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What We Taught Our Boys About Girls Like Miley Cyrus

Girls who provocatively showcase their wares on TV are not respecting themselves and it is not respectful to gawk at them.

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

August 28, 2013 - 9:00 am
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We were those parents — the ones who “sheltered” their kids from much of pop culture as they grew up. Though we didn’t go to the extreme of banishing the television from our home altogether, we strictly controlled the entertainment that we allowed them to see when they were young. Our kids “missed out” on the Disney Channel, the Cartoon Network, and other stations aimed at the younger demographic. We carefully read family movie reviews, not content to rely on the MPAA ratings, and screened the movies accordingly. Our kids did watch some PBS shows, like Barney & Friends and Lamb Chop’s Play-Along, as well as videos that we carefully selected. But we were so crazy-strict that we didn’t even let our kids watch the Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake Super Bowl halftime show!

I know. We are so backward and old-fashioned and we deprived our children of a “normal” childhood.

One recurring problem was that we enjoyed watching sports as a family — the Indians, the Browns, the Cavs. We are true Cleveland sports fans and kept cable around so we could catch all of the games. We had no problem with the games themselves, but oh, my…those commercials! We could count on at least 2.5 ads an hour for male-enhancement products during a game and everything from hamburgers to beer being peddled in ads with scantily clad young women flaunting their sexuality to entice viewers to buy a product that usually had no sexual attributes (Danica Patrick pushing Go Daddy web hosting, for example).

We decided that we wanted to allow the good things viewing sports could offer but had concerns about our sweet, impressionable boys being bombarded with sexual images. Our Christian faith teaches the value of modesty (I Peter 3:3-4, 1 Timothy 2:9-10)  and that lust is a sin (Matthew 5:28). Our job was not only to protect our kids from exposure to these things when they were young and impressionable, but also to prepare them for a world in which modesty and purity of the mind are thought of as antiquated notions. After all, the culture teaches that lust is good — it should be indulged and even celebrated. But I reject the argument that we should celebrate the beauty of sexuality and the human body by parading it around in sexually exploitative ways. In contrast, human sexuality is right and good and blessed by God when it is enjoyed within the confines of marriage — not when it’s simulated on the world stage with a foam finger or used to sell hamburgers in a bikini.

So we taught our boys to look away — to avert their eyes whenever a scantily clad girl, intent on sexually enticing viewers, flashed on the screen. We explained that girls who provocatively showcased their wares on TV were not respecting themselves and that it is not respectful to gawk at them. We did not want them desensitized to our hyper-sexualized culture at a young age and wanted them to understand that what seemed common and normal on TV is wrong.

Prudish? Legalistic? Old-fashioned? Maybe. But it was important to us that our boys understood the incredible worth and dignity of women and that they grew up to be men who treated women with the respect they deserve — women who are fellow image-bearers of the God of the universe! We would not approve of the culture’s cheapening and prostituting of women in our home and in the minds of our precious boys. And we want them to someday be dads who cherish and protect their daughters. Any father who celebrates or condones his daughter engaging in behavior that encourages men to have perverse sexual thoughts about his little girl is a bad father.

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Top Rated Comments   
old-fashioned and prudish?

Well, "prude" mocks "prudent" which is an "old-fashioned" word for "wise", so it is good to be a "prude". That is not "old fashioned", but timeless.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
While it was interesting to hear your idea of a Christian upbringing for your children, did you really think the world needed another article about Miley Cyrus? While some might call twerking "art," this performance was mostly a publicity stunt to upstage Gaga and get Miley noticed. The conservative media overreacted in predictable fashion, so that even the many of us who didn't watch the VMAs couldn't avoid knowing exactly what the former Disney star did there. Miley's motto seems to be: "I don't care what you say about me, just get my name right." Thanks to articles like this, her Q Score is through the roof.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If I do my job right, I hope to end up where you are. We are given many gifts in this world, and not everyone makes the right choices with theirs.

