My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. If not, visit
http://thegirlrevolution.com
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Empowering Girls: Hootchy Clothes

A26E5A2A-EE4E-4F66-AC40-5BA0D09ED2B6.jpg

If you are using words like hootchy, skank, slut, whore or any other sexually derogatory word to describe the clothing (whether inappropriate or not) of any girl you are an active participant in further sexualizing girls.

If you are teaching your daughter (or sons) to use sexually derogatory words to describe other girls' clothing you are actively coaching her in mean girl behavior.

If you call a young girl's outfit "skanky," you've just taught your daughter that it's okay to call another girl a "skank" if she doesn't like her clothes. If you describe an outfit as "hootchy mama," you've just taught your daughter that if she makes the slightest clothing error, it's okay for others to call her a "hootchy mama."

You're basically making a judgement about whether a girl is sexually active or promiscuous by her clothing.

I'm hearing people say such things about 3-5 year olds. Think about it - are those words you really want to apply to children?

Children should be immune to our sexuality. When you apply sexually derogatory words to children, you sexualize them. You open them up to a sexual context that others can use against them.

If there is any group of people on the planet earth who should be entitled to wear less clothing it is children. Children should be immune to the sexual implications of all skin exposure.

There are some inappropriate clothing choices available to girls. We can tell our daughters why they shouldn't wear such things without being sexually derogatory about their friends, classmates, neighbors, family or their own secret selves that also wish to wear that clothing.

"I don't think that's appropriate," is generally sufficient explanation for why your daughter isn't allowed to wear something.

Regardless of what a girl is wearing she is deserving of respect.
It is impossible to demand more respect for girls by being disrespectful to girls.

Empowering Girls: Ho'oponopono for Girl Fights

Girl Fight

Second Generation Mean Girl

16 comments:

Omie said...

I totally agree with you. We need to stand against all the negative marketing/media being beamed at our girls (and kids in general), whether it's through clothing or TV. As parents, we really need to pay attention to what we buy our kids and what messages those items convey. I haven't had to deal with such derogative clothing yet with my daughter but it's good to be warned and prepared. Thanks for sharing.

Tracee said...

Thanks Omie,

It's important not to buy the clothing.

But, it's equally important that we don't demean girls who wear the clothing.

Just Margaret said...

Well said! I agree, selecting the language with which you say no is an essential component of teaching respect for others.

Amanda said...

Whew, thank you from a mom of three girls.

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

This definitely made me think, especially as a mother of a daughter. Thank you.

Julie Pippert said...

Just true. Just spectacular, that you wrote this and how you framed it.

It was an affirmation I desperately needed right now, as I face some unintended "consequences" of how I choose to parent my girls.

Thanks.

Magpie said...

Yes! Well said.

My 4yo girl refers to her ass as her "booty" - makes me insane.

Tracee said...

Thanks ladies.

Tracee said...

My 2 yo son refers to his bum as "booty" and it makes me laugh my head off Magpie. Especially when he does the "naked booty dance." It's the funniest thing I've ever seen.

candeelady said...

You can't let it be funny Tracee. Discourage it. Would you think it was funny if Ainsley did it? At what age are you going to try and stop these negative slang phases. The older they are the tougher it is.

Tracee said...

But, it IS funny. Ainsley is required to wear clothes when she dances now.

What's so bad about the word Booty? It's not as though they listen to rap music and it's a sexual thing.

It's a kid thing. Kids think farts and booties are funny.

We should not apply OUR adult context to theirs.

Tracee said...

Shake Shake Shake
Shake Shake Shake
Shake Your Booty!
Shake Your Booty!

Disco seems harmless enough.

Also I may have uttered these words,
"get your booty in the car - let's boogie"

Ainsley and her cousin were 3 and they fell on the floor laughing at how funny the words "booty" and "boogie" are.

Context.

Corina the dte mama said...

Thanks for the perspective. The other day, my four year old daughter (who has never seen the Bratz) was asking about it. I simply told her that I did not want her to see it because the girls clothing were not appropriate and they were mean girls. I was careful not to use the language that sexualizes young children. She wouldn't know what that meant anyway.

I think that there are terms, like booty, that you can use that are harmless. Then there are words that are demeaning. The words that are demeaning are the words that we need to be careful in using. In fact, I think that the word booty when dealing with young children, is less offensive then other words. "Get your booty over here" vs. "Get your ass over here" or even "get your butt over here." Which to you sounds less harsh?

Tracee said...

In these 3 instances, Corina, I think "booty" is the least harsh.

I can see where booty is offensive - IF your child is getting it from the BET sexualized rap context of "bootay." As in "shake your money maker."

My children and probably yours, however, have never seen a BET rap video. Therefore the context is completely innocent and booty is not a sexually derogatory word, but stems from simple silliness when talking about ones "bum" or "heiney" or "tooshy."

If you find it offensive I can see why you wouldn't allow it, but it's fine in our house. It's lowbrow humor in our house.

However, words like hootchy, slutty, whorish, or skanky to describe girls' clothes, or their toys, are clearly sexually derogatory to girls. It applies a sexuality to girls that they are entitled to be immune to.

Tamara Miles said...

I appreciate what you have written so very very much. I have urged my daughter, my friends, and nearly everyone I know (but especially women)to stop participating in the demeaning kinds of language that have always been primarily targeted at women --- against women, to keep women and girls feeling ashamed, belittled, demeaned, and powerless.

Tracee said...

