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Parents Are Debating Whether Or Not It Is Harmful, Even Perverted, To Call A Baby A ‘Heartbreaker’ Or ‘Ladies Man’

Ever since Michelle Obama pointed out the ways in which parents inflict gender biases on children, we’ve been a lot more conscientious of the ways in which these impacts occur. In particular, we’ve become more concerned with how to teach young boys how to respect women and treat them responsibly. Recently a discussion on the site LipsickAlley about the use of terms like “ladies man” reminded us of another way that our culture and words can hinder these efforts.

LipstickAlley user Curlista93 recently asked users “who refer to their sons as “heartbreakers” and “ladies man” at a very young age” whether or not they thought using such terms were “more likely to encourage or allow fuckboi behavior” when their children get older.

It didn’t take long for women to come forward with all kinds of opinions and for us at FIERCE to nod our heads in approval.

Mostly because, as one user pointed out when terms like these are applied to young boys they often simply imply a “code for he ain’t gon be shit.”

Of course, comments like these are well-meaning. They’re intended really to tell parents that their child is attractive and even sweet maybe. Still, in a lot of ways messages to children, ones that they are “ladies men,” or “heartbreakers” indicate that these are admirable traits to beheld. Moreover, being defined by these characteristics is the goal.

As one user in the thread pointed out, it’s also extremely sexist. “Fathers/Mothers posting pics of their 2-year-old son calling them these names, and they usually never refer to their daughters as heartbreakers. I assume these parents are more likely to groom or allow certain behaviors during adolescence and young adulthood.”

Also, It’s oddly sexual

Some users on the thread strongly disagreed with this sentiment. As one user wrote, “It’s not that serious. It’s just another way to say he’s a handsome young man. Don’t think too hard about it. But there IS something oddly sexualizing about the comments. “I think it’s weird and inappropriate. Sexualizing underaged children, particularly infants and toddlers, reeks of pedophilia/grooming to me,” another user said in response to the question.

It’s a road map for a bad boyfriend.

“Some of y’all don’t understand the power of these messages we give to our children,” another user pointed out. “Telling the boys that they will be heartbreakers and telling the girls they will break a lot of hearts is all putting those thoughts into their minds that that’s what they should do and it’s fine. Just like telling them that they ain’t shit or just like Their sorry ass daddies.”

It sets the bar low.

As one user pointed out “Its code for he ain’t gon be shit.” Why tell boys they’re “heartbreakers” when you could call them “future feminists” and “activists in-the-making”?

It makes for an entitled man in the future.

“I think it sets up destructive and entitled mindsets and behaviors surrounding social and dating dynamics. I loathe anything and everything that sexualizes or fetishizes kids and promotes highly questionable and problematic behaviors, attitudes, and complexes.”

Sure, as some users pointed out, in the end, comments like these might not aim to be so serious.

Often times, admirers of your children might just be trying to implement a compliment. But words have power (have the last 4 years not taught any of us this??). No doubt, comments like these might be coming from well-meaning people but they are comments that stem from some pretty problematic cultural norms about male behavior.

Identifying whether or not we’re dating a man or a little boy can be hard enough as it is. Let’s avoid making it worse.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

A Latina Firefighter in Boston Says the Department Retaliated Against Her When She Reported That She Was Sexually Assaulted by a Colleague

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A Latina Firefighter in Boston Says the Department Retaliated Against Her When She Reported That She Was Sexually Assaulted by a Colleague

Credit: Screenshot via CBS/WBZ

A former female firefighter was just given a settlement of $3.2 million by the city of Boston for what she characterized as a culture of sexual harassment, shaming, and silencing. Nathalie Fontanez says she was retaliated against by the Boston Fire Department for reporting a sexual assault she experienced at the hands of a colleague.

In 2018, Fontanez says she was sexually assaulted by fellow firefighter David Sanchez.

It all began when Fontanez joined the Boston Fire Department in 2011. The department was looking to hire fluent Spanish speakers, and Fontanez considered the opportunity a “golden ticket”. It was an opportunity for her, a single mom, to provide for her daughter without the assistance of welfare. And, she could prove to her daughter that women can do anything.

