Dear Weezy. So I just need to rant to somebody but all my friends live their lives for boys and would change who they are in a second just to get a boy’s attention! >_< I posted a photo on Instagram about feminism and it got half as many likes as one of my group pics or pictures of my pets or even a freaking SELFIE!!!! The thing is all the people who liked it were girls!!! And I know a lot of boys in my grade follow me and def. saw that pic. But chose not to like it because of the topic!!!
Why are so many boys so effing ignorant!!!??? Sometimes boys (even 50-something male teachers!) make sexiest comments in class and it annoys the heck out of me!!!!! Ugh. Doesn’t it just bother you that people don’t see how much of a problem inequality is between genders is??!?
I greatly admire your idealism and I think you are a person who will go far and achieve much with her life. Yes, it bothers me, but I have gained a certain amount of either understanding or complacency regarding this issue. You can decide which after hearing me out.
I accept and understand that the genders are different. I don’t believe that complete “equality” is attainable, necessary or realistic.
Is there equality between dogs and cats? Cats get to roam around outside without a leash. They go up on the furniture. They can stay home alone much longer. It’s not that you value Fluffy more than you do Fido, (Does anyone ever actually name a dog Fido?) it’s just that cats and dogs are different.
OK, so now you may be glaring at your screen and bellowing, “Are women supposed to be the cats or the dogs here, Weezy!? These are two different species! For the love of Mother Nature, Google it!”
Women are neither the cats nor the dogs. It’s just that I do so love analogies and I am attempting to convey that women have always been and will always be different from men.
Women, after all, carry the baby. Additionally, hormonal factors cause men and boys to think, feel and act differently than girls and women. They are biologically programmed one way, and we another.
On top of which, you are living your life online. Any boy who “likes” a post about feminism is subject to the teasing and ridicule of his friends. You have not lived one day as a boy. You do not know what it’s like.
Ask Weezy about Boys and Feminism Continues at Noozhawk
I am extremely jealous of my brother. A few years back, I started doing theater, and my younger brother started right behind me. Since then, we have both been getting lead roles in most plays we audition for, and we have bonded a lot from being in so many productions together.
Last summer, we were both in Little Mermaid, him as Prince Eric and me as Scuttle. Then the director recommended him for a paid gig. From there, my brother got bigger and bigger roles, and now he’s in the choosing for the lead role in an independent film that’ll be shown in movie theaters nationwide.
Meanwhile, nothing is happening with me. I’m the one who got him into performing, I did it first. Now he’s doing all these big things and I’m not there with him. He’s being interviewed in newspapers while I’m sitting at home and I can’t take it. I want to be happy for him, but I can’t help thinking that he stole my dream. I wanted to be a performer and he just swooped in and beat me at it.
I’m so jealous that I can’t sleep. I don’t know how to stop being so angry at him. I feel like it makes me a terrible sister. What do I do??
What you are feeling is very natural. But cutting to the core, let’s see if we can remove anger from the equation of your emotions by remembering that your brother is not purposely doing anything to you. This is just happening and he is being swept up in it.
You did not get him into performing. You were just a child doing what you love. You have the same parents. He came along. It was happenstance that got him into performing. Right now, he is riding this current and it may not be the best thing for him.
The unfortunate truth for kids in show business is that if they catch a big wave too soon, they may take a tumble and do damage that makes it very difficult for them to catch their next wave…
Was Cary Grant Gay, Straight, Bi or Tumblr-Sexual?
Question from Courtney F.
Hey Weezy, I’ve been questioning things lately (sexuality wise). I think I’m physically attracted to boys, but sexually attracted to girls. Would this make me bisexual?
I am not sure. But what I am rapidly learning is that there are many new and emerging terms designed to help identify various sexual preferences. The Internet is serving as a magnetic force field that is pulling and aggregating people’s personal truths. Tumblr.com is on the front line of this revelatory movement. Here, for example, is one man’s Master List of Sexual Orientations.
My new belief is that there has always been this much diversity within humans and that the Internet is now allowing for more communication that promotes understanding and sharing and a sense of inclusion.
Many kids used to grow up feeling confused and “different,” so they would keep their feelings private and they would attempt to pry themselves into the least objectionable of two available boxes, labeled either Straight or Gay. They would situate themselves and their secret thoughts within that box, and they would carve out a life that often included a lot of lies and secrecy.
