***Snark alert!! This post is written in response to this post by Mrs. Hall. ***
I have some information that might interest you. Last night, as we sometimes do, our family sat around the dining-room table and looked through the summer’s social media photos. Because, you know, we’re over-controlling helicopter parents who don’t trust our sons.
We have teenage sons, and so naturally there are quite a few pictures of you lovely ladies to wade through. Wow – you sure took a bunch of selfies in your skimpy pj’s this summer! Your bedrooms are so cute! Our eight-year-old daughter brought this to our attention, because with three older brothers who have rooms that smell like stinky cheese, she notices girly details like that.
I think the boys notice other things. For one, it appears that you are not wearing a bra. And, as we all know, every girl should wear a bra 24/7 to keep her girls covered up. Because boys – especially MY boys – shouldn’t be exposed to the real world and to ((ahem)) girls.
I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout. What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know. And, because I am a self-righteous mother who deems herself to be the gold standard for the world, you shouldn’t assume those positions either.
So, here’s the bit that I think is important for you to realize. If you are friends with a Vogel boy on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, then you are friends with the whole Sathre-Vogel family. All of us, because we don’t trust our sons to make good choices. By being a friend of all of us, my husband and I can make those decisions. And that’s just more power for me!
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. It’s just that we expect YOU to conform to OUR expectations. Because we’re control freaks, you see.
Which is what makes your latest self-portrait so extremely unfortunate. That photo of you, in your bedroom before you go to sleep. It’s unfortunate because you are popping my sons’ bubble and showing them stuff I don’t want them to see. *I* would never show that side of myself to my sons. Because I want them to remain babies, tethered to my side for eternity.
That post doesn’t reflect who you are at all! We think you are lovely and interesting, and usually very smart. But, we had to cringe and wonder what you were trying to do? Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say? Were you trying to say that teenage girls have feelings? And emotions? And maybe sometimes they feel a little bit sexy? That’s too bad, because showing those feelings to teenage boys is a bad idea. A VERY bad idea.
It’s a bad idea because my sons just might start realizing there is more to this world than the protective bubble wrapping I’ve cloaked them in. And… well, you know… that would mean that I might be losing control. You wouldn’t want to be the cause of *me* losing control, would you?
And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts. Because, the reason we have these (sometimes awkward) family conversations around the table is that we care about our sons, just as we know your parents care about you. Although, maybe your parents don’t care for you as much as I care for my sons. If they did, they would keep you under their thumb and not allow you to make choices for yourself – just like I do for my sons. I do that because I know that my sons are not capable of making good decisions for themselves. And well, as long as I prevent them from learning those skills, then I will be in control. That’s a good thing, no?
I know your family would not be thrilled at the thought of my teenage boys seeing you only in your towel. Or, at least, I think they wouldn’t. Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t quickly un-see it? And that is something that I can’t control. You don’t want to make me lose control over my sons, do you?
Neither do we. We’re more than that. We’re control freaks and helicopter parents who can’t stand the thought that our sons will one day soon be out in the real world. We’re doing the best we can to keep them innocent and naïve and dependent so that I have more power. Because power over my children is what I crave.
And so, in our house, there are no second chances with pics like that, ladies. We have a zero tolerance policy. I know, so lame. But it’s really important – I couldn’t stand the possibility of having my sons develop thoughts and feelings of their own. I shudder at the thought that maybe they would develop some independence and learn to control their own thoughts and feelings.
If you want to stay friendly with our sons online, you’ll have to keep your clothes on, and your posts decent. If you post a sexy selfie (we all know the kind), or an inappropriate YouTube video – even once – it’s curtains. See? That’s how I maintain control. It’s curtains for my sons. No second chances. Ever. Because I’m badass like that.
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. Or so we say. Really, what we’re hoping to raise are men who don’t know right from wrong; who rely on me for every little thing they do. I don’t want them to have a moral compass – I want them to depend on me my whole life. I don’t really care what happens after I die. I’m selfish like that – let them flounder, for all I care.
Every day I pray for the women my boys will love. I pray they, too, are willing to come under my all-powerful presence. They better, because I will not allow my boys to marry them unless they agree to bend to my every wish. I hope my sons will be drawn to real beauties, the kind of women who will leave them better people in the end. And by better, I mean wishy-washy, spineless wimps who live with me because they don’t have the skills to do anything on their own.
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. And wait. And wait. And wait…
Girls, it’s not too late! If you think you’ve made an on-line mistake (we all do – don’t fret – I’ve made some doozies, even today!), RUN to your accounts and take down the closed-door bedroom selfies that makes it too easy for friends to see you in only one dimension. Make sure you don’t leave up anything that might cause my sons to see the world for what it is. Do everything in your power to empower me to enable my sons’ ignorance. It’s your responsibility girls! You. Must. Help. Me. Retain. Power.
Will you trust me? Please? Pretty please? There are boys out there waiting and hoping for women of character. Women who are so ashamed of their bodies that they can’t bear the thought of exposing their shoulder in a picture. Women who realize that it’s their own damn fault that men like my sons can’t control their thoughts.
Some young men are fighting the daily uphill battle to keep their minds pure, and their thoughts praiseworthy – just like you. They are also fighting an uphill battle to remain weak and under my power. Please help me with that, girls. You wouldn’t want the responsibility of my son growing up, would you? You wouldn’t want to bear the blame your whole life long that you caused my son to gain independence and leave his over-controlling mother, would you?
You are growing into a real beauty, inside and out. Except that, you need to hide that. Seriously – go cover up. Pull out those long pants and long sleeve shirt even though it is 100 degrees outside. And yeah – you should probably put a hat on too, because maybe the sight of your hair would be too much for my sons. Because, you know, they can’t be expected to control their own thoughts, desires, and actions. I. Must. Do. It. For. Them.
Act like a good little girl I can be proud of. Speak like her. Post like her. Don’t make my sons think for themselves. Be a good little girl.
Here is my response to her.
Dear Mrs. Hall,
You blew it in two ways. Blew it big time. In fact, I think this is one of those doozies you refer to in your post – one that you should RUN to take down NOW.
First, as has been pointed out thousands of times by now, is the obvious double standard you hold and are perpetuating. For some reason, you deem it acceptable to post pics of your scantily-clad sons, proudly showing off their tanned skin and nice physiques. Doing sexy muscle poses, no less. In the very same article where you bash young women for doing the same. Double standard much?
But for me, the worst part of your letter is where you say/imply that your sons are not capable of controlling themselves, therefore the girls must do whatever they can to protect your sons. I think you are selling your boys short – WAY short.
Each one of us needs to make choices about what we will and won’t do. When I’m walking down the beach and see some handsome man struttin’ his stuff in a Speedo, it’s not okay for me to go throw myself on him. It’s okay if he arouses feelings or emotions within me, but it’s *MY* job to control my actions. And I believe that I CAN control my actions. I am not some bimbo with out-of-control hormones who can’t say no.
That’s all I expect from my sons. It’s okay for them to have thoughts and feelings, but *THEY* are in control of their actions. Not the girl, my boys. It is my boys who have to learn to control themselves and I will not – ever – say it is okay for my sons to blame their own actions on somebody else’s behavior.
Unless somebody is holding a gun to your head demanding that you do something, you have control over what you do.
I hope that, at some point, you realize that your sons’ behavior is your sons’ responsibility, and stop blaming the girls.