The last thing teenaged kids need is their mother to shame them on the Internet — and as part of her making a living, no less.
But that’s what’s apparently been going on for some time with feminist writer Jody Allard and her two teenaged sons, currently 16 and 18. Her most recent callout came a week ago at the Washington Post, where she sharply criticized them — even though she weakly allowed that they “are good boys” — because they don’t buy into her extreme outlook on “rape culture.” This leads one to wonder where the genuine adults are at the Post. How could they let a mother expose her children’s private thoughts to the whole wide world without saying, “Uh, we can’t publish that”? I’m betting that the content police at the Post would have caught this problem in a flash if a conservative or pro-family mom had started discussing the imperfections of their offspring. Oh, and as readers will see, it gets worse.
Here are Allard’s opening paragraphs.
My teen boys are blind to rape culture
“Oh boy,” my son said, rolling his eyes. “Not rape culture again.”
We were sitting around the dinner table talking about the news. As soon as I mentioned the Stanford sexual assault case, my sons looked at each other. They knew what was coming. They’ve been listening to me talk about consent, misogyny and rape culture since they were tweens. They listened to me then, but they are 16 and 18 now and they roll their eyes and argue when I talk to them about sexism and misogyny.
“There’s no such thing as rape culture,” my other son said. “You say everything is about rape culture or sexism.”
I never imagined I would raise boys who would become men like these. Men who deny rape culture, or who turn a blind eye to sexism. Men who tell me I’m being too sensitive or that I don’t understand what teenage boys are like.
That’s enough. Frankly, I feel guilty posting what I did and the two sentences which follow, but Ms. Allard needs to be exposed, and the vast majority of the privacy-invading damage has already been done. These boys now have a target on their backs for every wannabe young radical feminist who wants to give them grief in high school, college or where they work. Thanks, mom.
Two more sentences from Allard’s September 14 column:
My sons are part of the problem.
… No matter how often my sons remind me that they are good men, they don’t understand that being “good” is an action.
Allard is a rape survivor who deserves a great deal of sympathy for that. But she’s part of a very damaging problem herself: parents who think they can use their kids as guinea pigs for financial gain and perhaps career advancement by exposing conversations and discussions with them that any reasonable person would expect to be kept within the family.
In February, Allard went further by outrageously exposing one of her children’s vulnerabilities in a far more serious matter:
I have to learn to care for my suicidal teen with limits but without fear
I’m not going to further expose any more of what she wrote, beyond these two sentences:
“My son’s depression doesn’t belong to me. I didn’t create it and I am not responsible for it.”
I wish you and your family all the best, ma’am, but ultimately achieving family harmony and inner peace might involve being less sure about the truth of those two sentences. Curious readers can go to the link if they care to see more.
If an everyday person with a Facebook page started sharing this kind of information with his or her readers, I would hope that at least some of them would step in and say, “TMI (too much information). We don’t need to know this, and your kids don’t need you to be spilling the beans on everything they say and do. Keep it to yourself.”
At the Daily Caller, Suzanne Venker, “a social critic and the author of five books that challenge feminist narratives re men, women, work & family,” characterized Allard’s week-ago item as “what can only be described as a public display of child abuse.” It’s hard to disagree. Venker’s reaction to the February item about Allard’s suicidal teen: “One of Allard’s sons … is a known suicide risk—known to Allard and known to The Washington Post editors. And still they publically (sic) shamed him.”
The operative word is indeed “they,” because, as Venker writes, “The Washington Post gave her the space.”
Hasn’t anyone at the Post looked in the mirror and asked how their sons or daughters would feel if they were so cravenly and callously exposed?
Reacting to the blowback at her Twitter account, Allard wrote: “The same people who label an essay “maternal op-ed rape” say there’s no such thing as rape culture. We have a long way to go.” “We” sure do, ma’am — but not as you imagine it.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.