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Things Girls Should Know - what are your thoughts?

(250 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 30-Jan-13 11:10:42

Last week, author and Mumsnet Blogger Kate Figes appeared on Woman's Hour with Steve Biddulph, author of the recently published Raising Girls.

The programme sparked plenty of discussion, and inspired a couple of interesting posts from Kate, who often writes about being the mother of teenage girls. The first (Things Girls Should Know About Bodies) - is here, and yesterday's post (Things Girls Should Know About Boys) is here.

It got us thinking here about things we'd like our daughters to know when they're older - and we thought we'd throw the discussion open to you. So, what are your own Things That Girls Should Know? Share your thoughts (and URLs if you blog) here.

scottishmummy Fri 08-Feb-13 19:29:52

you're responsible for your own welfare,destiny dont depend upon anyone else
don't turn motherhood into a martyred state,it's just get on with it,it's you with a child
don't fall back on ready made out of self help book excuses,no I'm only a girl
don't be afraid to say no and mean not be afraid say yes and mean it
do laugh a lot,it's good for mental and physical health
do eat,sleep,and read well

Trills Thu 07-Feb-13 19:18:40

I am not convinced that there are any things girls should know that boys should not also know...

Other than "don't put anything in your vagina that you wouldn't put in your mouth" (and there is a male equivalent - "don't put your penis anywhere you wouldn't be willing to lick")

That's a cleanliness issue btw, not just advocating oral sex.

mathanxiety Thu 07-Feb-13 19:17:41

Further to Fastidia's post in some ways -- are people (even those of good will) subliminally giving girls the message that they are the relationship people whereas boys are in another category?

mathanxiety Thu 07-Feb-13 19:15:40

I think what bothers me about articles like the Figes one is that you never, ever see corresponding articles aimed at boys.

JugglingFromHereToThere Thu 07-Feb-13 16:33:17

Yes I agree with all that Fastidia - especially the "is not the most interesting or important thing about you"

Quite tricky to know how to share that message with our teens though ? I'm trying being interested in her thoughts and feelings as a start ? And only taking a passing interest in her appearance ?

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 07-Feb-13 14:37:18

Another thing girls should know:

In spite of what the media is telling you, whether or not you are attractive to random porn-sick men is not the most interesting or important thing about you.

When publishers put sexualised pictures of teenage girls on the covers of books which are aimed at girls (as in the latest Anne of Green Gables book cover), they are subliminally giving you the message that the real function of a girl is to be sexy and everything else about her is secondary - so everything Anne does or thinks in the book, is really rather pointless, focus on being sexay.

You must try to resist these messages because they undermine your right to be considered a full human being, not just a pretty decoration. This is difficult because the messages are everywhere, but remember that they are being originated and disseminated by people who do not have your best interests at heart (and often, who are complete morons) and your best course of action is to be aware of the response you are supposed to have to them and to refuse to have that response.

princessx Wed 06-Feb-13 15:38:49

DD is only 1 year old, but I would focus on comments like we will love you and support you no matter what.

My mum's strong message was don't have sex until you are married. While I didn't wait that long - got married age 30, I did wait until I was in a loving relationship.

It's important to get the message across that sex is wonderful, but best in a loving relationship

JessMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 06-Feb-13 13:00:27

Read Kate Figes' latest instalment - Things Girls Should Know About Love (Part 1). There's clearly a lot to say on this topic, with some interesting points already covered on this thread. What else would you add to her list?

marriedinwhite Sun 03-Feb-13 17:45:59

I've given up. DD will be 15 in the spring.

I am thankful that although she can be a bit deep and tells me far too much and understands far too much like "friends with benefits" a la ds bringing a girl home shock, and really enjoyed Chesil Beach and Atonement, and told me not to bother with 50 shades because the writing was irritatingly bad, she's reassuringly geeky and quiet and shy and a little bit awkward. I know, I know - it's always the quiet ones.