Thank you Tamara. I think it's interesting that when I mentioned this tendency to try to keep girls in their place my husband had never heard anyone do it. I think it's because this is part of "feminine culture" - in other words, this is women's strategy. Mean girl behavior to keep the others in line.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Empowering Girls: Hootchy Clothes

A26E5A2A-EE4E-4F66-AC40-5BA0D09ED2B6.jpg

If you are using words like hootchy, skank, slut, whore or any other sexually derogatory word to describe the clothing (whether inappropriate or not) of any girl you are an active participant in further sexualizing girls.

If you are teaching your daughter (or sons) to use sexually derogatory words to describe other girls' clothing you are actively coaching her in mean girl behavior.

If you call a young girl's outfit "skanky," you've just taught your daughter that it's okay to call another girl a "skank" if she doesn't like her clothes. If you describe an outfit as "hootchy mama," you've just taught your daughter that if she makes the slightest clothing error, it's okay for others to call her a "hootchy mama."

You're basically making a judgement about whether a girl is sexually active or promiscuous by her clothing.

I'm hearing people say such things about 3-5 year olds. Think about it - are those words you really want to apply to children?

Children should be immune to our sexuality. When you apply sexually derogatory words to children, you sexualize them. You open them up to a sexual context that others can use against them.

If there is any group of people on the planet earth who should be entitled to wear less clothing it is children. Children should be immune to the sexual implications of all skin exposure.

There are some inappropriate clothing choices available to girls. We can tell our daughters why they shouldn't wear such things without being sexually derogatory about their friends, classmates, neighbors, family or their own secret selves that also wish to wear that clothing.

"I don't think that's appropriate," is generally sufficient explanation for why your daughter isn't allowed to wear something.

Regardless of what a girl is wearing she is deserving of respect.
It is impossible to demand more respect for girls by being disrespectful to girls.

Empowering Girls: Ho'oponopono for Girl Fights

Girl Fight

Second Generation Mean Girl

16 comments:

Omie said...

I totally agree with you. We need to stand against all the negative marketing/media being beamed at our girls (and kids in general), whether it's through clothing or TV. As parents, we really need to pay attention to what we buy our kids and what messages those items convey. I haven't had to deal with such derogative clothing yet with my daughter but it's good to be warned and prepared. Thanks for sharing.

Tracee said...

Thanks Omie,

It's important not to buy the clothing.

But, it's equally important that we don't demean girls who wear the clothing.

Just Margaret said...

Well said! I agree, selecting the language with which you say no is an essential component of teaching respect for others.

Amanda said...

Whew, thank you from a mom of three girls.

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

This definitely made me think, especially as a mother of a daughter. Thank you.

Julie Pippert said...

Just true. Just spectacular, that you wrote this and how you framed it.

It was an affirmation I desperately needed right now, as I face some unintended "consequences" of how I choose to parent my girls.

Thanks.

Magpie said...

Yes! Well said.

My 4yo girl refers to her ass as her "booty" - makes me insane.

Tracee said...

Thanks ladies.

Tracee said...

My 2 yo son refers to his bum as "booty" and it makes me laugh my head off Magpie. Especially when he does the "naked booty dance." It's the funniest thing I've ever seen.

candeelady said...

You can't let it be funny Tracee. Discourage it. Would you think it was funny if Ainsley did it? At what age are you going to try and stop these negative slang phases. The older they are the tougher it is.

Tracee said...

But, it IS funny. Ainsley is required to wear clothes when she dances now.

What's so bad about the word Booty? It's not as though they listen to rap music and it's a sexual thing.

It's a kid thing. Kids think farts and booties are funny.

We should not apply OUR adult context to theirs.

Tracee said...

Shake Shake Shake
Shake Shake Shake
Shake Your Booty!
Shake Your Booty!

Disco seems harmless enough.

Also I may have uttered these words,
"get your booty in the car - let's boogie"

Ainsley and her cousin were 3 and they fell on the floor laughing at how funny the words "booty" and "boogie" are.

Context.

Corina the dte mama said...

Thanks for the perspective. The other day, my four year old daughter (who has never seen the Bratz) was asking about it. I simply told her that I did not want her to see it because the girls clothing were not appropriate and they were mean girls. I was careful not to use the language that sexualizes young children. She wouldn't know what that meant anyway.

I think that there are terms, like booty, that you can use that are harmless. Then there are words that are demeaning. The words that are demeaning are the words that we need to be careful in using. In fact, I think that the word booty when dealing with young children, is less offensive then other words. "Get your booty over here" vs. "Get your ass over here" or even "get your butt over here." Which to you sounds less harsh?

Tracee said...

In these 3 instances, Corina, I think "booty" is the least harsh.

I can see where booty is offensive - IF your child is getting it from the BET sexualized rap context of "bootay." As in "shake your money maker."

My children and probably yours, however, have never seen a BET rap video. Therefore the context is completely innocent and booty is not a sexually derogatory word, but stems from simple silliness when talking about ones "bum" or "heiney" or "tooshy."

If you find it offensive I can see why you wouldn't allow it, but it's fine in our house. It's lowbrow humor in our house.

However, words like hootchy, slutty, whorish, or skanky to describe girls' clothes, or their toys, are clearly sexually derogatory to girls. It applies a sexuality to girls that they are entitled to be immune to.

Tamara Miles said...

I appreciate what you have written so very very much. I have urged my daughter, my friends, and nearly everyone I know (but especially women)to stop participating in the demeaning kinds of language that have always been primarily targeted at women --- against women, to keep women and girls feeling ashamed, belittled, demeaned, and powerless.

Tracee said...

Thank you Tamara. I think it's interesting that when I mentioned this tendency to try to keep girls in their place my husband had never heard anyone do it. I think it's because this is part of "feminine culture" - in other words, this is women's strategy. Mean girl behavior to keep the others in line.