Since I began answering letters from teens six years ago, I have come to understand that things and people have never been that simple. It’s becoming increasingly clear that those of us who identify as straight or gay had far too easy a time telling other people that they had to pick a team.
But the tide is shifting and kids growing up today have a strong interest in allowing each other to identify in whatever way their natural inclination is inspiring them. New terms are springing up, and classifications can be everything from highly specific to very fluid depending entirely upon you and how you feel.
For example, right now I am reading Cary Grant: A Biography by Marc Eliot.
I used to believe that Cary Grant was probably a gay man pretending to be straight for the sake of his Hollywood career. I now think that he was either bisexual or bi-romantic or, choosing from the Tumblr list, maybe Androgynosexual.
He was married five times to five different women and was famously in love with Sophia Loren, so possibly, he was sexually attracted to men but romantically attracted to women? Only Grant knew for certain.
He probably would have had a very cool Tumblr page, but my point is that throughout his lifetime, he endured a lot of gossip and innuendo regarding his orientation, and it really just should not have mattered.
Question from Caleb B. How big is your penis supposed to be when you are 11 years old? Weezy This is not exactly my area of expertise. There may be a range within which your size is considered “normal” at various ages but for that type of specific information, you will have to ask your pediatrician. I do know that there is no one size that your penis is supposed to be at age 11 or at any age. Keep in mind that every body grows differently and that everybody is different. Some kids may have started puberty by 11, some won’t start until age 13 or 15. Also, the size of your penis when flaccid will always be different than its size when erect. (This I learned from the movie, Lucas. Thank you, Corey Haim.) Kids are naturally very interested in learning how they measure up compared to their friends. I feel that one of our missions here on earth is to push past the physical distractions that compel us to judge ourselves and others based around appearance. The good news about penis size is that most people you encounter as you travel through life will never see your penis. And any woman who loves you enough to wish to be naked with you is going to be happy with the man that you are, regardless of any specific measurements. Ironically, it is mostly men and boys who notice and compare sizes. Women and girls are not exposed to as many penises (Pardon or do not pardon that pun. Your choice.) and they tend not to see penis size as the measure of a man. Rather, women will list all sorts of attributes, such as intelligence, kindness, integrity, humor, eyes, smile, shoulders, etc. as being important when choosing a partner. I am a woman and I can honestly tell you that… To read more, click over to my column on Noozhawk…
Weezy, Nina, Will, Ryan, Nico, Jake, Montana and Kiemute
Every Tuesday night my home is invaded by teenagers. Yes, they ring the doorbell. Yes, I let them in. Yes, I feed them and encourage them to come again, but the trauma is real and it’s weekly.
Our Place Out Loud – Show 195
Together we create a video podcast called Our Place Out Loud. The show is an extension of the iOS app, Our Place which is a free download in the iTunes App Store.
About five years ago, I published a semi-autobiographical novel called Journals in the App Store. We added an Ask The Author feature where I offered growing up advice to kids. This evolved into the safe and friendly teen social network, Our Place. The podcast brings that social network to real life as a panel of teens help me field questions that come into the app from around the world.
Nico, Will, Ryan, Montana, Kiemute, Ryan, Nico
How does all of this come together weekly in my home? Well, first I go into a tiny coma and then A LOT of wonderful people help me pull it off. The kids start arriving around 5pm. And I love them but kids do not just arrive. They arrive with backpacks and homework and noisy iDevices and loud opinons about feminism, Internet freedom and the Zombie Apocalypse. They arrive with an explosion of things, gear, stuff and sneakers. And they arrive hungry.
Our Place Out Loud – Show 194
Yes, they are very, very hungry and this is why Teresa also arrives. Mother Teresa? To me? Yes. She feeds them, picks up after them and makes sure that the tall kitchen garbage bag remains snuggly in place around the tall kitchen garbage bin so that I do not spend the remains of my day hosing pizza goo out of the tall kitchen garbage bin. God Bless Teresa.
Samantha, Kiemute, Weezy, Nina, Aaron
At 6pm, we open the mics and cameras for the “pre-show.” The narrowcast is pumped live into the Our Place app and this gives viewers a chance to peek behind the scenes as we set up. There is often more than a bit of scrambling (and hushed expletives) during pre-show as the technical heartbeat of Our Place Out Loud depends upon a delicately interwoven patchwork of winches, pulleys, cords, cables, wires, tin cans, vacuum tubing and security cams.