Thinks of ways to keep her in love with her Millets fleece lined cargo trousers although she really did like the stuff in Banana Republic yesterday (so did I) and we were in town and she felt underdressed on Bond Street and I thought, thank God, progress

JugglingFromHereToThere Sun 03-Feb-13 16:51:27

Yes sieglinde, because there's so much focus on sex as PIV I think many girls, especially in my generation (I grew up in the 70's ! - so am ancient as the DC's keep telling me smile) well, we hadn't thought through all the other possible scenario's IYKWIM so had to make it up as we went along with mixed results.

sieglinde Sun 03-Feb-13 10:46:04

Pretzel, Horatia - of COURSE I don't mean that penetrative sex is the be-all and end-all. JUST the opposite. But lots of film/tv/books make it seem that way, so guys often push for it.

What I mean is exactly what pretzel said in her second rephrasing - don't service anyone you don't actually desire.

Or more simply, don't do anything you don't want to do, and as mathanxiety said.

In even simpler terms, don't suck him off to make him stop bugging you.

My dcs are 18 and 12. I probably filtered comments in couched in milder language form very early on, usually as comments on films/tv/drama/books; Buffy the Vampire Slayer was helpful... Then conversations ensued. They are still ongoing.

IMHO, you can't lock your dcs up until they are 35 - and if you did succeed, what would happen when they did finally turn 35?

mathanxiety Sun 03-Feb-13 01:33:02

I read it as 'don't do it as a compromise to make him shutup and stop nagging for penetrative sex'.

He's not entitled to any sexual favours from you, and if your relationship consists of him pressuring you and you fending him off by whatever means then end it.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sat 02-Feb-13 22:50:05

"Them" being your DDs / DCs of course!

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sat 02-Feb-13 22:49:01

Topsy and Sieglinde - going to crib both of those if you don't mind!

DDs are 9 and 6 - what age did you start talking with them in so much detail?

DH would like to wait until they're 35 and lock them up in the meantime, but I fear that might be a bit unreasonable.

PretzelTime Sat 02-Feb-13 21:24:20

I find the idea that girls can't enjoy non-penetrative sex with guys without being assumed to consent to PIV tragic. I don't now if it's realistic advice or not though.
If that's the case where do you draw the line with advice? Don't make out with a guy, he will assume you want PIV. Don't kiss a guy, he will assume you want to fuck him now. Don't look or show interest in a guy...etc

HoratiaWinwood Sat 02-Feb-13 21:17:46

Pretzel I read that as "don't assume he'll be satisfied with just oral; if you aren't ready for full sex, he might get the wrong idea".

But that's my sad history coming to the fore. Obviously one should be able to draw the line anywhere. The qualifier "or to stave off advances" is what put me on that track I think.

PretzelTime Sat 02-Feb-13 20:52:10

Don't give oral sex to anyone you don't want to fuck
Do you mean that girls should be prepared to have all sorts of other types sex just because she wants to do one thing with a guy...?
Or do you mean, don't service someone you don't actually desire?

sieglinde Sat 02-Feb-13 15:02:18

Topsy, this doesn't sound like 'peer' pressure, but date pressure grin. peer pressure is what makes you a drunken consumer who watches The X-Factor.

I fear I've been waaaay more specific with ds and dd.

Here's my ADVICE to them:

I kinda assume the day will come when they will do it. I talk a lot about love and commitment, but however loving and committed you are, some pragmatics are involved.

Sort contraception. The pill doesn't always work and will fail if you have a tummy bug, for instance (or spew it up when drunk).

Sort condoms for prevention of STDs. Girls should carry them tooas soon as they think sex is on the cards.

The girl must first come, several times, with that boy, before penetrative sex is even seriously contemplated. If he can't make you come, why would you fuck him?

You are v. unlikely to come from first penetrative sex alone. Also orgasm will mean more lube, so on the big occasion make sure she comes first.

Make sure she is gently stretched beforehand. Use lube or at worst saliva. Bumsex generally hurts the first few times. A lot. You def. need a lot of lube.

Don't give oral sex to anyone you don't want to fuck, or to stave off advances.

Anyone shocked? This is all stuff I wish I'd known.

