Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Danger! Male Double Standards!

This "shirt" lives in my sock drawer ... in the back. It has only been worn once.
Years ago (seems like yesterday) when my eldest daughter was in 8th and just beginning to ... um, blossom, ... she went shopping on her own. Somehow (????) she made the decision to pick this shirt from all the many shirts in Mall Land. She also managed to wear it to school, even though at that age she had to have ridden with either me or her Mom and I can't imagine us not NOTICING the advertisement across her chest.
I'm thinking strategic use of a jacket was involved here.
Anyway, the poor thing didn't have a chance of getting away with it since I worked at the school she attended.
It wasn't long before one of my lady teacher pals caught me in the hall and made a "Did Katie's shirt pass Dad inspection?" comment.
I was clueless at that point, and she would not give details, but I managed to cross paths with Kate later in the day.
"When we get home, go change, and bring me that shirt!!"
So, it is that the Hot Surface shirt came to live, balled up in the back of my sock drawer with my old NPS tie tacs and badge.
Fast forward about 6 years to 2007 and my baby boy is a freshman in highschool. His freshman class sponsor came to me and asked if I was okay with Jr.'s class shirt saying. She just wanted to be sure before she sent the order off.
Each kid was putting a nickname on the hoodie style shirts they were about to order and my knucklehead had chosen, "STUDMUFFIN" for the back of his shirt.
I have been taking big heat for my answer to that question.
He loves his shirt though.
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rick said...

it becomes easier to allow that when you have a terrific son who has made you proud just like their music we too had some very radical music about drugs, alcohol and sex.

robin andrea said...

Yes, it is a double standard, but you made the right decisions. In our culture girls are not safe telegraphing their sexuality, and boys are. It's a shame, but that's how it is. Letting girls wear shirts like that doesn't raise consciousness, but rather keeps the good girl/bad girl stereotypes intact. You made the right choice.

Lightnin said...

After raising three sons all I can say is: Just be thankful that we're just talking shirts here and not tatoos!!!

roger said...

at least "studmuffin" isn't on, how can i put this, an erogenous zone. maybe he wants the shirt you're hiding.

Deb said...

What's scary is these days you're seeing more and more suggestive slogans...in the girls' 7-14 department. I want my daughter to realize that there are much better ways of getting attention than flaunting her sexuality. Yet, when Mr. Attitude flirts with teenage girls, I somehow think it's cute.

Parenting can be such a minefield!

Hurricane Teen said...

OH, that is so mild compared to some of the things I saw in middle school.
You are a good parent, however. I wouldn't let my kid wear that.

kathy a said...

LOL -- what roger said. also, i think that "studmuffin" is probably meant and understood as ironic. anyway, the "muffin" part takes it out of the "very charged" category, in my opinion. [don't worry, he'll still be embarassed when you show the photos to his kids in 20 years.]

as for the t-shirt, i'm with you. and there is science to back us up:

Alan said...

So, this makes you Studmuffin's Father?

.....Alan {laughing}

Leslie said...

When I read your opening two sentences, I thought it was YOUR shirt and that you didn't particularly care for it. Teenagers are a challenge but you gotta admire their bravery.

Thunder Dave said...

Yeah man, what Lightnin said!

My tatoo isn't what you think!!! Gnerve hat gesagt der letzte.

cinbad122 said...

But he is a "studmuffin"!

vicki said...

This post made me laugh out loud. Been there, done that. And he IS awfully cute. I like the spunk and initiative Katie showed in getting that shirt purchased, on and out the door. It's the spunk and initiative that will last, not the bad taste in tee shirts.

On that note, Abby's lacrosse team had heavy light gray sweat pants they wore over their uniforms before taking the field on cold spring mornings. They all wore them too big and dragging down. Printed across the rear end of each, bright purple letters proclaimed, "Can't touch this!" She is still very fond of those sweats.

Floridacracker said...

And I still like that old "bad" music. It didn't turn me into a junkie or a degenerate, neither did long hair. I keep that in mind whenever someone fusses about today's kids.

Thanks for the support. It's all in his mind anyway :)

We're not talking tattoos until they are completely out on their own and then I won't be crazy about it then.
They do not age well. I see faded wrinkly tattoos every time I'm in a checkout aisle and, sorry, but all they do is call attention to the bearer's wrinkled over 40 skin.

you have a point. the hoodie hangs over it most of the time anyway.

A total minefield, and we have no mine detectors that are 100% effective.

Being a good parent means lots of unpopular decisions. You have to have the longterm view.

Kathy A,
You don't know how ironic. As far as I can tell he doesn't have a girlfriend. Thanks for the link!

Well, he is a junior.

