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Dad asks advice columnist about "defrauding daughters"


GeoBQn

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I read the advice column Dear Prudence on Slate. A letter from today's column sounds very familiar:

Dear Prudence,

I am a married man with two wonderful teenage daughters living in a tranquil suburban neighborhood. A few months ago a nice couple, "Mike" and "Mary," moved in next door along with their eight children. The family is devoutly Christian. The children are home-schooled, well-behaved, and reserved; and the girls dress modestly. Our families have dined together and get along well. As part of their chores, my daughters do most of the yard work. It's hot here much of the year, and they typically wear short shorts and tank tops or bikini tops. The other day Mike said he wanted us to have a "serious" discussion and told me he caught his boys watching my girls from a bedroom window. He asked if I could please have my girls not wear such revealing clothing if they're going to be outside, as he is trying to protect his kids from "certain elements of the world" and doesn't want them influenced by "overly sexualized displays." When I told my wife and daughters, they were offended. Is it unreasonable to ask my daughters to cover up a bit? I've had problems with difficult neighbors in the past and feel sometimes it is necessary to make small sacrifices in order to keep the peace. My wife thinks I should kindly tell Mike to shove it. What should I do?

—Neighborly Dad

Here's Prudie's response:

Dear Dad,

You say it's hot where you live, but I'll bet the temperature really soars in the boys' bedroom when your daughters come out in their bikini tops and daisy dukes and start mulching. Mike has quite a task ahead to keep his American, suburban children from discovering the enticing qualities of members of the opposite sex. A tranquil neighborhood in Riyadh might have a dress code he'd prefer, but then he'd have a little problem with religious observance. I think there's something in a book Mike probably reads often about neighbors and not coveting, so it actually seems that the sin is emanating from his side of the fence. It's too bad you didn't respond to his request by saying you are disturbed to hear his sons are peeping at your daughters as they go about their chores. Mike may prefer that your daughters dress like the fieldworkers in Millet's The Gleaners, but he's out of line for actually making clothing suggestions. However you want to phrase it, make clear to Mike your obligation to be neighborly does not require you to lead his boys from temptation.

—Prudie

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Neighborly dad is kinda a doofus. The answer to this question is so obvious -- stick the girls in a burqa before they attempt to leave the sheltering influence of home. Nah, I'm kidding. Mom and Prudie have it right... except. This:

My wife thinks I should kindly tell Mike to shove it.

needs to be changed to this:

My wife thinks I should kindly tell Mike to shove it.
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I love Prudie's response, especially where she asked why the onus is more on neighborly dad's daughters to cover up as opposed to Mike's sons to control themselves. It's not the girls' fault that the boys are drooling over them looking out the window. Mike should explain to his sons that watching people in that manner when they're not aware they're being observed is creepy and wrong.

Mike needs to shove it!

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Oh my lord, teenage boys notice teenage girls! Shocking. :shock: :lol:

I would have told my sons to help the young women with the yard work. That way, they could get to know the girls as human beings.

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huh. I would think that would be a great opportunity for the neighbor dad to teach his boys to practice what they preach in regards to purity. Individually, I do believe I have an obligation to be modest, and would teach any daughters so. But I can't fit everybody's standard of modest, and the other side of that coin, if we're going to talk about Biblical living, is that men are required to control their eyes, thoughts, and actions. Which is useful to learn because it just isn't practicable to give your neighbors dress codes. If they can't look without ogling, they are demeaning and objectifying those girls. So Fundamentalist Neighbor has some work to do in his own home before he branches out to "help" his neighbors be modest.

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I love Prudie's response, especially where she asked why the onus is more on neighborly dad's daughters to cover up as opposed to Mike's sons to control themselves. It's not the girls' fault that the boys are drooling over them looking out the window. Mike should explain to his sons that watching people in that manner when they're not aware they're being observed is creepy and wrong.

Mike needs to shove it!

I totally agree with this in principle. But, and this is just a guess based on the fundies we know, I'm thinking they weren't like "creepy staring" at these girls. Those poor teenage boys were probably just sneaking glances out the window at their hottie teenage girl neighbors and not only did their father have to make them feel ashamed about checking out girls their own age, which is pretty normal, but he had to try to make the girls and their family feel ashamed for the girls "forcing" the teen boys to look and thus causing them to feel shame.

It's sick. Teen boys look at teen girls. Then they drool. Then they make asses of themselves trying to impress said teen girls. 'Tis the way of the world -- don't these people believe in the basic biology of hormones?