Our Place Out Loud – Show number 193
But collective will has a way of working wonders and each week, we hit our stride and we shine. By show time the studio is packed with kids, grown ups, fun and wisdom all pulling together to share the universal experience of growing up.
The Our Place Out Loud kids are spectacular. Their words and their hearts are helping scores of kids, parents, teachers, grandparents and lunch ladies worldwide.
Yes, it is more difficult to find parking on my street every Tuesday night. Yes, the occasional sneaker is left behind. Yes, it is challenging to remain cheery when somebody asks me if we have any Fanta Grape two minutes before showtime. Come on! Isn’t that why Teresa’s here?? But I am so proud of our team and what we create together.
Take a look and listen. We would love to hear your thoughts.
Are kids really less safe today than they were 30 years ago?
Here’s a question that just came in to the Our Place app regarding safety, freedom, kids and danger:
My mom never lets me have a social life!! Im always stuck inside the house! I’m almost 14… I’m a good kid with good grades!!!!
If I ask to go to the movies, a fair or anyplace with my friends, I cant go!!!! I can only go outside if my parents go too! So the only thing I do is stay home texting! How do I get my mom to let me go out more? I feel like she doesn’t trust me!
Your mom trusts you. She doesn’t trust the world. It’s sad that modern kids do not have the same freedom to run and ride and explore and create that my generation enjoyed. But the reality is that you don’t have it. You do need to accept what is and work within that reality, rather than just fighting against it.
We can speculate as to the reasons why kids today do not have very much freedom. Are there really more child predators today then there were when I grew up? Probably not. But because of the internet, are they better organized? That may very well be.
But I believe that the reason you have less freedom is because of a thing called the 24 hour news cycle. What is this? It’s news that’s on 24 hours a day. The national news used to come on from 6:30-7pm. They did not have time to report on every missing kid. That half hour of news was followed by an episode of Lassie where little Timmy would go running all over God’s creation, so far from home that he got stuck in a well and the only one who noticed was the dog.
Times change, our connectivity has grown increasingly interwoven and your parents are now more aware of what could go wrong. It is disturbingly ironic that you are actually in more danger sitting in your room, on your device and possibly talking to a stranger than you would be riding your bike up and down the street.
But enough of my theories. The best way for you to feel less trapped this year is to join organized activities that get you involved with other kids. Your freedom is coming. It’s a couple years away, but it will get here. Right now, do not spend your day talking to strangers online. That is very dangerous.
Instead, plug yourself into the activities that are available to you. Join, take part, sign up, belong to something that is fun and safe for kids your age.
For more Ask Weezy questions and answers, go to OurPlaceNetwork.com, and/or download the FREE, safe, friendly teen social network, ios app, Our Place.
I host a safe and friendly teen social network/ios app called Our Place where kids the world over gather to share in the joy and confusion of growing up. I personally respond to 15- 20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy. Here are this week’s top five questions:
My parents never ever trust me and they always say I am lying. Plus whenever there is trouble they always blame me without any proof and 4/5 times it was not my fault. How do I get them to trust me ? Plz help.
Make it five out of five times that it’s not your fault. Keep a pristine record going for a month and see how that changes their outlook.
Never raise your voice or roll your eyes or stomp out of a room. Be respectful. Trust must be earned. I know it’s hard because kids mess up, but your attitude is so much of this. Show respect and you will receive it.
Did you know that in a court trial, the jury is told that if they catch a witness in one lie, they have the right to not believe any of that witness’s testimony? It’s pretty much the same deal with parents and kids. You are telling me that 20% of the time it IS your fault or that you are lying. I wouldn’t believe you either.
Wipe the slate. Start fresh. Become an honorable person and trust will be yours.
Hi weezy, If u masturbate does that mean you lost your virginity?
No. No. and NO. Loosing your virginity involves sexual contact between you and another person.
Hi weezy, so I like this guy who is on vacation for two months. Before he left, he asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend and I said yes and he said he will officially ask me in September when he comes back. He told me he loves me and all that but he talks to another girl on Snapchat and they seem into each other.
How should I confront him? He comes back in 23 days and I really want to know now if he’s cheating on me. I can’t wait till I see him face to face. Do you think I should mention it in text? Because it has been bugging me for a couple of days. And if yes, how do I bring it up? Like how do I say it indirectly?