I let my shirts speak for themselves ... sans print.

Of course YOUR skin would never wrinkle :)

You of all people know he's just a big goofy baby ... who's absent minded like his dad.

Floridacracker said...

I admire her creativity too. Her taste in clothes has improved, although sometimes when I'm doing a load of laundry, some of her "delicates" make me think, "why bother?"
Emma and her cheerleaders had sweats with butt writing too. I think it said "CHEER", but still, it is asking someone to read your butt.
Regarding yesterday's comment: Yes, the SAT and the ACT are taken.

kathy a said...

i think the best tattoo preventive is my sister in law, who is 49 but has a young child, so she thinks she is 20 something. she kept trying to talk my kids into getting tats like the ones she got a few years ago because they are so cool -- even once telling my daughter how to get them illegally. [yes, i just adore this relative, can't tell you how much.] anyway, it was pretty horrifying to the kids.

i think when dad has to say "what's this?" to delicate laundry, it is time for daughter to learn the ways of the washer. LOL

Floridacracker said...

Kathy A,
NPR had a story about a new ink that is less toxic and truly temporary than current heavy metal laden permanent tattoo ink. I suppose that would be a good compromise for those who enjoy body art. I'm sticking with my freckles and scars.

Sounds like a fun sister-n-law. Whew!
Regarding the laundry ...
Actually, I was helping her out, it happens to be her chore, but the quantity is overwhelming sometimes with 3 teens in the house. I don't want her to feel like Cinderella.

kathy a said...

ah. at some point we adopted a "do your own clothes" policy. just towels and other "community property" alone can add up at an alarming rate, though!

daughter likes getting "henna tattoos," which really are temporary. i don't mind that at all, or whatever they do to their hair -- and we have seen quite a lot of styles and colors -- hair grows out.

ImagineMel said...

tsk tsk tsk...I like to call him "Mud stuffin'" He loves that name. ;)

Hick said...

Heh! My daughter found one of my old t-shirts that said "Moosle shirt" with a picture of a Moose flexing his "moosles".

My oldest is the one that I close my eyes when I see some of his t-shirts. Yipes!

LauraHinNJ said...

I'm with kathy a - if they're delicate a father shouldn't be touching them!

Floridacracker said...

Kathy A and Laurahinnj,
Y'all know helping with the laundry is one of my own renaissance man categories. Does this mean I no longer have to do the whites? Is this a pass out of laundry duty?

I had one that said, "No Swimming Suits After Dark".
It showed up in an old pic a while back and raised kid eyebrows.

You and I know he's got a big imagination :)

threecollie said...

Had to laugh...been there and all. Just learned yesterday that the names the kids use for their pick up volleyball teams contain innuendo, very thinly veiled, that got past teachers and administration and parents for years...such as the Pen Island Team. I never saw it either.

Floridacracker said...

There's something very reassuring about that spirit and cleverness.
Too funny.

Weary Hag said...

This post is adorable and I SO appreciate your honesty!

My daughter wanted a shirt that 'said something cool on it' back in middle school. I wasn't letting her wear any of the usual garb for sale on the mall racks, but my sister found the perfect solution for her in a NYC shop. It said in quotes, "My other shirt says all the things I wish this one said"

Something very much to that effect. It was great and she got quite a few chuckles from friends.

kathy a said...

i'll tell you, this thread could go on forever, between teen fashion and laundry.

daughter had a DIY laundry crisis with whites a couple months back, when she washed all her whites with those spiffy brand new black pants. the whites turned out a lovely shade of violet, but she objected [in much the same way her grandpa was unpleased with his t-shirts turning pink due to red items]. it was a learning experience. a bleach soak still works.

daughter used to have a t-shirt that said, "be glad i'm not your kid." she wore it exclusively at the mall when shopping with mom. it did cut down on the learing, so i have to give her credit.

her grandmother gave her the most awful jammie set this christmas -- the top says "hooray for guys with money!" [yes, this is the grandma who raised the evil tattooed aunt.] needless to say, the only reason she would ever wear it is to freak both parents out. we attended lamaze, however, and know how to breathe under stress. i don't know why it's in her laundry basket -- it didn't provoke the intended response, and has no further use in this world.

Floridacracker said...

Clever shirt!
I do try and tell the truth here, even when it points out my own foibles.

Kathy A,
At least it's jammies and not public wear. Funny.
The real minefield of the laundry room is the "you should know this by osmosis" factor when it comes to putting clothes in the dryer.
You could put all my clothes from sneakers to shirts in the dryer, but somehow I'm supposed to know which sweaters, blouses, and girlie things can only be drip dried on a hanger or stretched out on flat surface to dry.