But Fontanez’s dream soon turned into a nightmare. After joining the department, she faced an inordinate amount of hazing and harassment because she was a woman and a Latina.

“I’m not a veteran. I’m not a man. I’m a Latin woman. If there was a totem pole, I was at the very bottom,” she explained. “I felt that I had to tolerate anything that came my way, because I was lucky to be there,” she said.

Per Fontanez, the incidents escalated until the day in question when she was assaulted at the firehouse by Sanchez.

After reporting the incident to her superiors, she says that her colleagues turned on her.

In a recent press conference, Fontanez explained the experience in more detail. “Incidents began to escalate and I was then shamed and labeled a trouble-maker,” she said. “The guys that I once relied on for my life’s safety now turned against me.”

While Sanchez was convicted of assault and battery and sentenced to two years of probation, Fontanez says that she was harassed and isolated by her station mates. According to her, the retaliation also included being denied a promotion and being ignored at social events.

“I was often reminded by some of my colleagues that I had taken a job from a man who could have been providing for his family, even though I was a single parent providing for mine,” she said.

Last month, the city settled with Fontanez for $3.2 million. But Fontanez says it’s not about the money–it’s about changing the toxic culture of firehouses. 

“I’m breaking my silence because I believe that women firefighters deserve equal treatment in the Boston Fire Department,” Fontanez said during the news conference. “However, at this point that is the dream, but not the reality, for many women firefighters. The department is overdue for change, and the time for change is now.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Cardi B Explains Why She Turned Off ‘WAP’ When Her Daughter Walked Into the Room: ‘I Don’t Make Music For Kids’

Entertainment

Cardi B Explains Why She Turned Off ‘WAP’ When Her Daughter Walked Into the Room: ‘I Don’t Make Music For Kids’

Photo via kulturekiari/Instagram

Cardi B is tired of people criticizing her for the racy lyrics to “WAP”. On Monday, the Grammy-winning rapper defended herself against haters who called her out for turning off her multi-platinum song “WAP” when her daughter entered the room.

The drama started earlier this week when Cardi went viral for a recent livestream fail.

During the livestream, Cardi appeared to be having a great time, dancing and singing along to her hit single, but quickly turned the music off when she saw her two-year-old daughter, Kulture enter the room.

Cardi mumbled “No, no, no, no,” as she shut off the raunchy song. Then, she coyly took a sip of wine.

While some people found this incident funny (and relatable), there were a select few who didn’t.

Some haters took the video as an opportunity to call Cardi hypocritical for shielding her daughter from her own song while little kids around the world are being exposed to the NSFW lyrics.

“So ya daughter cant listen to it but everybody else’s daughter can @iamcardib?” wrote an infuriated Twitter user. “AW OKAY! Exactly what I been saying you have an agenda to push with that trash ass label your with. DISGUSTING”.

Cardi didn’t waste any time defending herself. “Ya needs to stop with this already!” Cardi wrote back. “I’m not Jojo Siwa! I don’t make music for kids, I make music for adults. Parents are responsible on what their children listen to or see. I’m a very sexual person but not around my child, just like every other parent should be.”

Cardi then went on to defend the right for mothers to be sexual while also being maternal when they want to be.

“There’s moms who are strippers. Pop pussy, twerk all night for entertainment,” she wrote. “Does that mean they do it around their kids? No! Stop making this a debate. It’s pretty much common sense.”

While some users still felt the need to drag Cardi (haters gonna hate), many of her fans came to her defense, calling out the double standards that Cardi faces as a female rapper.

“It’s always the female artist getting critique,” wrote one Twitter user. “Why people don’t talk about all the disgusting music some men be putting out?”

“This!!!” wrote another user. “Like @Eminem literally has multiple songs about murdering people but no one bats an eye about that but because it’s a female talking about her wet [cat emoji] people jump to conclusions.”

It looks like the controversy surrounding “WAP” isn’t ending any time soon. And hey, if Cardi’s motive behind the song was to spark controversy, she very much succeeded in that goal.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com