family recently sat down together to view some photos from this summer that had been posted online. While browsing through the social media sites, she became concerned after seeing some "sexy selfie" photos shared by the female friends of her teenage boys.

"If you are friends with a Hall boy on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, then you are friends with the whole Hall family," she wrote. "Please know that we genuinely like staying connected with you this way! We enjoy seeing things through your unique and colorful lens – you are insightful, and often very, very funny. Which is what makes your latest self-portrait so extremely unfortunate."

Posts from the girls in question have been blocked, wrote Hall, who says there is a "zero tolerance policy" in her home for such images.

"I know that sounds so old-school, but we are hoping to raise men with a strong moral compass, and men of integrity don't linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls," wrote Hall. "Every day I pray for the women my boys will love. I hope they will be drawn to real beauties, the kind of women who will leave them better people in the end. I also pray that my sons will be worthy of this kind of woman, that they will be patient – and act honorably – while they wait for her."

More than 700 comments have been left on Hall's blog post as of Saturday morning, though she shut down the comments section because there were too many to moderate. Many of the commenters expressed their agreement with Hall's perspective and thanked her for writing the post. Many other Internet users, however, have also accused her of upholding a double-standard and have bashed certain aspects of her parenting.

Mommyish blogger Koa Beck, as well as a number of bloggers and people who commented on Hall's post, criticized Hall for attaching to her post a picture of her sons posing in their bathing suits at the beach.

"The real issue here is sexist perception and the fact that we've culturally deemed a young girl in pajamas as innately salacious, but young men in bathing suits showing off their bods is just a wholesome PG time for all," wrote Beck.

Hall has since reposted the article with different photos of her family, and thanked those who helped reveal her "grave lack of discernment, considering the topic."

Some bloggers have also suggested that Hall should focus more on raising her sons to be responsible for their own thoughts and actions instead of "slut-shaming" the girls who posted the photos.

"It is not my job to hide [my children's] eyes from every scantily clad girl in the world. It is, however, my job to teach them how to view a woman – no matter what she is wearing," wrote Beth, a blogging mother and author of the Domestic Spaz blog. "It seems to me that Mrs. Hall from aforementioned blog needs to spend a little less time shaming teenage girls and a little more time teaching her own young sons that all girls and women, regardless of her minimal dress or decision to post a selfie on Instagram, deserve their respect and good manners."

Another blogger, Erin Petron Gosser, defends Hall and her message. Despite what many are claiming, Gosser says Hall did nothing wrong by telling young women who post suggestive photos that they are poorly representing themselves.

"If this post was coming from a potential employer, it wouldn't be labeled 'slut shaming,'" wrote Gosser. "It would be labeled 'common sense' and 'professionalism.' If you think a teenage girl is too young to consider professionalism, then she's probably too young to be uploading suggestive photos."

Gosser suggests people might have viewed Hall's post if she hadn't posted the photo of her sons on the beach or if it weren't so obvious that she works in ministry.

Roy Baldwin, director of parenting and youth for Focus on the Family, told CP his initial response to Hall's blog post was that it seems she is a "momma bear" who was protecting her children.

"I saw a mom just concerned about her kids, her boys, and the kind of influences they're being bombarded with," he said.

He says he doesn't believe her intention was to shame the girls, though he did say it is important for parents to focus on teaching their own children to take responsibility. In Proverbs 4:23 a father tells his son to, "above all else, guard your heart," and Baldwin says that verse suggests that parents should try to use their influence to guide their teenage children into making good choices for themselves.

Baldwin, who has three children, says it is important for parents to let their teens start building their own faith and guarding their own hearts. It is his responsibility to intervene somehow if his child is making unhealthy choices or engaging in inappropriate behavior, he says, but what that looks like could vary from one parent to another.

"At the end of the day, our ultimate responsibility as parents is one day we have to stand before the Lord and give account for how we raised our kids," he said.

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/debate-sparked-over-moms-slut-shaming-blog-post-103994/