Texting is for fun and for specific information: addresses, dates, times, “I’ll be there in 10 mins,” etc. It is not for intense conversations. You can phone him and say, “I’m just worried about your friendship with Veronica,” or you can wait until you are face to face. If you get into this via text, it will not end well.
That girl may like him more than he likes her. He may have been into her once but now he’s into you. We just don’t know.
I understand that 23 days feels like forever, but patience is your friend. Modern technology has tricked us into believing that we can have whatever we want whenever we want it. But that’s an illusion. Because what we really want is meaningful connections with other people. You can not achieve that via text. Wait.
I’m 15 and a sophomore in high school. Long story short I went to a party, got wasted and ended up having intercourse with my 23 year old brother’s best friend! I figured out this morning that I am indeed pregnant. I screamed and cried for hours and my parents will be home in an hour or so. What do I tell them? What do I tell my brother’s friend?? Please help me!
Start by telling your parents. They will be very alarmed, so brace yourself. But remember that although you made some bad choices, you are still the victim here. A 23 year old has no business taking advantage of an intoxicated 15 year old.
I am so sorry that this has happened to you. Tell your parents immediately. You are still a child. You need to be nurtured and protected through this next chapter. There will be tears and this is not going to be easy. But let the grown ups step in and help you through it all.
Weezy I’m 14 and I’m very inscure about my large Breast size. My friends all think it’s great and tell me that it’s a blessing. But it bothers me that I look in the mirror every day to see something that is just uncomfortable and doesn’t even fit my personality or my body.
I always see People staring and it really frustrates me. I tell them it’s really annoying but it keeps happening. How am I blessed with something that’s so painful, heavy, and big that I can’t even stand it?
I told my mom this and she just says I should be happy and feel blessed but I don’t. No 14 year old should have a DD bra size or have to deal with them and learn to fit into stuff at this age. It’s just not right. (sorry for rambling on)
I understand. You may want to try sports bras that offer more comfort and protection. Layering bras and tanks may also work for you. The Gap has fantastic Sports bras:
If your breasts continue to be a problem and a source of pain and discomfort, you can have breast reduction surgery when you get older.
Some girls are unhappy with small breasts. However, I do not recommend breast implants because this involves putting a foreign object into your body and I don’t believe it to be a healthy choice.
However, reducing your breasts to a manageable size is a viable option for girls like you. Here is a website with information:
I host a safe and friendly teen social network, ios app called Our Place. Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I personally respond to 15- 20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy. Here are this week’s top five questions.
It’s hard to live in a materialistic world without materialistic things. It’s hard living in a world by yourself, seeing others with their iPhones and iPads, with their big beds and big TVs.
If you still don’t understand what I’m talking about let me give you an example. It’s like having two planets and putting EVERYONE on one (lets call the spoiled planet ‘A’) planet and putting one person on the other. Now place both planets beside each other. I’m on the other planet. I can reach as far as I want, but I still won’t be able to reach it. I can smell planet A, I can see it and everyone with their latest technology hanging out having fun, I can hear planet A.
Now collide both planets together. I’m on the planet now. But I won’t EVER be able to actually be in it. It’s hard being in a world that I can’t touch. Now you understand where I am. And it sucks.
I love the way you write. It’s very powerful. Here is what I would like to say about materialism and kids: If you see a kid with a new gadget, he or she did not earn the money to purchase that gadget. His parents did. This kid just wound up in a family that can buy her stuff. How does that make her superior to you?
Even imagine it’s two adults. Adult number one is a powerful attorney who makes a lot of money. Her job is to defend people who have committed crimes or big corporations. She can afford lots of cool stuff. Adult number two is a teacher. She works in a difficult part of town with underprivileged kindergartners. She has a flip phone.
Which person is more valid or more heroic or “better?” I don’t know. I don’t know them. They are hypothetical. They may both be awesome Moms, sisters, friends, parents, humanitarians. Or one may actually be a kinder more noble person. But their worth is not measured by their gadgets.
What I’m saying is that you can not assess the merit of an adult via possessions. So, how could you possibly use this means to measure the value of a child? I know you may feel isolated or lacking. But use this energy for good. Become a better person. When you can earn, save and buy your own iPad, you will feel outstanding. But until then, let no person ever allow you to feel that your planet is not as worthy.
