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How to Talk With Your Sons About Robin Thicke

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Eric Clapp

Creativity, Ministry, and How to Change the World

How to Talk With Your Sons About Robin Thicke

If you have ears, you’ve heard Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines.” If you’ve had any amount of spare time in the past few days and have access to the internets, you’ve heard about Thicke’s performance at the VMA’s with Miley Cyrus. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, congratulations! You must have looked past the headlines on CNN’s main page in order to read about “secondary” news like Egypt or Syria. You can find a video of the performance here.

If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter with any kind of regularity over the past few days, you’ve probably heard countless friends or followers sounding off on any number of objectionable things about the performance. Undoubtedly, 99% of things written about it throw around words like “obscene”, “offensive”, and the like.

There have been a number of different parenting websites or blog posts who have come up with good ways to talk to your daughter about Miley. And, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about parents talking to their daughters about sexuality.

But is no one going to hold anyone else on stage or behind the scenes accountable for that performance? Are we really going to have another one-sided conversation where we only talk to the girls about their sexuality while we completely ignore the boys in the room about their standards of behavior too?

There are next to no commentaries, articles, or blog posts that talk about how Robin Thicke was on stage with a woman young enough to be his daughter while thrusting his pelvis and repeating the line “I know you want it” while T.I. non-chalantly raps about much more graphic stuff. As Shelli Latham astutely points out:

Girls’ sexuality is so much the focus of our ire. Women who have sex are dirty. Men who have sex are men. Girls who dress to be ogled are hoes. Men who ogle are just doing what comes naturally. This is the kind of reinforced behavior that makes it perfectly acceptable to legislate a woman’s access to birth control and reproductive health care without engaging in balanced conversations about covering Viagra and vasectomies. Our girls cannot win in this environment, not when they are tots in tiaras, not in their teens or when they are coming into adulthood.

Issues of misogynistic attitudes and acts of violence toward women aren’t going anywhere until us men make some very intentional decisions about our behavior and about the way we act toward women. There are certain things that Robin Thicke and “Blurred Lines” re-inforce in our culture.

For instance… Studies have shown that viewing images of objectified women gives men “greater tolerance for sexual harassment and greater rape myth acceptance,” and helps them view women as “less competent” and “less human“. Certainly singing about “blurred lines” will at the very least reinforce a culture that already trivializes the importance of consent.*

There’s nothing blurry about Robin Thicke’s role in the VMA debacle. Even though he’s come out and defended his song, going so far as to call it a “feminist movement,” it’s pretty plain to see that’s far from the case.

Here’s where it starts

So what can we do? In order to change the way we view women culturally, we need to change the way we view women individually. We need to call bullshit on attempts to end domestic violence and misogyny towards women by only talking to our daughters. We need to talk to our sons and our brothers about respecting women and respecting themselves.

It starts in homes. It starts in small conversations that treat all people as worthy and equal. It starts with having the courage to speak out against the wide variety of forces in our society that objectify women.

It starts with understanding that as men, our value does not come from how much power we hold over women. Our value comes from being respected and being loved as we respect and love the people who matter to us.

Be brave enough to tell a different story. Be courageous enough to rise above the lies that our culture tells you about how to treat women. In doing so, you’ll help create a better world for your sons. And for your sons’ sons. And that’s something to which we should all aspire.

Cheers,
Eric

Not Without Panties

by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:27 PM
Replies (361-368):
Coconutty4Hubby
by Bronze Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 3:10 AM
I'm not bashing, I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from when you say you'd rather keep them locked down and punish with parental controls... Don't you think you'll trust your kids when they are older to make their own decisions? And, don't you think if you don't trust them and you force do the ole parental control lockdown, that they will rebel and do worse than just watching a music video?

Idk, my son is 2, and he has his own iPad with all the apps and youtube and what not. He is actually 2.5 today, and he can type in truck and mickey into the search on youtube. He can also click on popular music videos and can watch whatever the newest popular videos are. He gets up and dances... Like, Gagnan Style (I don't agree with him, but if e song makes me DS happy, I'm not going to stand in his way of happiness)... And his dancing is hilarious in the video, and my son copies him, it's cute...

Long story short, I can't imagine locking the tv or ipad for anything other than him not doing his chores or getting grounded, otherwise I don't think anything is off limits...