And I hope never to actually know what the word twerk means.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (47)
All Comments   (47)
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We explained that girls who provocatively showcased their wares on TV were not respecting themselves and that it is not respectful to gawk at them.

I agree with the first point, but not the second. Skanks like that deserve no respect, so it's irrelevant whether one gawks at them or not (I wouldn't, because they are simply annoying and pathetic).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's not "yet" a term in today's vocabulary, but perhaps we should add "self slutification."

Self slutification: the intentional and often public process of presenting and/or turning oneself into what is often perceived as being a slovenly woman.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To see what's sexy and what's not, juxtapose Claudette Colbert's attire in It Happened One Night beside that photo of Cyrus twerking away. Nuff said.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Do you think Miley got the procedure on her tongue done, the detachment of ligament underneath to allow less restriction of movement, and is just showing it off by CONSTANTLY sticking it out? It's freakish behavior that...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think if she was genuinely sexy and not as freakish she would've gotten a lot less press.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think that averting the eyes is a good step. However, if you really want to overcome lust or help others in doing this, you need to know what you are dealing with.

This may help: http://www.overcoming-lust.com/articles/understanding-lust/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nobody's lusting from that performance. I doubt many men found it prurient or arousing. Maybe a baboon would get some ideas but no sentient being would want in on that action.

The performance was about in-your-face decadence and was intentionally unappealing. If anything, it was a major "turn-off."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I grew up a bit rougher, and certainly knew a lot in junior high, by high school most had gone on to more fun things, all over the place all the time.

Actually this is a good time to discuss bullying. You might have noted that the stories, even those ending in suicide have not really gotten traction. The reason is simply that the girlie-girls behave in a very extrovert manner it was often caught on tape. What our cluckers called bullying was a unified response again a violation of community standards.

In this list and elsewhere bullying in the shape of community action is called for, and how is that any different?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Unfortunate choice of words in "bullying," don't you think? That's going to evoke visceral reactions that may leave your message lost in the dust.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You forgot to tell us several things about yourself and how you raise(d) your family
1. Do you submit to your husband (give him headship in his home)
2. Did you teach your boys to expect that their wives would submit to your sons.
3. Your son is engaged. Will his future wife submit to him?

Based on your Terminator mention I suspect that instead of being a more Christian parents, you are in fact more likely helicopter parents.

real manhood means respecting, valuing — and even protecting — women

OK. But it also means expecting that women obey their Biblical duty to submit to their husbands. You might find some of the writings by Christian alpha men (ex: Dalrock, Vox Day) enlightening.

Let us know.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I suspect you misunderstand the biblical concept of marriage and submission. God created man and woman equal in his sight, but different -- men and women have the same value but are distinct in their manhood and womanhood. God established Adam's leadership in the first marriage and both the OT and NT affirm the role of male leadership in the family and the church. Unfortunately, in our fallen world, many have distorted, misused, and abused what God created to be good. That doesn't make God's principles any less good.

In Ephesians 5, wives are told, "submit yourselves to your own husbands" -- using the very sacrifice of Christ and his submission to the Father as the example of biblical submission. But husbands are not off the hook. They are commanded to "love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." A high calling indeed.

Elsewhere in scripture ALL Christians are commanded to love sacrificially -- this includes men and women within the context of marriage:

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3). “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5). “Be subject to … every fellow worker and laborer” (1 Cor. 16:16). “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (Rom. 12:10). There are many others as well.

The biblical pattern for marriage is not evil or oppressive when both partners follow the whole counsel of God. Problems arise when people take a few verses out of context and ignore the rest.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Funny how quickly supposedly Christian women (aka princesses) who exhibit little evidence of submitting to their husbands whip out Ephesians 5.25 when confronted with the wives biblical rebellion.

Go back to the bible and show me where Paul expressed these directions as a quid pro quo.