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I totally agree with this in principle. But, and this is just a guess based on the fundies we know, I'm thinking they weren't like "creepy staring" at these girls. Those poor teenage boys were probably just sneaking glances out the window at their hottie teenage girl neighbors and not only did their father have to make them feel ashamed about checking out girls their own age, which is pretty normal, but he had to try to make the girls and their family feel ashamed for the girls "forcing" the teen boys to look and thus causing them to feel shame.

It's sick. Teen boys look at teen girls. Then they drool. Then they make asses of themselves trying to impress said teen girls. 'Tis the way of the world -- don't these people believe in the basic biology of hormones?

No, they don't. They see it as the sin of lust that women/girls must prevent from occurring in the men/boys. It is not up the the boys to learn discretion, self-control or to look away, it is the girls who must look less trampy so the oogling boys are not enticed. It is the epitome of their backwards thinking.

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somebody needs to make those daughters a tee shirt of that print going around pinterest: "i hate it when i'm making my milkshake, and all these boys end up in my yard"

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I totally agree with this in principle. But, and this is just a guess based on the fundies we know, I'm thinking they weren't like "creepy staring" at these girls. Those poor teenage boys were probably just sneaking glances out the window at their hottie teenage girl neighbors and not only did their father have to make them feel ashamed about checking out girls their own age, which is pretty normal, but he had to try to make the girls and their family feel ashamed for the girls "forcing" the teen boys to look and thus causing them to feel shame.

It's sick. Teen boys look at teen girls. Then they drool. Then they make asses of themselves trying to impress said teen girls. 'Tis the way of the world -- don't these people believe in the basic biology of hormones?

Oh, I've no doubt that's true. I don't think staring out the window for a moment or two at an attractive female (or male, for that matter) is evidence of anything deviant or creepy. My own son walked into a pole recently when we were on vacation because he was checking out a pretty girl and not watching where he was going (we about died laughing after making sure he was okay :lol: ).

I didn't express myself well. I guess I was trying to place the two actions (the defrauding and the surveillance) in perspective with regard to each other and say IF there is a party at "fault" here (which I don't believe is necessarily true, unless the boys were staring for long periods of time surreptitiously, which I do find a little creepy), that Mike should look to his sons first.

Better yet, perhaps Mike could grow the hell up and grab the handrail and realize that teen boys look at teen girls and yes, they do drool sometimes, and make asses of themselves, and it's all just part of growing up. :)

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Ha! I saw this one being discussed else where and someone had an interesting idea. If "Mike" doesn't want his sons looking, he should offer to have his son's do the letter writer's yard work. For free.

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I think those girls should start sunbathing in their yard in the skimpiest bikinis they own.

If I caught my son watching a girl on her own property, I would tell him to stop being a stalker creep. Probably in those words. It would depend on whether it's a front yard or back yard--in a fenced backyard, I think you have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Blaming the girl is ridiculous. I spent adolescence in Redding, CA, where triple digits are the norm for at least three months of the year. Hell yes I was walking around in short shorts in a bikini! Especially considering that I spent the earlier part of childhood in a much colder area. Keeping your body at a reasonable temperature is not a moral issue imo.

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Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't find the boys watching the girls to be all that "creepy." If I'm out in my front yard, I know I'm visible to anyone who happens to walk by or glance out their window. It's not a place where I expect to have a whole lot of privacy.

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I might have jumped to the wrong conclusion, but I got the impression this was more than a glance. Like, a group of boys clustered at a window watching for extended periods of time, or maybe, um, aroused by it?

Would the dad care so much if they were just having a look here and there? I wouldn't.

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Teenage boys stare at teenage girls and think they're cute. In other news, water is wet. :roll:

Mike needs to take care of his own kids before attempting to lecture someone else's. I like the suggestion of having his sons offer to do the letter writer's yard work.

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This reminds me of my childhood home, no word of a lie for several years we grew up beside can't remember there last name but her first name was Alana she was in a Miss Universe Pageant in the 1990’s. I can’t remember but I do know that for a while before the Pageant my family knew about it, as anyone would do during the summer was suntan and my brother through some physic ability (he was about 11 or 12) knew when she was out there and would peek through the fence, one day my dad caught him and 3 friends peeking though the fence when my dad asked what was going on 4 faces turned and they all smiles until they saw who asked and simultaneously there smiles dropped it was pretty funny. My dad couldn’t blame my brother as he was a red blooded male but he didn’t like him peeping through the fence didn’t think that was right, I guess there were a couple of times that she went in because she felt someone watching her, he made my brother go over and apologize. My dad didn’t go there and say could you make sure your daughter is covered up no, what my brother did was normal. I’d pissed if someone told me what they thought I should wear I would tell him there teenage boys it’s normal but if there always up there watching it’s a problem with your kids not mine. UNBIELEVABLE

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Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't find the boys watching the girls to be all that "creepy." If I'm out in my front yard, I know I'm visible to anyone who happens to walk by or glance out their window. It's not a place where I expect to have a whole lot of privacy.

