With Miley Cyrus’s recent debacle, conservatives and family values champions have taken to the blog-o-sphere to lament societies failure to our daughters and the absence of fathers in the home. And though I agree that we have indeed failed our daughters by teaching them a sexual body image is the norm and is expected of them to attract a mate, and I agree that fathers are indeed absent from being positive male influencers on their daughters, there is absolutely more to it that just that.
Dear conservatives, family values champions, blog-o-sphere elite, and society in general…we are failing our sons too.
God designed the family with purpose and intent. Both mother and father have a specific role to play in the lives of daughters and sons. We cannot lament the fall of one without the other. Mothers are supposed to teach their daughters how to be women. Mothers are supposed to teach their sons what to expect from women. Fathers are supposed to teach their sons how to be men. Fathers are supposed to teach their daughters what to expect from men. And both mother and father are supposed to be the EXAMPLE of how those interactions operate.
This is the Biblical design of the family.
And we’ve lost it, hook, line, and sinker.
(I know that families have broken down too, but that shouldn’t stop single parents from finding friends or family that can be positive female or male role models for their children and to have them step into a mother/father role if it is absent.)
So even though daughters are going bat-crazy when they come of age, is anyone talking about the sons? They are growing into men that EXPECT women to act that way. This further complicates the issue because young women do not feel like they can attract a mate WITHOUT showing their skin. And who can blame them with so much skin out there? If they don’t, they may miss the man they crave. So they show out.
Peer into their past…you may or may not find a mother who was the proper womanly example. You may or may not find a father who was the proper male figure. You may or may not find parents who loved each other and provided a wholesome example. That isn’t always a factor. But you know what is?
Nobody’s blaming the sons.
How can we proclaim the detriment of womanhood without also proclaiming the detriment of manhood? How can we blame women who show skin, when the mates they are trying to attract don’t know there are other virtues to look for in women? There’s a simple anthropological mating principle going on here. One gender attracts the mate, the other chooses the mate based on the one who presents the best attraction. And in our current society that means skin and sex. That’s what women think they need to do to attract a mate and that’s what men look for when choosing a mate. If you want young women to stop showing skin, then young men need to stop expecting it.
It goes both ways people. Young women need to stop putting themselves out there on display and show a little modesty. But young men need to STOP expecting them to, and STOP thinking with their hormones, STOP making excuses for their inappropriate attitudes, and START realizing there’s more to women and more to choosing a mate than body image and sex.
You know that Miley Cyrus incident? There was a married man on that stage with her. Nobody’s calling him out for his role that night. He participated, he condoned it, he supported it, he perpetuated the idea that THIS IS RIGHT. He’s showing the example to young women out there that Miley is doing the correct thing to attract a mate. He’s showing that to his daughters. He’s showing his son that this is what you expect from a woman. He’s showing ALL young men that this is appropriate behavior. He’s showing that his wife attracted him in the same manner.
And EVERY time any other man out there participates or supports such behavior they are doing the same thing. Stop blaming young women for their immodesty, stop blaming the absence of fathers or the bad example of mothers, and start looking at the sons. Because the truth is, if we start teaching our sons NOT to expect such behavior from women, then the young women won’t feel like that’s the only way they can attract the spouse they crave.
What would we be saying today if Robin Thicke had walked off the stage that night? Take it one step further…what if all the men in the room walked out? What would the message have been? I think we’d be seeing a whole different headline about it.
I have a theory and I think it is right. A Lady can never influence a man to become a Gentleman. But a Gentleman can influence ANY woman to become a Lady. If we want more young women to become Ladies, then we need to expect more young men to be Gentlemen.