Hi! Okay, so when I was in third grade, I pecked my girl friend on the lips (I’m a girl). However, I do not have romantic or sexual feelings towards girls. What does this mean?
Nothing at all. There is all kinds of same sex fun and affection that goes on between kids, all the way up through college, and beyond. Wrestling, hugging, pecking on the lips, snuggling, etc. etc. It means nothing, unless or until you are romantically In Love with a girl.
For example: If there is this one girl that you just can not stop thinking about and you long to hold her in your arms and know everything about her and share your deepest secrets with her and if your heart goes pitter pat whenever she comes into a room… you may be gay or bi. If those feelings are happening for a boy, you are probably straight.
My mom and dad are divorced and they always argue with each other when they’re on the phone and around me and my sister
That is not OK, and since they don’t seem to remember that it’s not OK, you can remind them. Say, “When you argue with Dad or with Mom, it absolutely shatters me. Can you please not do that?”
Every adult knows that you NEVER argue in front of your children. It is as well known a rule as “Never drink and drive.” However, some parents get very caught up in their own pain. You know how upsetting it is when you have love life issues. It’s maybe 100 times worse for your parents when they have attempted to build a life together, raise a family, be happy and it’s not working out. The stress and the heartbreak and the sense of failure and loss that they are feeling is very overwhelming. It can cause well meaning grown ups to forget that they are NEVER supposed to argue in front of their children. Gently remind them.
How do you build your confidence? make people love you and wanna hang out with you?
You can’t “make” people do anything. A general rule of life may feel very counter-intuitive, but it is this: Whatever you need, give it away. If you need a friend, be a friend. If you need confidence, compliment somebody. If you need love, show love. People will be drawn to a person who shares a lot of love, laughs, compliments and positive energy.
How do I get a boyfriend that doesn’t think I’m creepy or weird Weezy???
You start with a friend who doesn’t think you are creepy or weird.Or a friend who loves that you are creepy and weird.
You have used interesting language and sentence structure to pose your question. It sort of places you under attack and then dares anyone to love you.
You need to start with self love. If you re-frame your position and say, “Hey, I am awesomely unique. How do a find a boyfriend who gets me?” then we can have ourselves a constructive conversation.
Join clubs and activities full of interesting people like yourself. Start with friendship and as life unfolds, so too will romance.
I host a safe and friendly teen social network, ios app called Our Place. Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I personally respond to 15-20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy. What are today’s kids thinking about? Here are this week’s top five questions.
Is there anything wrong with a guy wearing women’s clothes in the privacy of his own room?
No. None at all. However, this may be one of the last lifestyle biases to topple. We don’t see cross dressing much, unless it’s in a comedy sketch. But there are entire subcultures of men who cross dress. Many of them are straight men. They just enjoy women’s clothing and the idea of going out in public and passing as a woman is very exciting to them.
I do not know a ton about it but I had a friend who cross dressed. (he has since passed away) So what I know is based on what he told me. (he was straight) and also on a documentary I watched. It may have been this one:
The straight men who cross dress have a difficult time finding a woman who understands this activity. In some countries it is more accepted. For example there are two British, male comedians who cross dress in their acts and they are widely loved and respected. They are Eddie Izard and Dame Edna. Here is a clip of Eddie Izard:
and here is Dame Edna:
There is nothing wrong with what you are doing. Love yourself and know that the world is rapidly evolving in terms of who and what we accept and embrace. You will get to be a part of changing hearts and views.
Hi weezy. A week ago, an old elementary school friend decided to friend me on Facebook.He started messaging and it was all friendly, and then he started saying I still look cute and I said thank u and brushed it off.
At this point I told my boyfriend of 5 years. Honestly, my boyfriend is the best and trusts me so he doesn’t mind me talking to the guy. But lately the guy’s been calling me cutie a lot and now he has my number. It’s starting to get a tad awkward because I like talking to him but I know that as soon as I say I have a boyfriend he will stop.
My boyfriend’s advice is to continue being friends if that’s what I want and if it ever comes up, say I do have a boyfriend. But I don’t like the feeling of some other guy calling me flirty names. How do I go about this situation without being mean? And what should I do in your opinion? Thank u so much.
