I Want Grown Men to Stop Checking Out My Tween!

Janelle Harris Rant

teenage girl on beachMy 12-year-old daughter is my height now. Okay, okay, she’s an inch and a half taller. (Sooo what? I’m still the boss!) She’s a pretty girl — and I’m not saying that just because she’s my kid. I’d think y’all would know by now that I’d tell the truth about it even if she wasn’t.

But she also happens to have quite the little figure popping up and out and all over the place, so aside from the normal panic the mother of a tween girl experiences when her baby starts sprouting every which away, there’s another issue out of my control. Skylar the Budding Brickhouse has guys of all ages checking her out. Of course I expect tween and teenage boys to look. But grown arse men? Eyes straight ahead, sir.

(It’s worth noting here that I’ve seen big ol’ adult women leering at boys clearly young enough to be in high school, too. We aren’t innocent of it, either.)

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There are always nasty, old, perverted dogs lurking on the sidewalks, crowing at the mall, catcalling from their seedy perches on steps and park benches so they can watch women walk by. I’ve experienced their gross-ness myself, particularly since I developed pretty quickly when I was about her age, too. (Yeah, she gets it from her mama. And I got it from mine. It’s a cruel, sucky cycle.)

It’s one thing to be on the adult end of it where I can roll my eyes and tell some ancient-looking fart about himself for being old enough to be my grandpa’s grandpa but trying to holler at me like he’s a fly, young thing. But it’s a whole other ballgame walking a few steps behind your own child, raised from Pampers to the present, and seeing some guy do a double take to look at her booty or stare all in her face as she strolls innocently by. She hasn’t picked up on it (yet), but it sets me off when a grimy middle-aged guy can’t keep his eyes to himself.

Despite Skylar being built like a young woman, she’s very much still a little girl. Nowhere on that child’s face does she look even close to being legal. You know what she looks like? A tall, stretched out 12-year-old. Perverts were a nuisance before, but now that I’m mama to a preteen daughter, they’re testing my patience in a whole new way.

I know I come off as a raving madwoman sometimes, but I’m actually pretty civil on the daily. So instead of racking up assault charges and a long list of dates for court appearances, I guess my alternative to physically reacting to men’s leering nastiness is to teach Skylar how to behave and carry herself like a lady instead of (God forbid) considering that kind of attention some form of absurd flattery.

I can’t control where guys rest their eyes and what they do in their personal man thoughts once they’ve landed on some poor young woman’s person, even if it is my child. But I can teach her how to shake them suckas off, especially since I won’t always be there to walk behind her and give dudes the “don’t even think about it or I’ll firebomb your man parts” look.

The looking still pisses me off, though. Just for the record.

Have you ever caught an adult staring way too long at your child? How did you handle it? Did you just let it slide?

Image via © iStock.com/andeva

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