Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been nominated to the Supreme Court and has been accused of attempted rape as a seventeen year old. This has precipitated a national debate over acceptable teenage behavior.
Kavanaugh’s enablers have several, typical defenses for him. He was a hormone filled boy and boys will be boys – so he’s not responsible for his behavior. He was a teenager and we all know they have no judgment and can’t be held responsible for what they do. Or the favorite – he was blind drunk so of course, he can’t be responsible for his behavior.
What are we telling our teenagers? We tell the boys “you have a free pass until legal adulthood.” To the girls, we say “avoid teenage boys unless you want to be raped and have no recourse, legal, or social protection.”
Aren’t we supposed to be training teenagers to be responsible adults? I understand their brains are not fully developed, their impulses are not under full control. Their judgment is still a work in progress.
Regardless, we still should be teaching them and holding them to society’s standards, like decency and respect for others. They may fail to achieve these standards all the time, but the standards still have to be there, as goals to strive for.
We have generations of twenty-somethings still living with parents, not making a living wage, and socially isolated. Maybe that’s, in part, because we don’t ask them to grow up while they are teenagers. Maybe they absorb the message that they’re not responsible for their behavior, their achievements, or their lives. When that message is internalized, it’s hard to flick a switch and suddenly have kids who are motivated, moral, and goal-oriented adults.
This is a bigger problem than sexual misconduct in teenage boys. In addition to absolving boys of responsibility for egregious and unacceptable behavior, it teaches them toxic attitudes to women that often follow them throughout their lives. They are taught to dehumanize and disrespect women.
If a boy wants sex, he can just do what Trump does – grab them by the pussy! If she doesn’t kick him in the nuts, he can do what he wants with her body. If she complains afterward, he can just say she asked for it, she wanted it, or she’s lying and it never happened. Take your pick.
Boys are seeing that this bullshit works. Women who say “NO” are either not being heard, or not being believed. Girls are seeing they are powerless – victims of a male-oriented sexual culture. These are not the attitudes we want in our young adults.
Why should we tolerate them in our teenagers?
High school is difficult enough for girls without having to worry about being a victim of sexual assault. The odds are too many high school girls will experience some form of sexual harassment. Most girls will never report it because they know they will be attacked and pilloried if they do.
So we are fostering a sense of entitlement in boys and an acceptance of victimhood and powerlessness in girls. These are really bad lessons to be teaching our kids. We are also creating a nationwide “us-against-them” situation between men and women.
How we handle high school sexual misconduct can have huge ramifications throughout our culture. Maybe this spotlight on the issue can give us a chance to recalibrate our attitudes. Maybe it will motivate us to train our teenagers to become responsible adults and citizens.
Although we usually photograph the dam in Manchaug, the area is known for it’s rather large and deep pond and an annual rubber duck race held there.
From the pond come a lot of streams, not all of which have names. They don’t run long distances, either … which is perhaps why they don’t have names.
This dam is near a mill. All the dams are near a mill because that’s why the dams were built — to power the mills. I don’t know what the mill is being used for now. Probably some kind of industrial space. The old stone mills were built very well and may well last nearly forever.
But the area also has some apocryphal history, that a Native chief was drowned in that stream having fallen from the pond above it. It’s a long drop and the stream isn’t very deep, so I can’t imagine many people would survive the fall.
When we first found the dam — actually, it was Kaitlin and me who found it the first time. We were wandering around looking for something to photograph when I heard the rushing water. Not every dam is beautiful to photograph, but Manchaug is different. It’s not part of the Blackstone River … just a narrow neck of the pond formed into a dam that drops straight down to a stream.
Right next to the stream, there’s a pre-school — directly between the old stone mill and the stream. Until recently, they didn’t even have a fence to keep the little ones from falling into the water.
While I understand New Englanders tend to be pretty tough, a pre-school, dam and a rapidly running river seemed a bit extreme. I’m glad they built a fence.
Essentially I’ve been using monochrome formatting to get the pink tones into these pictures. Although black and white is the “typical” format for monochrome, it is by no means the only one.
You’ll find many formats some of which use many colors and others based on two primary colors, as well as bi-tonal formats that use a wide range of colors.
Our software gives us hugely increased access to filters and processing techniques. We can create antique-style photographs using pastel tones. We create “damaged photographs” and pictures that look as if they were created on glass plates or made with silver.
Pink is one of the more difficult colors to find, but by golly, I found it!
While we were visiting our kids in Chicago, we were able to catch the University of Utah vs. Northern Illinois football game. (Good news for us, Utah won.) It was really fun taking pictures with the 75-300mm telephoto lens. If you don’t have a tripod, you have to be very stable to get even remotely clear shots. I don’t remember which teach had the ball on this play, but it’s still a fun shot because you can see some blur from the moving players while others are clear.
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