Quoting Aestas:

Huh, that sounds really convenient. I just have a Kindle Touch for reading, but my daughter has her own Netflix profile. We don't have cable or anything; she just connects through SO's PlayStation, and she knows to pick her own profile when she turns it on, which only shows things from Netflix Kids. I did see one time, though, that Netflix Kids had a cartoon from Adult Swim on it! Not cool. I explained she wasn't allowed to watch that one. It's pretty easy to monitor what she watches since she's only generally allowed one episode of something a day, plus sometimes cartoons in the morning if she gets up super early (because I am not getting up at 6am if I don't have to, lol).

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:My kids use share a Kindle (mostly because it has done wonders for my autistic son)...

But I love it because I can block the Internet, I block all app purchases, books are only downloaded online by me and I have to put in a password. If they use Netflix or Hulu on it anything above PG-13 is blocked and the cover art just shows a lock LOL


Quoting Aestas:

Yes, that makes sense. My kid wouldn't be watching stuff like that, and she's still at an age where I get to choose the music she listens to...it definitely doesn't include songs with obvious references to drug use, etc.

I know some parents give their kids more freedom with the internet than others. When mine are old enough to have their own computers, iPads, etc., I'm going to have to figure out how to use the parental controls.




Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Sep. 1, 2013 at 12:21 PM
1 mom liked this
YouTube is blocked on everything in my house (Xbox, Kindle, & Phone) because typing in Mickey doesn't just bring up cartoons. Take a look next time... People edit old cartoons and make Mickey have sex with Minnie, Goofy starts cussing like a sailor, etc.
I learnt my lesson when I thought my son was watching an innocent Mario cartoon an then I listened and saw Mario raping Peach with "1 Up" popping up each time he thrust. Yeah. No thank you.

My kids know what isn't allowed but they are young and don't realize the nasty things that can come from simply typing "Mickey mouse" into te YouTube search.

Just because you won't set limits doesn't mean parents who do are wrong or bad. Kids need limits.


Quoting Coconutty4Hubby:

I'm not bashing, I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from when you say you'd rather keep them locked down and punish with parental controls... Don't you think you'll trust your kids when they are older to make their own decisions? And, don't you think if you don't trust them and you force do the ole parental control lockdown, that they will rebel and do worse than just watching a music video?



Idk, my son is 2, and he has his own iPad with all the apps and youtube and what not. He is actually 2.5 today, and he can type in truck and mickey into the search on youtube. He can also click on popular music videos and can watch whatever the newest popular videos are. He gets up and dances... Like, Gagnan Style (I don't agree with him, but if e song makes me DS happy, I'm not going to stand in his way of happiness)... And his dancing is hilarious in the video, and my son copies him, it's cute...



Long story short, I can't imagine locking the tv or ipad for anything other than him not doing his chores or getting grounded, otherwise I don't think anything is off limits...



Quoting Aestas:

Huh, that sounds really convenient. I just have a Kindle Touch for reading, but my daughter has her own Netflix profile. We don't have cable or anything; she just connects through SO's PlayStation, and she knows to pick her own profile when she turns it on, which only shows things from Netflix Kids. I did see one time, though, that Netflix Kids had a cartoon from Adult Swim on it! Not cool. I explained she wasn't allowed to watch that one. It's pretty easy to monitor what she watches since she's only generally allowed one episode of something a day, plus sometimes cartoons in the morning if she gets up super early (because I am not getting up at 6am if I don't have to, lol).

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:My kids use share a Kindle (mostly because it has done wonders for my autistic son)...



But I love it because I can block the Internet, I block all app purchases, books are only downloaded online by me and I have to put in a password. If they use Netflix or Hulu on it anything above PG-13 is blocked and the cover art just shows a lock LOL




Quoting Aestas:

Yes, that makes sense. My kid wouldn't be watching stuff like that, and she's still at an age where I get to choose the music she listens to...it definitely doesn't include songs with obvious references to drug use, etc.

I know some parents give their kids more freedom with the internet than others. When mine are old enough to have their own computers, iPads, etc., I'm going to have to figure out how to use the parental controls.




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cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Sep. 1, 2013 at 12:27 PM

We do the same here. We've also gone one step further and installed OpenDNS on our internet server so that things automatically are filtered out that have been deemed to be pornographic or inappropriate. I don't particularly want to see that crap either when I'm doing a google search for something totally unrelated. 

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

My kids use share a Kindle (mostly because it has done wonders for my autistic son)...