The roots of the Feminist evil (the Second Great Rebellion) run deep: well beyond the level of insight of most modern day western women.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I never said it was a quid pro quo. Each of us is responsible to be obedient to God, regardless of what others do. I don't understand what you're getting at.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My Mama is a hard, strong woman. My Daddy made the military his career, and he spent 22 years being deployed before he retired. In combat zones. I have three older brothers, one of whom is now in the military. I'm the only girl. All the while I was growing up we were allowed to watch all kinds of violence on TV. And when we got old enough to manipulate videogames we got to play with the Grand Theft Auto series and the Call Of Duty series, to name just a few. Submit to a man? I don't think so. If you have no job and you have to depend on a man for your survival, then you'd have to submit. But only the weakest women would go that route. When you've got your own money, you've got power.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"you'd have to submit. But only the weakest women would go that route."


No, only the GENUINELY strong go that route.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"So we taught our boys to look away — to avert their eyes whenever a scantily clad girl, intent on sexually enticing viewers, flashed on the screen."

Avert their eyes? Really? That's one way to deal with it. The other is to ban sporting events because their advertisers and fans are disrespectful to women.
It seems to me that you've drawn a rather crooked line here between what you deem right and wrong, and in my opinion, you wrongly put the responsibility on your sons to 'avert their eyes' when looking is what any curious teen would want to do. Mixed messages complicate things...

One thing I know to be true as a parent is that the lesson we intend to teach is not always the lesson the kids learn.

Congrats on your son's engagement!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gonna assume you mean "ban [WATCHING] sporting events" rather than banning the event entirely. Banning sporting events would by tyrannical.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thanks jmarie! I admit it was a tough call. And there were plenty of times we just turned the commercials off during games. But part of this was that we wanted to give them the tools to live in a society that constantly throws sexual images in their faces -- everywhere. You can't drive down the highway without seeing a provocative billboard. How do to teach kids not to "indulge" in something that is -- literally -- on every street corner and a click away on the internet? It's a really tough world for boys -- and men these days.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree it's a tough world for boys but I personally have a bigger problem with gratuitous violence than gratuitous sex, which is why football has no appeal to me or my sons. Why would a perfectly intelligent human being willingly bash his head into a 250 linebacker? Makes no sense to me.

However, my choice has been to teach them to interpret what they see. I worked in the commercial film industry for years and find advertising fascinating. I've taught my kids that everyone is selling them something and to spend all their types of capital wisely.

They understand the need to treat women with respect and more importantly to only pursue women who respect them. They also understand that women in these ads are often just paying the bills and not making a moral statement.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This one of the reasons boys need fathers, to moderate this kind of foolishness, which, alas, is found in far too many women.

Football is not "violence".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My boys have a father and he agrees that football is gratuitous violence (and stupidity) wrapped in team colors. Look at the 4,500 former pro players suing the NFL for brain injuries.

The commercials are not the problem. At least for the most part they're clever.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just because he is male doesn't make him a father.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Of course being male doesn't make him a father anymore than having Breitbart's picture next to your name makes you respectable or smart.

He's a wonderful father, he hates football, and he doesn't care what you think. Neither do I.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The second wave of feminism set the stage for Miley Cyrus and other teen-age sexpots. See http://clarespark.com/2012/11/15/female-genitals-as-red-flag/, also http://clarespark.com/2012/10/03/the-sexual-revolution-2/. One does not have to be a killjoy "puritan" to find these moves abhorrent.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I forgot to mention the common misreading of Freud as a pan-sexualist. Some of his libertine clients took that away from his theories, neglecting his cautions about self-control for the sake of protecting intimate relationships. Second wave feminists went after him for covering up real incest. I always thought that this was short-sighted.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Miley, please keep that thing in your mouth. It ain't sexy. When performance "art" substitutes for talent this is what you get. I'm glad my daughter is old enough to not be influenced by this crap. To delve any further into her "art," she would need to get into hardcore porn. Maybe resurrect the famous Tijuana donkey show.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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