Today, all over Facebook I have read many letters.
Mr. Pyle’s letter to his son made me cheer, made me feel such pride for this man and his relationship with his son and so hopeful for his son’s future contributions to society.
The second infuriated me. So much so that I needed to respond, to pour the words out of me in an effort to cleanse.
To that letter I say this:
No. Just No. It is not your role to tell my child your opinions on her social media life. It is not your right to tell her to wear a bra or to make her think it’s wrong not to. It’s not your right to tell her it’s her responsibility to control how YOUR boys view her. Don’t stifle, judge, or label my daughter according to your narrow views. You don’t matter. She matters. Self love, acceptance, honesty, integrity, awareness, strength, comfort, and kindness matter. Your “holier than thou, bless your heart” vitriol disguised as a mother’s message to young girls is disgusting and offensive. Your obvious double standard and depiction as men as weak and uncontrolled is offensive. You are trying hard to be a good parent to your boys, that shows in your letter. But think long and hard about the message you are sending your daughter. Still, I hope you read these responses and I hope you feel reproved, you should at least be learning something from the backlash you are receiving. Yes, you are a person and that entitles you to human courtesy,something the internet isn’t exactly known for. Still, when you share your views online (and direct them at teen girls who are still evolving into the women they will be) you are opening yourself up to the opinion of others. Isn’t that what your entire letter is about, anyway?
So to all the girls who read your piece and felt bad about themselves, felt judged and dirty and responsible, know this is only one woman’s ideas. Run free, make your mistakes, burn your bras in the streets, DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING, but sit back and fear being targeted as an instigator. Your body is not responsible for anyone elses thoughts, you have no control over other’s reactions. You only have control over you. You will screw up, but life is so beautifully full of “second” chances, no matter what this woman says. You can dance on tables, wear bathing suits to bars, kiss all the boys and all the girls, and let me be the one who tells you that doesn’t make you who you will be. It doesn’t define you as broken. You are wonderfully full of possibility, and mistakes are our greatest teachers. So strike your red carpet pose, pout those lips, and know that this is all a normal part of going from a child to an adult.