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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » What your Mama says...

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Author Topic: What your Mama says...
Alice
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...may not always be best.

Is there anything that your mother, grandmother, or whomever really, has taught you about sexuality, gender, etc, that is just totally nuts? Air it out here.

I'll start. I was with my grandmother today who isn't very old considering she has a great-grandchild, she's in her mid 60's. I think she's an amazing woman. However, she seriously told me today, in what appeared to be a teaching moment, that men are like dogs. You have to praise/reward them when they do something right. And those poor souls, they just can't help it.

I wish I had some great comeback to report, but I was too stunned to think of one at that moment. Maybe later.

Anyone else?

[ 11-12-2009, 01:17 AM: Message edited by: Alice ]

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The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King

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Karybu
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My mother, no matter how much information I give her that says otherwise, still believes that condoms are totally useless at preventing pregnancy. I've given up trying to convince her, but I do wonder why she thinks people use them if they don't work?

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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tsangpo
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Today my mom told me that in order to protect my reputation, I should be nice to an old ex-boyfriend who won't leave me alone instead of, you know, telling him to sod off. I'm still kind of steaming about that one.

Also, I'm a girl, and her one piece of dating advice for me has always been that I should wear my hair down more often, instead of braiding it--as if my hair was magical and had the power to catch potential suitors in its magical net somehow--

I have never been able to explain to her how messed up that is.

The oddest thing about it is that she considers herself a feminist.

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September
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My mother is not a fan of condoms. She believes that they take away sensation and prevent true intimacy. Also, you would only ever need to use one if you were sleeping with someone you did not want a baby with (which, baaaad) and/or if you were sleeping with lots and lots of people and thus needed to worry about STIs (only promiscuous people get those).

Interestingly, both my little brother and I are staunch supporter of the condom. Occasionally we like to bring this up, both because it annoys the heck out of her, but also because we feel sad about her misconceptions and wish she would come to support our behaviour, which is really pretty smart and responsible, rather than condemning it.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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bluejumprope
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I just remembered one of my mom's doozies from Thanksgiving.

Before dinner a bunch of my mom's friends were talking about online dating and my mom shared the story of her first experience with it. My mom found this story so funny, she couldn't stop laughing as she told it. Apparently, the first man who contacted her through eHarmony was wearing a kilt in his photograph! Can you imagine? He was wearing a skirt!

My explanations of cultural differences and contemporary understandings of gender fell on deaf ears because she had him all figured out. As she explained, his kilt was supposed to be a covert "signal" to let women know he was "into cross-dressing" and "wanted to be dominated."

It was even more nuts because she was irritated that I of all people didn't appreciate her insight about how those weird crossdressers operate, or what was funny about a man in a kilt.

Um, mom, you realize you're talking to a girl who hasn't worn a single item of "female clothing" since she could buy her own clothes, right?

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without tenderness, we are in hell. -Adrienne Rich

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Jill2000Plus
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I don't even think it's as much to do with cultural differences as just the odd randomness of when it's considered to be ok for a man to wear a dress, with one of the most obvious ones being that it tends to be percieved as more of a good thing if it's in the name of tradition (religious ceremonial garb, kilts) that if it's just because they want to, the thing that really irks me about the whole women=skirts and dresses, men=trousers/pants thing is: if trousers are generally found to be more comfortable and practical by those of all genders then why are women encouraged to wear skirts instead and if sometimes a skirt really is just the thing (say in summer to keep one's legs cool) then why are so many assumptions made about someone's gender based on their decision to wear a skirt. Sometimes, we wear what we wear because it's what's comfortable and practical and not because it's a important part of our gender identity (I don't even identify in a gendered way, I'm just me).

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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My grandmother, mother and aunt all have warned me to NEVER date an East Indian man. (I believe they said East Indian, I may be wrong) Their reasoning is the culture. They only pay attention to the horror stories that media out puts. I told them just how racist and inaccurate that is and they tried to justify it by saying that while all men of that culture are not like that, it isn't worth taking the chance. I cannot express just how much this irks me. Besides the concept of abusive spouses is not limited to any nationality or gender. They never even consider the fact that I could marry a woman. They think they are so progressive when in reality deep inside they are being racist, homophobic, sexist, etc.

I cannot change their view points (believe me I've tried), so I will take this as a lesson for how I should bring up my children, should I choose to have them. (which I really want to, even if I end up with a woman) I will assume nothing of my children, I will not teach them in the "straight is default" mind set, I will allow them to dress how they choose, I will not teach them that anything is specific to a certain nationality or race, I will teach my children to be open minded!

