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Shit my Uncle Facebooks! (On raising a teenage daughter)

We all have one of those family members, or several (I have several), who we are just plain ashamed of. Mine is my Uncle Basil!*Basil had two older kids, when he met his second wife. She is only nine years older than his son. They met when she was working the counter at a pizza joint and she had just turned 18. They now have two kids of their own including an eight year old daughter. They are weird. Gun toting, highly religious, traditionalists who are not anything like the rest of my family. I mean, the rest of my family is insane. But they're not conservative.

Here's the shit Basil facebooks: From August 30th, 2013- (why yes I have been waiting that long to do this!)


1. If you choose to wear shirts that show off your boobs, you will attract boys. To be more specific, you will attract the kind of boys that like to look down girls' shirts. If you want to date a guy who likes to look at other girls' boobs and chase skirts, then great job; keep it up. If you don't want to date a guy who ogles at the breasts of other women, then maybe you should stop offering your own breasts up for the ogling. All attention is not equal. You think you want attention, but you don't. You want respect. All attention is not equal.


O RLY? Sorry, could you tell me again... all attention is not what?
This one is so clear I am not even going to saying anything on it, except..., I should tell ManWombat pronto that I don't appreciate his male gaze on me, as it is a clear indication that he uses his male gaze on other boobies. SHAME.

2. Don't go to the tanning bed. You'll thank me when you go to your high school reunion and you look like you've been airbrushed and then photo shopped compared to the tanning bed train wrecks formerly known as classmates – well, at least next to the ones that haven't died from skin cancer.

You want respect. And to be surrounded by people who judge you shallowly, and soley on your appearance. Oh wait, no. You get to do the judging! Congratulation on letting a preoccupation with your appearance protect you from a disease that 1 in 5 Americans will develop, through absolutely no fault of their own. Don't be healthy to be healthy, be healthy to stick to the people you hate ten years after you graduate.

3. When you talk about your friends "anonymously" on Facebook, we know exactly who you're talking about. People are smarter than you think they are. Stop posting passive-aggressive statuses about the myriad of ways your friends disappoint you.


I have no feelings on this.

4. Newsflash: the number of times you say "I hate drama" is a pretty good indicator of how much you love drama. Non-dramatic people don't feel the need to discuss all the drama they didn't start and aren't involved in.


Sit there and be silent, child! Who cares if the drama lama found you? There's no such thing as someone caught in the middle. At least not a female someone, because ovaries.

5. "Follow your heart" is probably the worst advice ever.

Hmm... I can't really argue with this one.


6. Never let a man make you feel weak or inferior because you are an emotional being. Emotion is good; it is nothing to be ashamed of. Emotion makes us better

-Oh! This isn't so bad! It's kind of-

– so long as it remains in it's proper place: subject to truth and reason.

Oh. Yep. There it is. I'm surprised that truth doesn't have a capital T on it.

7. Smoking is not cool.

8. Stop saying things like, "I don't care what anyone thinks about me." First of all, that's not true. And second of all, if it is true, you need a perspective shift. Your reputation matters – greatly. You should care what people think of you.


Right.... Because that is what teenagers need to hear. Especially in the age of internet bullying where your online presence can become more important than your real life one. Reputation before integrity. Am I misogynisting right?

9. Don't play coy or stupid or helpless to get attention. Don't pretend something is too heavy so that a boy will carry it for you. Don't play dumb to stroke someone's ego. Don't bat your eyelashes in exchange for attention and expect to be taken seriously, ever. You can't have it both ways. Either you show the world that you have a brain and passions and skills, or you don't. There are no damsels in distress managing corporations, running countries, or managing households. The minute you start batting eyelashes, eyelashes is all you've got.


This one. Oh my dear god. Don't forget for a second ladies that you can't be sexy and intelligent, you can't be vulnerable and powerful. You have to choose one or the other. Are you going to step up and be a success in a man's world? Or are you going to be someone who is stuck in a gendered paradigm in which you have to pander to some mens' sense of supremacy in order to be listened to, to get things done? Because it is never both, both at an alarming frequency. (I think my sarcasm is broken and I am hitting nihilism territory here.)
It doesn't matter who started it ladies, all that matters is that you are using your body for evil. You harlots. You eyelashes.

10. You are beautiful. You are enough. The world we live in is twisted and broken and for your entire life you will be subjected to all kinds of lies that tell you that you are not enough. You are not thin enough. You are not tan enough. You are not smooth, soft, shiny, firm, tight, fit, silky, blonde, hairless enough. Your teeth are not white enough. Your legs are not long enough. Your clothes are not stylish enough. You are not educated enough. You don't have enough experience. You are not creative enough.

There is a beauty industry, a fashion industry, a television industry, (and most unfortunately) a pornography industry: and all of these have unique ways of communicating to bright young women: you are not beautiful, sexy, smart or valuable enough.

You must have the clarity and common sense to know that none of that is true. None of it.

You were created for a purpose, exactly so. You have innate value. You are loved more than you could ever comprehend; it is mind-boggling how much you are adored. There has never been, and there will never be another you. Therefore, you have unique thoughts to offer the world. They are only yours, and we all lose out if you are too fearful to share them.

You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are enough.


Why didn't the person who wrote this just say this. Why? #10 is a good message. It is something girls, and boys, need to hear. It's something that I could see pinterested, and stencilled onto walls. Why write a whole lists of things limiting and silencing young girls, when you want them to feel valued, and know that their unique voice matters?


*Not his real name

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