Thursday, October 3, 2013

What To Do When Your Son Checks Out A Woman In A Bikini

Act #276:  Teach your sons not to objectify women.

So we were watching a kid's movie - yes, a kid's movie - when suddenly the image of part of a young woman's torso, swimming face down in a bikini, with a butterfly tattoo on the small of her back, appears on the screen.  In slow motion.  I guess someone wanted to make sure that their 5-15 target audience wouldn't miss all the intricate details of that tattoo. And this is when my 6-year old son, (quite disturbingly) and almost in a moaning voice declares, WOW.   In slow motion.  My baby, who makes me cut the crust off his grilled cheese and who cries during flu shots just looked at a woman in THAT way.  And so I take a deep breath and ask him nonchalantly, "What did you mean by that WOW, dear?"  And he told me that she was beautiful.  And I asked him how he knew she was beautiful since he didn't even get to see her face - and he told me that her skin and her hair were beautiful (but that the tattoo "so close to her butt" was gross.)

So over the course of the next few days I did the following very, very subtly:

1.  Pointed out beautiful skin and hair in women AND MEN of different shapes, sizes, and colors.

2.  Emphasized and called out intelligent female characters in his cartoons and books.  Subtly interchanging the words "beautiful" and ""smart".

3.  Right there and then, I made mention of the fact that none of the male torsos in the movie were zoomed in on in slow motion.  Now isn't that interesting, son?

4.  Asked my son what else he knew about this character besides her beautiful skin and hair.  Turns out she was an artist, ran her family business, and had a degree from Harvard.  

Next on the agenda: exposing him to the beauty of tattoo art.

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