But I love it because I can block the Internet, I block all app purchases, books are only downloaded online by me and I have to put in a password. If they use Netflix or Hulu on it anything above PG-13 is blocked and the cover art just shows a lock LOL


Quoting Aestas:

Yes, that makes sense. My kid wouldn't be watching stuff like that, and she's still at an age where I get to choose the music she listens to...it definitely doesn't include songs with obvious references to drug use, etc.

I know some parents give their kids more freedom with the internet than others. When mine are old enough to have their own computers, iPads, etc., I'm going to have to figure out how to use the parental controls.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

When they are 16 and have a job they can buy ad listen to what they like... 16 is old enough that I won't care. I raised my younger brother so I know what you are saying...



But there are parents upset that their 10 year old daughter or 12 year old son "had to watch that" on the VMA's. They didn't "have to" watch anything ya know? It is on late for a reason. And then they say "well my 8 year old DD sings along to that song on the radio"... Um lady change the station. Ya know?



That is what I was trying to get across if that makes sense...




Quoting Aestas:

Fair enough, but depending on how old they are, they can buy their own iPods with babysitting money or savings from an after-school job, they can listen to the radio at their friends' houses, etc. After a certain age, it gets very hard to micromanage that sort of stuff. My kids are five and zero (due in two months), so it's not an issue yet, but I don't kid myself about being able to filter everything for them later on. I managed to listen to music that shocked and horrifed my mother in high school; I can only imagine my kids will do the same (except that I'm harder to shock than my mom was, lol).

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I live in the reality where my kids don't all have their own IPods or phones or game systems... They read books and play outside.





As for the radio we don't have one in the house. When we listen to music its o the Kindle on Pandora and I have nerdy kids who prefer to listen to Broadway or Movie scores. LOL!






Quoting Aestas:

What reality are you living in where parents have total control over what music their teens hear/listen to? What do you do, perform an iPod inspection every evening before bed and delete the stuff you don't approve of? You think they can't just get it from their friends again the next day? Or listen to it when they're not at home? Do they not have access to a radio?

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I've loved his voice for a long time... He is amazingly talented.







As for teenage boys talking about it then that is on their parents for letting their kids listen to that type of music and watch the VMAs (they are on at 9/10 at night for a reason)...








Quoting momtoscott:

Might be meant for grown women, but it has been a big, big topic of conversation between my high school aged son and his friends (boys and girls) and has been for the whole summer.  I'm not the target audience for it, for sure, I find him slimy.   

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I doubt Robin Thicke cares if boys like him... That isn't his target audience LOL!




His song "Blurred Lines" isn't meant for boys either its meant for grown women who wanna hear Robin Thicke sing about doing dirty things to them... HaHaHa!!!








Coconutty4Hubby
by Bronze Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Enh, what doesn't kill them makes them stronger... I guess I have more of a relax parental take than others (might be from living in Florida).  And I never accused you of being wrong or bad, not at all, I admire your will power and concern just as much as I admire parents who are more 'relax'! :)

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

YouTube is blocked on everything in my house (Xbox, Kindle, & Phone) because typing in Mickey doesn't just bring up cartoons. Take a look next time... People edit old cartoons and make Mickey have sex with Minnie, Goofy starts cussing like a sailor, etc.
I learnt my lesson when I thought my son was watching an innocent Mario cartoon an then I listened and saw Mario raping Peach with "1 Up" popping up each time he thrust. Yeah. No thank you.

My kids know what isn't allowed but they are young and don't realize the nasty things that can come from simply typing "Mickey mouse" into te YouTube search.

Just because you won't set limits doesn't mean parents who do are wrong or bad. Kids need limits.


Quoting Coconutty4Hubby:

I'm not bashing, I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from when you say you'd rather keep them locked down and punish with parental controls... Don't you think you'll trust your kids when they are older to make their own decisions? And, don't you think if you don't trust them and you force do the ole parental control lockdown, that they will rebel and do worse than just watching a music video?



Idk, my son is 2, and he has his own iPad with all the apps and youtube and what not. He is actually 2.5 today, and he can type in truck and mickey into the search on youtube. He can also click on popular music videos and can watch whatever the newest popular videos are. He gets up and dances... Like, Gagnan Style (I don't agree with him, but if e song makes me DS happy, I'm not going to stand in his way of happiness)... And his dancing is hilarious in the video, and my son copies him, it's cute...