I think it is always wise to have your relationship status listed on Facebook. Social networking is often used to look up old friends and see if they are single. It is an easy way to reach out to a past crush. So, if you do not want this, list your status on your profile.
Being truthful, you are inviting this guy to continue and you need to be honest with yourself about that. Why does he now have your phone number? Your boyfriend is a gem. If you love him, be very careful.
Anytime you meet someone who begins to flirt and you are not available, it is your responsibility to mention the words, “My boyfriend,” in your next sentence.
I know that you know that those words will wound. But it needs to sting now or it will hurt more later. You don’t have to announce, “Please don’t call me Cutie,” yet. You can simply say, “Oh, gotta run. BF and I are making dinner.” That should do it.
Yes, you may loose this friendship. But to keep this guy in the dark about your availability because you enjoy the conversations is frankly selfish and it is harmful to three people. Your boyfriend, this guy and you.
If the guy continues flirting with you, say, “I like that we found each other again, but please don’t call me flirty names because I am in a relationship.”
Every friendship must be based on truth.
Dear weezy, Yesterday I was supposed to go to a theme park with my boyfriend. We ended up not going because we got there late and the park would soon be closing. My boyfriend’s apartment was in that area so we decided to just go there instead.
I had fun because I never get to visit his home. We stayed there until about 10pm. The problem is that I had to lie to my parents about it because they would have made” negative” assumptions.
But when I got home they were questioning me a lot about why I wasn’t wet from the pool and why I got home so late. I am almost 21 and they still don’t fully trust me and they would think badly of me if I said I hung out at my boyfriend’s apt. all day by ourselves till 10.
It is, frankly, none of their business. The more they press you for personal information, as you continue your journey through life, the less they will receive. I hope that you are thinking about moving out and gaining more independence soon. Lying is a very bad habit to acquire.
While you still live at home, you can say things like this to your folks: “You two have raised me beautifully with excellent morals, values and judgement. I have a boyfriend. He is a wonderful guy and we respect each other. I hope that I have earned your trust. Can you maybe just ask me if I had a good time and leave the rest to me? The less you ask and judge, the more I am likely to share.”
There is this girl I like and I can’t get over her. She says she loves me as a friend. But I want to be more than friends. I think we are meant for each other and we have a special connection. But she doesn’t want to date. I want to, though and I don’t want to make her mad/upset. What do I say! Please help!
You need to hear what she said to you. She wants to be your friend only. Since you would like to date, there is an imbalance in your expectations. You each want different things. Staying close and hoping the other person will change to your liking is going to place undue pressure and anxiety on both of you.
If you can totally accept that she is just your friend and you are able to look elsewhere for love, then you can remain friends. That, however, is a tough putt. My advice is that you pull away so that you can give your heart a chance to mend.
I’m a boy and I have two younger sisters. I have always wished for an older brother because all of my friends have brothers. This year I followed a friend of a friend on Instagram. He’s 20 and I’m 15. We started chatting and when I told my parents they got mad and shouted at me.
Three months later, my friend introduced me to one of his friends who is 17. I told my parents about him and they didn’t have a problem. Then recently, I wanted to go hang with this guy and they shouted at me because I didn’t tell them.
They said I disappointed them and that they lost trust in me. They don’t want me to be friends with anyone. I think they are overprotective, I’m starting to hate them and i don’t trust them any more and I don’t tell them anything because they don’t understand me. It’s like they were never teenagers!
They were teenagers in a time before the personal technology that we all enjoy.
Let’s cut to the core of the problem: They worry about your safety.
When you say they yelled at you, I need to ask you, what words were they yelling? Volume does not help a kid get the true message.
That message is probably something like this: “We don’t want you to talk to older kids you do not know in real life. Here is why… Those kids may have alcohol or drugs or fast cars with fast girls in those fast cars or guns or gangs or grenades (or whatever fills your parents’ worst nightmares) and we do not want you off on some wild spree and in way over your head.”
That’s it. When your parents yell, you can keep your voice calm and say, “Please explain the rules so that I can make sure I understand. Was it OK for me to chat with that 17 year old kid but just not OK to make plans with him when I haven’t met him in real life and you guys don’t know him? Is that it?”
You just need more clarity. Your parents are actually not being over-protective. It would just be great if they could remain more calm when they speak to you about their expectations.
A good way to start a really productive conversation is to find a quiet moment and ask them to tell you what they were like when they were your age.