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Marisa McPeck-Stringham Headshot

FYI (If You're a Teenage Boy)

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Dear boys,

I have some information that might interest you. Last night, as we sometimes do, our family sat around the dining room table and looked through your social media photos. Because we're creepy like that.

We have a teenage daughter, and so naturally, there are quite a few pictures of you handsome boys to wade through. Wow -- you sure took a bunch of selfies in your pajamas this summer! Your bedrooms are so dirty! Don't you know how to clean your rooms? Our 9-year-old son brought this to our attention, because with one older sister who has a room that smells like an old, dead hamster, he notices boyish details like that.

I think the girls notice other things. For one, it appears that you are not wearing a shirt.
I get it -- you're in your room, so you're heading to bed, right? But then I can't help but notice the big muscles pose, the extra-arched back to show off your rock-hard abs and the smirky grin. What's up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know. Because I'm a woman. And rock-hard abs left me four children ago. And I like to judge others based on my own standard behavior.

So, here's the bit that I think is important for you to realize. If you are friends with a daughter of mine on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, then you are friends with the whole fam-dam-ly.

Please understand this, also: we genuinely like keeping up with you. We enjoy seeing life through your unique and colorful lens -- which is what makes your latest self-portrait so extremely unfortunate. You just aren't good enough. We're the Joneses. Now keep up with us.

Those posts don't reflect who you are! We think you are handsome and probably interesting and, if I'm being generous, very smart. But, we had to cringe and wonder what you were trying to do? Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say? Because we literally have nothing better to do than judge and examine the lives of teenage boys.

And now -- big bummer -- we have to block your posts. Because, the reason we have these (sometimes awkward) family conversations around the table is that we care about our daughter, just as we know your parents care about you. But not as much as we care about our kids, because we're totes better parents than your parents.

I know your family would not be thrilled at the thought of my teenage daughter seeing you only in your towel. Did you know that once a female sees you in a state of undress, she can't ever un-see it? You don't want my daughter to only think of you in this sexual way, do you? Because if she does, it will be YOUR fault. Our daughter does not have free agency. She is incapable of controlling her thoughts and actions, so you must do it for her. Seriously, she can't. It's some sort of chromosome condition that only occurs with the XX.

Neither do we. I mean, I don't want my daughter to think of you in a sexual way, but I'm not gonna try and make myself un-see a picture of Ryan Gosling in just a towel. I mean, yum. And It's not like he's a real person.

And so, in our house, there are no second chances, boys. Because we're just mean like that. I know, I know. We proclaim to be Christians who believe in the power of the atonement and all. But we're not Jesus, so only he has to forgive you. Us? Well, we are just going to judge you all we can and shame you and infer that you're giant bags of whore on the internet.

If you want to stay friendly with the females in my family, you'll have to keep your clothes on (unless you're Ryan Gosling) and your posts decent. And interesting. I mean, no one wants to read that "Roman is having an okay day and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station." All of your posts should revolve around me and what I find interesting. If you try to post a sexy selfie, or an inappropriate YouTube video -- even once -- you'll be booted off our online island. Because like I said, there is zero tolerance for forgiveness in our family. Mess up once and it's the guillotine.

I know that sounds harsh and old-school, but that's just the way it is under this roof for a while. We hope to raise women with a strong moral compass, and women of integrity don't linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school boys. Women of integrity also don't write incredibly mean, self-righteous posts that slut-shame teenage girls. Phew, luckily I didn't do anything like that!

Every day I pray for the men my girls will love. I hope they will be drawn to real handsome guys (not dorks. No dorks allowed in this super-awesome fam), the kind of men who will leave them better people in the end. I also pray that my daughters will be worthy of this kind of man, that they will be patient -- and act honorably -- while they wait for him.

Boys, it's not too late! If you think you've made an online mistake (we all do -- don't fret -- I've made some doozies), RUN to your accounts and take down anything that makes it easy for your female friends to imagine you naked in your bedroom. DO IT NOW! I AM THE EMPRESS OF ALL AND I COMMAND YOU TO TAKE DOWN ALL POSTS THAT DON'T MEET MY HIGH STANDARDS. But actually it is too late because we already blocked your skanky-ass profile because Jesus and no second chances.

Will you trust me? There are girls out there waiting and hoping for men of character. Some young women are fighting the daily uphill battle to keep their minds pure, and their thoughts praiseworthy. And you shirtless boys in just your swim trunks are ruining it for them. You are making their minds impure and they have no control over it. None! It's like you're literally controlling their minds.

You are growing into a real handsome dude, inside and out.

Act like him, speak like him, post like him. Because no second chances.

I'm glad we're friends. But not like the for reals kind of friends. Like the passive-aggressive kind who make really mean judgments about you and then write about it on the Internet.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Judgmental Slut Shamer Jones
(my response to this post)

This post originally appeared on Iron Daisy.