One of the problems with acting and dressing one way while being another person is that people will identify you by how you carry yourself and what they see without getting to know you as a person. You can attempt to tell people that you are not what they see, and even blame them and call them judgmental, but the truth is that how you act, what you wear, and how you carry yourself has a lot of bearing as to what people think of you.
One 13 year old is learning this the hard way, and I would suggest that the advice given by Dear Abby fails to be up to the task at hand. Miss NOT A SLUT IN S. CAROLINA has the problem that boys are not treating her as the fine girl that she is and are, instead, calling her names, asking her to engage in sex with them, and asking her to be their little slave girl. She has gotten so upset about it that she almost committed suicide five months ago.
Abby’s advice: report them to the principal and teachers. She is being sexually harassed and it must stop.
Now, a little background. I too was harassed in public high school. Because of my stand on sex (that I wasn’t going to have it– and I didn’t have my first kiss until into college), the way I dressed, and the stands I took I had girls that wanted to “jump my bones” (whatever that was supposed to mean), that pinched my butt, and did other things to try to irritate me.
Since I had no intention of getting a girl friend from school (my parents had advised me only to date potential future mates (i.e. only those that had a saving relationship with Jesus Christ), I only ended up dating one girl from public school, and that was in my senior year.
In any case, I know about sexual harassment. I reported some of these girls to the principal. To some degree it worked. But there were also girls with a reputation, and girls that dressed in a trashy way that gained that reputation. I can remember being in an opening meeting where the guy next to me told me that a particular girl that was up front was loose morally (whether she was or not I do not know). There were other stories spread about people based on how they dressed and their reputation.
I’m not saying that Abby’s wrong, and that Miss NASISC is soliciting these comments, but what I would suggest is a two pronged approach:
- Talk to your parents (especially your dad) about what you are wearing and the messages it is sending. Also, if you’re one of those that kiss in the halls, wear too much makeup, or hang around a set of friends that “have a reputation” you may want to reevaluate those bonds.
- Talk to your teachers and principal– both to report the harassment, but also to ask them about what they see. Too often things like this could be avoided if teens would actually talk to parents and ask them what they see from their perspective.
If parents, teens and teachers got on the same page, and were honest about the messages being portrayed by their actions and attire, then I think teens would be better equipped to deal with situations that come their way and fewer situations would.
I was harassed, but I was never thought of as a morally loose person.