Long story short, I can't imagine locking the tv or ipad for anything other than him not doing his chores or getting grounded, otherwise I don't think anything is off limits...



Quoting Aestas:

Huh, that sounds really convenient. I just have a Kindle Touch for reading, but my daughter has her own Netflix profile. We don't have cable or anything; she just connects through SO's PlayStation, and she knows to pick her own profile when she turns it on, which only shows things from Netflix Kids. I did see one time, though, that Netflix Kids had a cartoon from Adult Swim on it! Not cool. I explained she wasn't allowed to watch that one. It's pretty easy to monitor what she watches since she's only generally allowed one episode of something a day, plus sometimes cartoons in the morning if she gets up super early (because I am not getting up at 6am if I don't have to, lol).

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:My kids use share a Kindle (mostly because it has done wonders for my autistic son)...



But I love it because I can block the Internet, I block all app purchases, books are only downloaded online by me and I have to put in a password. If they use Netflix or Hulu on it anything above PG-13 is blocked and the cover art just shows a lock LOL




Quoting Aestas:

Yes, that makes sense. My kid wouldn't be watching stuff like that, and she's still at an age where I get to choose the music she listens to...it definitely doesn't include songs with obvious references to drug use, etc.

I know some parents give their kids more freedom with the internet than others. When mine are old enough to have their own computers, iPads, etc., I'm going to have to figure out how to use the parental controls.





FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Sep. 1, 2013 at 6:43 PM


Quoting Coconutty4Hubby:

I'm not bashing, I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from when you say you'd rather keep them locked down and punish with parental controls... Don't you think you'll trust your kids when they are older to make their own decisions? And, don't you think if you don't trust them and you force do the ole parental control lockdown, that they will rebel and do worse than just watching a music video?

Idk, my son is 2, and he has his own iPad with all the apps and youtube and what not. He is actually 2.5 today, and he can type in truck and mickey into the search on youtube. He can also click on popular music videos and can watch whatever the newest popular videos are. He gets up and dances... Like, Gagnan Style (I don't agree with him, but if e song makes me DS happy, I'm not going to stand in his way of happiness)... And his dancing is hilarious in the video, and my son copies him, it's cute...

Long story short, I can't imagine locking the tv or ipad for anything other than him not doing his chores or getting grounded, otherwise I don't think anything is off limits...

Quoting Aestas:

Huh, that sounds really convenient. I just have a Kindle Touch for reading, but my daughter has her own Netflix profile. We don't have cable or anything; she just connects through SO's PlayStation, and she knows to pick her own profile when she turns it on, which only shows things from Netflix Kids. I did see one time, though, that Netflix Kids had a cartoon from Adult Swim on it! Not cool. I explained she wasn't allowed to watch that one. It's pretty easy to monitor what she watches since she's only generally allowed one episode of something a day, plus sometimes cartoons in the morning if she gets up super early (because I am not getting up at 6am if I don't have to, lol).

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:My kids use share a Kindle (mostly because it has done wonders for my autistic son)...

But I love it because I can block the Internet, I block all app purchases, books are only downloaded online by me and I have to put in a password. If they use Netflix or Hulu on it anything above PG-13 is blocked and the cover art just shows a lock LOL


Quoting Aestas:

Yes, that makes sense. My kid wouldn't be watching stuff like that, and she's still at an age where I get to choose the music she listens to...it definitely doesn't include songs with obvious references to drug use, etc.

I know some parents give their kids more freedom with the internet than others. When mine are old enough to have their own computers, iPads, etc., I'm going to have to figure out how to use the parental controls.




Really, why does a 2 year old need an iPad or to be on the internet at all?

My Grandson is 2.  I would have to butt in and have serious words with my daughter if she dared to throw her son in to the technology crap like that at such a young age.  There is absolutely no need for a 2 year old to be sitting in front of youtube, or any thing else on the internet.   There is not a single app out there that is worthy of a 2 year old sitting with an iPad in their lap.

Meh, there are parents who have no boundaries and pay no mind to what their children are doing.  There are those parents who make every attempt to keep an eye on their kids.  

Kids are kids are they may very well try and do and there may, or may not be, consequences due to their actions.  

But this parent, I am even more diligent in the parental controls placed on my 13 year old.  It is not her I worry about as much as other people.  With all the damn apps and crap out there, you have no idea what people are capable of.  You would be wise to realize this now before you truly send your son off to do as he pleases.