TopsyRK Sat 02-Feb-13 12:37:20

I taught mine the most common peer pressure lines.

Top 10 Lines Used!{And responses!

1.If you loved me you would. (Well if you loved me you would wait!)
2.If we don’t do it, I am dumping you. (Fine BYE.)
3.Go on nobody will know. (I will know that I didn’t want to, or you mean I can trust you not to tell your mates, but I can’t trust you not to force me to have sex before I am ready!)
4.Everybody is doing it! (No everybody is talking about it, but really the average age of first time sex is 16.)
5.You know you really want to! (What you can read minds as well?)
6.It will be ok? (How can it be ok if I don’t want to do it and you do?)
7.You can’t get pregnant the first time you do it! (Did you have a day off for that lesson, of course you can!)
8.You will enjoy it I promise! (How will I enjoy something I don’t really want to do?)
9.You won’t catch anything. (How can you be sure as a lot of STI’s have no symptoms and did you know one in seven young people have Chlamydia and don’t know they have it?)
10.Fred and Sue are doing it, so may be we should. (How do you know, were you watching them do it, perv? )

thunksheadontable Sat 02-Feb-13 10:59:45

Me too, but sadly I think they are all far too traditional in many ways. It is just nuts. As though birth order means anything! I suppose the way I see it, my husband definitely has more "privilege" from being male than I do (earning potential, status at work, all sorts of other bits...) but actually none of it really makes him happy.. so while he might be "worth" more in a capitalist society, what is the value of that when you only live one life if that life isn't the one you want? I think the same is true with some feminist discourse, or at least as it was. It's fine to throw off the shackles of femininity and outsource your childcare and disavow "traditional" female roles in favour of rocking the boardroom if that is what you truly want but sometimes fulfilment at a deep, personal level (beyond the ideologies you face) requires something more creative as you say.

JugglingFromHereToThere Sat 02-Feb-13 10:49:45

Can your husband not talk with his brother and come to an arrangement where he feels he is not "just a worker" on the family farm ? If his brother is to inherit a million pound farm can't he and his father find a way to be generous enough that both brother's have a proper role on the family farm whilst their father is alive, and your husband continues to have a similar role once elder brother inherits. Surely you could all explore being slightly more creative about things, and less traditionally patriarchal ?
Living on or near the family farm and close to family, cousins and grandparents, sounds like a really good option to me !

thunksheadontable Sat 02-Feb-13 10:27:07

The patriarchy always seems to me to serve those at the top no matter what. I guess we are hierarchical in nature - language is hierarchical, after all. I think quite a lot of individual men are trapped and enslaved and hurt by the patriarchy, I can see this happening in my own home. My husband is the "second son" on a farm and so his brother has a million pound farm as his inheritance while my husband has nothing from the farm he worked on all through his teens, too. We could pay off our mortgage and go back and work on the farm with my husband just as a worker and this would give my husband a lot of what he desperately wants in life - a way out of the office that stresses him and has given him IBS, closeness to his family, giving our children the relationships with cousins and grandparents he finds so important.. but to do so would be, to him, to admit failure as a man. He is really struggling with this at the moment. Questioning the dominant ideology, whether it is patriarchy or capitalism or communism or raving monster looneyism is something all our children need to learn to do, boys and girls, to prevent them becoming enslaved by it.

JugglingFromHereToThere Sat 02-Feb-13 10:20:46

LOL @ dinner on the table at 6 as the one thing grin

AbigailAdams Sat 02-Feb-13 07:28:29

Oh dear math! Definitely one message we don't want to be giving our daughters! grin

mathanxiety Sat 02-Feb-13 05:04:05

Fastidia it's equally plausible that it's because men needed women for sex so much that they bothered to set up the patriarchy, etc. Far easier to ensure you have regular sex if you are the owner of chattel who are equipped with the right orifices, after all...

My mum used to mutter that 'men are only after one thing ' line quite frequently. My late sister cracked us up one day when she admitted she had believed even far into her teens that that one thing was dinner on the table at 6 sharp every night.

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