An unsuspecting dad has opened a can of worms online, posing a question about his teenage daughter that divided opinions and ignited them in a matter of hours.
The Aussie father took to Reddit to ask for advice regarding a conundrum over his 12-year-old daughter's swimming attire - or lack thereof.
He explained that as a single dad to a girl, he relies on his widowed sister-in-law for advice, but her latest tidbit, offered while the families were swimming in her backyard pool, left him uneasy.
"All year round. I've always been happy to let the kids swim topless if the UV index is low enough, otherwise it's slip-slop-slap time," he explained.
"Over the weekend my SIL took me aside and suggested that maybe it's time my daughter stopped going topless altogether... I wanted to know if there was any specific reason in particular beyond puberty, (but) all she could really give me was the "she's a young woman" line," he wrote.
Perplexed, the dad took to the forum seeking popular opinion, but wasn't afraid to share his own.
"It's my opinion that if she is in fact a young woman, she can choose what she wants to wear around her own family," he wrote.
Outcry on both sides of the fence
The question, posed only this morning, sparked an instant firestorm online, with strong opinions from both sides of the debate coming in thick and fast.
At the centre of it was the question - when, if ever, is it ok to tell girls to cover their body?
One argument was that her 10-year-old male cousin might begin to feel uncomfortable, and she should dress 'appropriately', given it's his mother's pool.
Others hit back, arguing tailoring the little girl's behaviour to boys’ reactions paved a dangerous pathway.
"'Daughter, you have to wear a top because your male cousin doesn't know how to behave,' starts teaching the lesson early that women are at fault for men's inability to control themselves, and is basically the road to victim-blaming," one woman wrote.
My pool, my rules
Others insisted that if this was happening in the sister's pool, it should be her way or the highway.
"It may be a private swimming pool, but it's not your private swimming pool," one pointed out.
"If your sister-in-law isn't ok with it, go by her rules,' another agreed.
Others argued that by the age of 12, it was time to respect kids’ growing bodies by covering them.
"She’s 12, cover her up. Wtf is wrong with you?" was one of the shorter expressions of the sentiment.
"Having her in a two-piece wouldn't hurt, it's better to get her used to covering up and then she can change her mind about how she wants to dress at an older age," another suggested.
Teaching liberty from an early age
Others countered that it was more important to teach choice than conformity.
"Allow your daughter to make choices for herself, like you were doing," was one take on the matter. "... Ultimately, it's your daughter's body and as long as you feel she is not behaving in an unsafe manner, there is no harm in being topless around family."
Others argued that sexualising nudity was plain wrong, particularly in children.
"I live in North Europe and I cannot understand why it (nudity) is disgusting as many people suggest," one wrote.
With 1000 comments and counting, the debate wages on, and the contentious topic raises the question - what age should we start swimming clothed?
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