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Last week I watched in disappointment as some of my more
partisan friends, in equal measures disgust and glee, shared story after story
in their newsfeeds about America’s First Daughters, 13-year-old Sasha and 16-year-old Malia Obama, and
their behavior at the annual turkey pardon.
The original story was about their antics at the official
ceremony — eye rolling, crossed arms, slouched posture. Their teen disdain for the ridiculous
tradition was apparent, you really couldn’t miss it. The original stories were from mainstream
media, and I had a chuckle and scrolled right along.
Soon enough, though, Elizabeth Lauten, a Republican House
staffer, got into the mix and tweeted negative remarks, accusing the the girls of showing a lack of class, being dressed
as if going out to a D.C. bar and having a lack of proper role
Are you freaking kidding me? Their father is the President of the United States of America, their
mother the First Lady, and they are lacking proper role models? Sheesh. I shook my head, held in my frustration and continued to scroll.
But I won’t lie. As the story unfolded and the staffer first
apologized, then resigned, for her negative remarks about the First Daughters, I
felt some disappointment in my friends who continued to feed the beast. What is to be gained, I wondered, about
sharing mean girl rants about our President’s daughters? It seemed to me that sharing the
story, and barely restraining glee for how it was playing out in
the media, was as destructive and misplaced as the original tweets.
And the story just won’t die. The Republican Party is blaming the mainstream media for paying so much attention to the original mean
tweets from the House staffer. But with every share, every talking head, every comment and, yes, every opinion piece like this, the Obama girls remain firmly in the
crosshairs of social media yuck.
This morning, not thinking it could get any worse for them,
it got worse for them. At least for
An NFL player, 33-year-old
Darnell Dockett of the Arizona Cardinals, a popular social media presence,
reposted a photo on his Instagram account of Malia’s backside with the caption,
“When is her prom?” 16-year-old Malia. Teen Malia. Our President’s daughter Malia.
I don’t care what your politics are, it is not okay, people of America, to suggest that America’s First Daughters – America’s, that means yours and mine — are behaving in shameful ways involving alcohol and behavior not befitting a 13- or 16-year-old because of an eye roll at a turkey pardon.
Apparently, in the
harsh world of today’s social media, it is A-OK to refer to the First Daughters
in sexual terms, drooling over their teen asses and suggesting they are
dressed to drink and engage in lascivious behavior themselves.
Enough! Enough. Enough.
These kinds of antics make my mama bear instincts come
out. Those same mama bear instincts are
on Threat-Level Red right now. And
I don’t care what your politics are, it is not okay, people
of America, to suggest that America’s First Daughters – America’s, that means
yours and mine — are behaving in
shameful ways involving alcohol and behavior not befitting a 13- or 16-year-old because of an eye roll at a turkey pardon.
These are girls, children, being publicly trashed and
drooled over by adults. Where is the
shame? Where is the civility? Where is the decency?
Let’s stop this, shall we? Adults talk the talk about bullies and proper online behavior, but we
are terrible models for our children these days. Horrible. How can we expect our teens and tweens to manage their social media
presence better than the adults in their lives?
Can we all decide, as mothers, as someone’s parent, that we
will not either trash or talk smack or lick our lascivious chops or share that
which demeans or sexualizes our children? We can start with America’s First Daughters and then move on to your
daughters and my sons and go from there.
Let’s do this. Today. Right now. Stop this nonsense.