Parenting: you’re doing it wrong.
Bakersfield, California, mother Frances Hena asked a local news station whether she was supposed to “whoop” her 11-year-old daughter instead, which was clearly the only other alternative to making young Jamie stand in a busy intersection with a sign reading, “I was disrespecting my parents by twerking at a school dance.” Hena thinks that publicly embarrassing her daughter will teach the kid not to twerk. Had she watched Miley Cyrus’ twerk-performance at the VMAs, she would understand twerkers are plenty capable of embarrassing themselves, thank you.
Jamie, who is in 7th grade, was told by her mother that under no circumstances should she twerk her booty at an upcoming school dance. But twerk she did and news got back to her mom (from a friend who snitched). As punishment, Jamie was forced to hold her sign in a busy intersection for two hours, while her mom stood off to the side and gabbed to the TV news.
My first question is why it hasn’t occurred to the mother that she’s exposing her adolescent daughter to creepy drivers who are just going to leer at the young twerking jailbait. Fielding lascivious looks from gross guys in trucks while holding a sign about twerking sure will teach young Jamie about not behaving sexually to seek male attention! Then again, it seems like Frances Hena didn’t think this one through too well.
Look, I get it: her daughter disobeyed her. She’s within her rights as a parent to be angry. Yes, 11-years-old is pretty young to be shaking your butt sexually at a 7th grade dance. But it’s not so young when you consider these are the years when a HUGE rush of hormones are surging through tween girls bodies. Most kids keep that under control, but some do not — which has more to do with immaturity than anything else. I worry that her mom’s punishment zeroes in less on the points about self-control and obeying your parents and instead focuses on pearl-clutching over a raunchy dance, which is tied to a larger culture that seeks to control womens’ and girls’ sexuality through shame and blame.
It’s worth asking, what does Hena find twerking so disrespectful to her? Is she worried about her daughter’s burgeoning sexuality, so she’s trying to contain it? She’s trying to force her kid to be ashamed for what she does with her body, something that Jamie clearly didn’t find shameful or else she wouldn’t have done at a friggin’ school dance. Get a clue, Frances Hena: your child is sexual being and will only become more sexual with age.
This so-called “punishment” reminds me of a commenter on SlaneGirl blowjob post who said the girl who gave two men head in public at a concert may have well has shot her parents in the head. Really? Really? Talk about having your fucked up priorities making a mountain out of a molehill. I’ll just sit back and watch as this spectacularly backfires (and hope that Jamie finds a good therapist to deal with the rest of adolesence). Her mama shouldn’t be surprised if Jamie grows up hiding stuff from her, especially sexuality-related stuff, so she won’t face further discipline if it’s not to her mother’s liking. And who could blame Jamie, really?
In other news, Frances Hena wants her daughter’s school to institute a “no twerking” policy. Awesome priorities, lady.
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