(Mind, my mother is not close minded in all aspects, just many)

[ 12-13-2009, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: moonlight bouncing off water ]

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Bonnie.N.Clyde
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Interesting topic!

My grandmother once told me that in New York (where she grew up), there was a neighborhood near her house where men would go and "become bisexuals." She then warned me to shy away from those types of places where a lot of gays were because the same might happen to me. At the time, I was attending a queer support group and told my grandma it was a community service group.

Whoever says grannies aren't sharp in their own special way has never met a granny!

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"And when everyone is super, no one will be."

-Syndrome, "THE INCREDIBLES"

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diex-romantic
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moonlight- My family is the same way, but with African American men. I find it absolutely disgraceful. When they start bringing up things like that, is there anything you usually say/do to get them to stop? I usually end up walking away, because there is no getting through to them.
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moonlight bouncing off water
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diex-romantic- I usually just call my family out on being so racist. It hasn't happened very recently which I am thankful for, but there are a few other prejudices and biases which come to light. I usually just keep saying how wrong they are until they stop, if not I'd walk away as well. It also bothers me even more that they can't see that they are being racist. Fortunately my mother most often voices opinions like these when around my grandmother and aunt, so since one of them lives 5 hours away from here I don't hear those comments as often as I might.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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diex-romantic
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Ah, lucky you! I also find that these conversations start happening at big family dinners/gatherings. Nothing says family togetherness like a racist conversation ;]. (Please note the sarcasm!)

I don't know about you, but I find it hard, especially because sometimes I DO find myself attracted to black boys. I just don't see how I can just eliminate an entire race of people based on a few.

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Jill2000Plus
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I think it's actually quite a few, it's just that it's quite a few for every race instead of some but not others. There are quite a few horrible individuals of all races, the key is realising that instead of assuming that everyone of a particular race or races is teh evils while everyone of another race or races is an angel who happens not to have any wings. In short skepticism=good racism=bad (or maybe I'm being a little too cynical and should have more conviction in the goodness of all. I hate when those kinds of racist conversations come up, though my family is generally ok, I can see how that would be stressful, having to worry about how they would react if you started dating somebody of a race they have prejudices about (or maybe "well he looks kind of like he might be from there so I'll just assume he is", yes we might make mistakes in our guesses as to what race someone is but coupled with making bigoted generalisations it becomes a witchhunt).

[ 12-15-2009, 08:13 AM: Message edited by: Jill2000Plus ]

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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I live in a very small town, there is practically no racial diversity, so the odds of me dating anyone of another race are lower. I don't think my parents would actually have a problem with me dating a man of any race (and if I were to date a woman they would certainly be too focused on my bisexuality to notice my date's race). They can just be, ignorant. I suppose I am lucky in the respect that my parent's wouldn't actually do anything, I actually find a lot of my mother's negative issues arise around family. It wouldn't even occur to me to think anything of it, however if I were attracted to someone of a different race.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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nelesmile
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My mom once told my that masturbating is an unhealthy form of sexuality. Luckily she only told me this when I was already old enough to know that it's her who's nuts and not me, but I was still shocked, mostly because other than that she is pretty open minded.
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Jill2000Plus
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How on earth is masturbating an unhealthy form of sexuality? It's so fun and it doesn't hurt you or violate anyone else's rights... well I'm glad you knew she was talking rubbish.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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shainamaydel
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mine is kind of complicated, but to put it simply: i am jewish, from a traditionally jewish (though not orthodox family) and certain members of the family can NOT accept that I am dating a non-Jewish man (in fact, i've never dated a jew...whooops.)

the biggest doozy was actually from my dad, rather than mom or grandma (although grandma has stated in no uncertain terms that it is Not. Okay. With her. and that I should be dating around, not committed to one guy...i'm 22).

Me(defending myself): he makes me happy, that's all you should care about.
Dad(being a douche): that's what drug addicts say. too.

yep. i'm a goy addict, what can i say?

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Kaydee
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- The younger you have sex the higher your chances for cancer, and other things that will mess your body up real bad.
- Sex gives your wrinkles and ruins your body's beauty.

There are a lot more but I can't remember them at the moment.

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- Kaydee

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. - Albert Einstein

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welly
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Shainamaydel (love the username, btw)- that's quite a bit how my family acts. My great-aunt encourages my older sister and me (23 and 20, respectively) to "play the field" and even told my sister to try J-Date because she's never dated anyone Jewish.

My mom really wins though, I think. Even though she isn't observant, she acts disappointed in my sister when she dates a non-Jew. Then, when I started dating my boyfriend, whose family is more observant than mine, she freaked out and thought that they must be SUPER ORTHODOX because they keep kosher.

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