Parents Shouldn't Need Advice on Keeping Creepy Old Dudes Away From Their Daughters

Baby Can Wait Snake PSAMmm. There's nothing like photos of teenage girls covered in rats and snakes to make you lose your lunch. But as startling as the images used in a new "Baby Can Wait" PSA campaign to discourage statutory rape are, who they're directed at leaves me unimpressed.

The ads from the United Way of Greater Milwaukee are trying to scare parents with a warning that older men having sex with their daughters isn't just "creepy." Those rats and snakes are committing statutory rape.

Uh. Duh.

Pardon the naivete here, but are there really parents who don't know that old dudes need to steer clear of little girls? If so, please, get them a meeting with CPS pronto.

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The ads certainly make you stop and read the words to figure out why in the heck a teenage girl would allow a photographer to wrap a big ol' snake around her neck or (shudder) let rats run up her shirt. They could certainly be used to scare the crap out of teen girls who need to be reminded that dating a college guy or -- God forbid -- someone even older is not romantic. It's just plain creepy. He's a rat, a snake, and possibly a pedophile.

So why do the ads direct parents to a Baby Can Wait website where they can "learn how to encourage healthy relationships"? I mean, I think it's for parents. Kids don't "encourage" themselves to do something, right? If this is kid-directed, the language is awfully awkward.

I say this having dated -- and eventually marrying -- a guy who was several years older: parents don't need this message. Kids do. KIDS need to be taught about the intentions of an adult who wants to date down, waaaaay down, the age scale.

Parents should be able to separate predator from "appropriate" a mile away. My then-boyfriend was four years older when I was 16 going on 17, approaching the age of consent in New York. My parents kept a careful eye on things because although we kept it legal, the age difference "just" skirted the line.

That's any parent's job. And sadly, the ones who wouldn't do it probably wouldn't be swayed by a creepy campaign ad anyway.

But I remember being that teenage girl enamored with an older guy. I was smart. I was headed to a good college. I got good grades. I never got in trouble. But the way I saw it, age was just a number. That's the way most teenagers operate.

So you can scare parents all you want with creepy ads. But I think we're already scared enough. Now we'd like someone to help us scare our kids.

How do you talk to your kids about appropriate relationships?

 

Image via AdRants

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