"Mike" expressed that he "caught" his sons "watching" these girls, which of course, implies that they were doing something wrong. So it could be that they were surreptitiously staring out the windows at the girls, or perhaps just admiring in a head-turning sort of way.

It is not illegal to stare out the window at anyone or anything, but I know I would consider it a problem if my sons were staring out the window at some young woman/young woman for lengths of time for their own. . . uh. . . gratification. If that happened in my home, I would tell my boy(s) to stop, as well, and say, "If you're that interested, why don't you go over to talk to her/them?" As a feminist, I would also remind them that girls have brains and ideas of their own and are not just on this planet as eye candy. But that's just me. :)

Anyhoo, there is nothing wrong with teens having a normal and natural interest in the opposite sex and both genders will certainly check each other out. But I do think I would feel grossed out if I found out that my neighbor was staring at me or my daughter (if I had one) when I was working in my yard in a halter top, for instance. Not illegal, but gross and creepy.

It would not surprise me at all if the boys' looking out the window was an innocent act and Mike just blew it out of proportion because. . . you know. . . it means his boys are being defrauded and maybe thinking about. . . wait for it. . . SEX. :shock:

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I think this is an excellent chance to try the Pearl method. Just stand there with a whip and every time they look nail them.

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This is clearly all the mom's fault. It's her job to watch for immodest girls and yell "NIKE!" so her boys can cover their eyes. DUH!

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"Mike" expressed that he "caught" his sons "watching" these girls, which of course, implies that they were doing something wrong. So it could be that they were surreptitiously staring out the windows at the girls, or perhaps just admiring in a head-turning sort of way.

It is not illegal to stare out the window at anyone or anything, but I know I would consider it a problem if my sons were staring out the window at some young woman/young woman for lengths of time for their own. . . uh. . . gratification. If that happened in my home, I would tell my boy(s) to stop, as well, and say, "If you're that interested, why don't you go over to talk to her/them?" As a feminist, I would also remind them that girls have brains and ideas of their own and are not just on this planet as eye candy. But that's just me. :)

Anyhoo, there is nothing wrong with teens having a normal and natural interest in the opposite sex and both genders will certainly check each other out. But I do think I would feel grossed out if I found out that my neighbor was staring at me or my daughter (if I had one) when I was working in my yard in a halter top, for instance. Not illegal, but gross and creepy.

It would not surprise me at all if the boys' looking out the window was an innocent act and Mike just blew it out of proportion because. . . you know. . . it means his boys are being defrauded and maybe thinking about. . . wait for it. . . SEX. :shock:

This was the impression I got from the letter. I was picturing something like, "Hey, dude, check it out. The Smith girls are weeding the yard in their bikini tops again," not some sort of Edward Cullen-ish prolonged watching. I think normal boys probably would go talk to them, but even if these fundie boys wanted to, their dad wouldn't let them.

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Bwhahahahaha! I wish they had lived next door to me when my DD was still at home - she used to mow wearing her bikini. Since she was an athlete, she was darn proud of what she had worked so hard for, and had no qualms about being admired for it.

I think Dad should explain to his neighbor that he is trying to protect his daughters from "certain elements of the world" who would try to sit in judgement of them based on their clothing, as he doesn't want them influenced by "overly prudish" people who are ashamed of their bodies and natural functions.

His wife definitely has the right idea...

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I think the fundie dad should have contracted with Trash for an official "Uh-oh!" intervention.

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I love Prudie's response, especially where she asked why the onus is more on neighborly dad's daughters to cover up as opposed to Mike's sons to control themselves. It's not the girls' fault that the boys are drooling over them looking out the window. Mike should explain to his sons that watching people in that manner when they're not aware they're being observed is creepy and wrong.

Mike needs to shove it!

ITA.

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Oh my lord, teenage boys notice teenage girls! Shocking. :shock: :lol:

I would have told my sons to help the young women with the yard work. That way, they could get to know the girls as human beings.

:bow-yellow:

And there's a snowball's chance in hell that Fundie Dad could EVER permit that.

debrand wins the Internet.

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