Coconutty4Hubby
by Bronze Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 8:43 PM
Lol, because my 2 year old does everything he pleases... Without any supervision at all! (Insert sarcasm)
Have you not seen on here there are thousands of educational apps to help your children learn? My son is not autistic, but there are a lot of mom's who have autistic kids who will openly admit to their iPhone or iPad or kindle apps being extremely beneficial.
I know kids who are a few months older than my son and they can't tell you colors and they can't recognize numbers or their abc's... My son can do all of the above.

Btw, what are your kids going to do when they are 18 and get their first taste of freedom at college? Might do worse than just opening an app and watching a music video... (< Generalizing, not pointed at any one in particular's kids)

Idk, I'm crossing my fingers my son is going to be a musician, he's got rhythm...


Quoting FromAtoZ:

Quoting Coconutty4Hubby:I'm not bashing, I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from when you say you'd rather keep them locked down and punish with parental controls... Don't you think you'll trust your kids when they are older to make their own decisions? And, don't you think if you don't trust them and you force do the ole parental control lockdown, that they will rebel and do worse than just watching a music video?

Idk, my son is 2, and he has his own iPad with all the apps and youtube and what not. He is actually 2.5 today, and he can type in truck and mickey into the search on youtube. He can also click on popular music videos and can watch whatever the newest popular videos are. He gets up and dances... Like, Gagnan Style (I don't agree with him, but if e song makes me DS happy, I'm not going to stand in his way of happiness)... And his dancing is hilarious in the video, and my son copies him, it's cute...

Long story short, I can't imagine locking the tv or ipad for anything other than him not doing his chores or getting grounded, otherwise I don't think anything is off limits...

Quoting Aestas:

Huh, that sounds really convenient. I just have a Kindle Touch for reading, but my daughter has her own Netflix profile. We don't have cable or anything; she just connects through SO's PlayStation, and she knows to pick her own profile when she turns it on, which only shows things from Netflix Kids. I did see one time, though, that Netflix Kids had a cartoon from Adult Swim on it! Not cool. I explained she wasn't allowed to watch that one. It's pretty easy to monitor what she watches since she's only generally allowed one episode of something a day, plus sometimes cartoons in the morning if she gets up super early (because I am not getting up at 6am if I don't have to, lol).

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:My kids use share a Kindle (mostly because it has done wonders for my autistic son)...

But I love it because I can block the Internet, I block all app purchases, books are only downloaded online by me and I have to put in a password. If they use Netflix or Hulu on it anything above PG-13 is blocked and the cover art just shows a lock LOL


Quoting Aestas:

Yes, that makes sense. My kid wouldn't be watching stuff like that, and she's still at an age where I get to choose the music she listens to...it definitely doesn't include songs with obvious references to drug use, etc.

I know some parents give their kids more freedom with the internet than others. When mine are old enough to have their own computers, iPads, etc., I'm going to have to figure out how to use the parental controls.





Really, why does a 2 year old need an iPad or to be on the internet at all?

My Grandson is 2.  I would have to butt in and have serious words with my daughter if she dared to throw her son in to the technology crap like that at such a young age.  There is absolutely no need for a 2 year old to be sitting in front of youtube, or any thing else on the internet.   There is not a single app out there that is worthy of a 2 year old sitting with an iPad in their lap.

Meh, there are parents who have no boundaries and pay no mind to what their children are doing.  There are those parents who make every attempt to keep an eye on their kids.  

Kids are kids are they may very well try and do and there may, or may not be, consequences due to their actions.  

But this parent, I am even more diligent in the parental controls placed on my 13 year old.  It is not her I worry about as much as other people.  With all the damn apps and crap out there, you have no idea what people are capable of.  You would be wise to realize this now before you truly send your son off to do as he pleases.


hopealways4019
by Silver Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 9:17 PM
Boys are going to be exposed to this raunchy behavior at some point, school , party, park, tv, . Robin was paid to stand up their with miley, that's their profession, and some artist use the shock factor, they like to make people mouth drop, have them shaking their heads. These are memorable artists, not so in a good way. Men have strippers twerking at their bacholer party. Just remind our boys that they can enjoy these raunchy performance with their eyes only , not hands. If that's their cup of tea?
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AMom29
by Gold Member on Sep. 2, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Don't let your children watch MTV crap.  Problem solved.

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