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13 year old dd accused me of not being a feminist

(226 Posts)
HenryIX Sun 30-Oct-16 08:16:46

Dd went to a party last night. She came downstairs dressed in tiny cut off shorts. She has worn these often, with thick tights underneath. Last night she did not have the tights on.
It was cold last night, but also, she was dressed like a 17 year old, not a just turned 13 year old.
My first words, without thinking were ' You aren't going out dressed like that!'

So it got me thinking, I do believe a woman should be able to dress as she wants. But she is not a woman, she is a child.
Where do I draw the line, what age should I let her choose how to dress?
And more importantly, what do I say to her when she wakes up today and is grumpy that I didn't let her wear what she wanted?

0phelia Sun 30-Oct-16 10:59:28

Well for starters you could say "It's way too cold for short shorts with no tights"

Mind you my mum would say it's too cold for whatever and I'd say "I do know when I'm cold mum, It's NOT cold" and go off in a huff lol.

Or you could try "Wearing summer clothes like that in Autumn/winter always looks attention seeking and bizarre. But fine for the beach"

I got all of this from my mum!

Or "You'll get the wrong sort of attention"

?

0phelia Sun 30-Oct-16 11:00:39

Some things simply are wrong from a style point of view, like sunglasses at night.

OohMavis Sun 30-Oct-16 11:04:17

But she is not a woman, she is a child.

I agree with you. This is what the difference is.

A woman can go out wearing a bikini if she wants, and IF she receives unwanted male attention as a result she'll be more equipped to deal with that than a 13yo.

kinloss Sun 30-Oct-16 11:12:41

I tended to try and work out
a) where was my daughter going
b) if this involved being outdoors, was she protected against rain and cold
c) was she going out with friends
d) was she wearing the sorts of things that her friends would be wearing.

So if she was going hillwalking on her own on a cold day, then short denim shorts wouldn't be okay.

But if she was going to a party with a gang of her mates, I'd either let it go or advise her about the likelihood of feeling cold, if there was a wait by a bus stop involved.

Maybe 13 is the sort of age where you ease off a bit. Start to advise more Forbid less.

I also tended to focus more on practicalities than dangers of the male gaze. Safety advice involved sticking with your mates, having phone on you, informing parents as to where you would be and for how long.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Sun 30-Oct-16 11:17:42

It's a tricky one isn't it. Because, as a feminist, I know that women can be assaulted or raped no matter what they wear and to put it down to an outfit is victim blaming. However, I would still worry about my DD going out dressed in really short shorts and potentially gaining more unwanted attention.

MrsJayy Sun 30-Oct-16 11:18:09

I think what has taken you aback is omg im turning into my mother grin teenagers have always shocked with clothes and there is nothing wrong in telling a child she should be wearing tights or whatever girls trying to dress older isn't new its how we handle it being feminist at 13 is fine as long as your butt cheeks are not on show.

MrsJayy Sun 30-Oct-16 11:20:23

I used to say to mine nobody needs to see that so it isnt focusing to much on boys or men .

HenryIX Sun 30-Oct-16 12:56:07

Thanks everyone. I didn't actually say anything about the weather or the male gaze, my only words were ' you are not going out in that' . I think MrsJayy has hit the nail on the head, I felt like I was my mother!
I'll think on everything you have all suggested and be more prepared next time. And I'm sure there will be a next time.

MrsJayy Sun 30-Oct-16 17:41:35

There was a thread on teenagers about this it was sexy halloween costumes the op felt the same as you. It is difficult to monitor without sounding fuddy duddy or you are lecturing.

TheSparrowhawk Tue 01-Nov-16 14:26:33

Legs are not offensive and don't need to be covered up. I'd warn her she'd be cold but that's it.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Tue 01-Nov-16 14:40:04

I wouldn't be upset by short shorts, I see them as something that a lot of younger teenagers wear and if they get cold then it's on them. However, if she was also dressing in a more adult way (such as the sexy Halloween thread) at 13 then I would be more concerned and would object to the adult nature of a costume, does that make sense?

HenryIX Tue 01-Nov-16 17:51:02

It wasn't a sexy costume, just v v short. Anyway, she is no longer cross with me, and I think she realises that it was far too cold for that. I just want her to enjoy being 13, not try to be 17 yet!

TheSparrowhawk Tue 01-Nov-16 18:03:19

What have shorts got to do with being 17?

BertrandRussell Tue 01-Nov-16 18:06:02

It would have depended where she was going.

But I reckon at 13 you still have a veto.

WombOfOnesOwn Tue 01-Nov-16 18:27:56

You can tell your daughter that being a feminist doesn't mean scrounging for the attention of horny boys, either.

Fairylea Tue 01-Nov-16 18:33:12

Of course legs aren't offensive and don't need to be covered up but there's a huge difference between wearing very short shorts when it's boiling hot weather and you're 13 and playing sports or whatever and a 13 year old wearing hot pants or whatever they're called now to a party. In cold weather to boot. Not the same thing at all.

You were right op. She is a child. Not a woman. That's the difference.

TheSparrowhawk Tue 01-Nov-16 19:03:00

I'm still not quite getting the problem. Are shorts only for women?

TheSparrowhawk Tue 01-Nov-16 19:08:48

Womb are 13 year olds in shorts all automatically 'scrounging for the attention of horny boys' in your view?

HenryIX Tue 01-Nov-16 19:19:42

I don't even think there were any boys there. She has never shown any interest in boys yet. It was just an instant reaction from me. The shorts were short enough to almost see her bottom. If she stood still all night it would have been OK, but if she moved you would have seen more than legs.
I don't think shorts are only for adults, but ones this short are. If she had thick tights underneath they would have not been so revealing.
After reading all your comments and thinking for a few days, I will tell her, if it comes up again, that she can make her own choices, but to remember to take consideration of the weather and her age.

My2centsworth Tue 01-Nov-16 19:20:54

I'm still not quite getting the problem. Are shorts only for women?

I guess so, short shorts are not typically worn for comfort, they are mostly worn to make oneself more attractive to potential partners. There is probably a later age than 13 to start getting into that level of adult behaviour. What it is? well that depends on the child and their level of maturity and their parents so maybe not adult as such.

TheSparrowhawk Tue 01-Nov-16 19:24:55

Shorts are worn by children 2 cents.

WombOfOnesOwn Tue 01-Nov-16 19:26:19

Shorts that are short enough to show one's bottom are not worn by any children I know. Come on. We all know why "sexy" halloween costumes happen, and it's not because of women's empowerment. Give me a break.

DeleteOrDecay Tue 01-Nov-16 19:28:42

I wouldn't have felt comfortable with this either op and probably would have said something similar. It's a bit of a minefield but I agree that at 13 she is still a child and wearing shorts that are so short that they reveal more than legs are not really appropriate at that age.

TheSparrowhawk Tue 01-Nov-16 19:51:04

I never said anything about 'empowerment.' My concern isn't with empowering girls to be sexy. It's with examining why a child, who has no interest in boys, has to cover her legs as though they're a problem.

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