I've had a weirdly emotional reaction to Pete Seeger's death. Like, way more intense than I would have imagined. I abandoned him when I grew what I thought was a more sophisticated taste in music; his stuff started to seem too plain, too openly earnest, too babyish. Today, though, I've been listening to his songs non-stop, and nearly every single one of them has made my eyes well up.
Ask any high school teacher you know: there are certain questions from parents that come up time and time again during parent-teacher interviews. The most common ones are usually marks related, but English teachers will tell you that parents also want to know how they can foster the joy of reading in teens who claim to "hate" books and wouldn't read one if their lives depended on it.
Like most religious minorities in Quebec, I am only slightly shocked by the proposed charter of values. The people that at the short end of the proverbial legislation stick are kids. Because our kids will live the rest of their future in the shadow of the laws and governments we support, it is imperative to consult them. So I decided to put my ear to the ground, and asked my youth group girls and their friends what they thought of the Quebec charter of values. Here are some reactions by girls age 12-16, all from different backgrounds and religions.
When I read a recent blog post addressing "indecent girls" that the author's sons may encounter online, the first people that I thought of were Amanda Todd, Rehtaeh Parsons, Audrie Pott, and Cherice Morales. In each of these cases, the girls became social pariahs. In each of these cases, the girls committed suicide after enduring bullying and slut-shaming both online and offline. All because of that toxic mentality.
If you're a parent, you've probably by now seen the cocky, controlling, pretty weird letter written by Kim Hall to all teenage girls her teenage boys may ever come into contact with online. Letters like the one Mrs. Hall wrote to teenage girls are a prime example of how rape culture perpetuates itself in today's society in an insidious and innocent-looking way.
Why do we have to refer to acne as "problem skin" or "bad skin"? My skin isn't bad or a problem; it's just my skin, and I'm fucking tired of being made to feel like I should be ashamed of it. I'm sick of the fact that the only time I ever see someone in the media with acne, they're there to tell me how not to have acne. I can turn on my television and see people from all different kinds of ethnic backgrounds. I can find television shows with characters from all the major religions; I can find shows with characters of several different sexual orientations. There are never any people on my television or in magazines or even in cute, independent, deliberately not-Hollwood movies who look like me, with angry red skin and patches of whiteheads and that greasy sheen.
Like many Indian girls, I wasn't allowed to date when I was a teenager. But today, it's been a different childhood for my 18-year-old. In fact things are very different in my household. My husband and I do our best to cope with the reality that she wants to date, even though we never had the same opportunity as teens.
In November 2011, when Rehtaeh Parsons was 15, she went with a friend to a party. Her mother said she was raped by four boys. I've seen a common refrain expressed online: "What are we teaching our kids?" It's a good question to ask when four young men allegedly felt that they had the right to do whatever they liked to a girl
The actual risk of young people getting melanoma is tiny compared with the risks of everyday activities that we don't think twice about allowing kids to engage in. We could prevent far more teen deaths and injuries by outlawing teenaged skating, swimming and driving than by outlawing teenaged tanning.
I was lost. A mother of six with four hormonal teenagers -- that in itself, even spouting out the words is enough to drive anyone to a liquored-stupor. But I am not here to tell you what you already know or what you fear, I want to share my survival skills, how I managed to keep myself together, or appear to and hope that some good comes out of my experience.
Porn is out there, it's accessible, and it's here to stay. Sex and porn are so inextricably linked that it's as impossible to imagine the world without the one as it is without the other. The problem with most porn is that it reflects a weird world of hairlessness, bleaching athleticism and diminutive speech. It's not real, and this can lead to some serious social problems for teens.