|Your Reverend Tommy Gunn between the bountiful beauty of The Queen of Trash (l) and|
Kitty Karloff (r) at a Los Angeles horror convention. He never dated either of them. All class...
My 9-year-old son approached his mother last night and asked her two questions:
(1) How do I talk to a girl?
(2) How do I get in a relationship?
His mother, of course, gave his some very good advice (in between her tears that her baby is growing up so fast). When I went to his room for a good night kiss later, he was still furiously scribbling in his notebook thoughts to go along with her advice. We chatted for a few moments before I tucked him in -- and I was left to consider what this turn of events means to me.
My son goes to an all-boys school (and his little sister to an all-girls school) so we, as his parents, were not really too worried about him trying to get a girlfriend right now. But we were both very concerned that he learn the right way to talk to a girl and, when the time comes for him to do it, to get into a relationship.
I was especially concerned after reading an article on Buzzfeed about this girl, Gweneth Bateman, who decided to do a little social experiment where she would respond to any boy that complimented her by agreeing with him. Read the article here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rossalynwarren/this-is-what-happens-when-women-actually-accept-a-compliment?utm_term=.ucNzg3L7P#.eiPMpmkjq
As you read (What? You didn't?! Go back and read it! Go ahead. I'll wait.), this girl along with so many others found that if some guy complimented a photo of her or something online and she did not respond, they would invariably chastise her for not responding. So she decided to respond to compliments by agreeing... and the trolls would still attack and insult her. Pretty badly, too.
Personally, while I could believe that any boy would address a girl in the way described in the article, I did not want to. It really upset me. If someone were to say such things to my daughter, I would undoubtably flip the script (and do what Jay & Silent Bob did at the end of their self-titled movie, where they tracked down each person who commented about them online and stomped them... remember that?).
Further, one of my female friends commented on my posting of the article with this:
"I just had to stop arguing in thread where guys basically said that she baited them and deserved the responses because she was conceited because she didn't respond in way they thought was proper it was ok for the guys to respond so vilely. Reminded me of the defenders of abusers who say the woman deserved to be beat because she talked so much shit. Blargh."
"Problem here is how men are brought up to think they own women and its their job to put them in their place to let them know if they're prude, slutty, not smiling enough etc. I'm glad most of my male friends are able to move beyond this training."
Of course, I became really concerned that our son not fall into that sort of behavior. I will not allow him to be trained to think he owns women. My daughter will not let anyone own her. My standards for them and the people he associates with are significantly higher than the behavior of the standard troll. That is when I came up with the idea for this blog.
This blog is for my son. For my daughter. For the sons and daughters of other folks out there who would like to know what is really acceptable. Who would like to be good people.
It is a little tough - after all, I have not been a perfect person in my life. Am I really the person who should be giving dating advice? Well, bonus, I have a fair amount of life experience behind me. I have made mistakes, but I have learned from them. I would happily share my mistakes with you, son of mine, so that you can avoid the pitfalls I have been in.
I look forward to fun discussions as I lay out some tips for you, tossers!
|Reverend Tommy Gunn gets a smootch at the Maritime Tattoo Festival. Respect!|