A guest post from Dr. Birute Regine, author of “Iron Butterflies: Women Transforming Themselves and the World”
For weeks, Rene had been badgering her parents to let her have a gmail account. All her friends in middle school had email accounts, so why couldn’t she? Every time she asked she got the same answer. “Maybe later, maybe later.”
“We weren’t sure if she was responsible enough to venture out in the social media world,” Rene’s mom Linda told me. “I feel like I have to be the gatekeeper. I need to protect her from the horrible things in our society that basically want to flood into her life.”
During school lunch Rene would complain to her friends about how annoying her parents were. “They keep stalling with me! I’ll never get on gmail.” Her friend Cheryl said, “I can help you set up an account. It’s easy. We’ll just give you a fake name.” “Really?” Rene replied. “That would be awesome!”
Rene felt a twinge of doubt, but set it aside, assuring herself that her parents wouldn’t be too mad if they found out. That afternoon, Cheryl set up an account for Rene.