I woke up this morning and scrolled through my facebook (as most of us do before rolling out of bed) and I noticed the hashtag #metoo has been imprinted on so many profiles, tweets and instagram pics. Ok, I know this world is sick – but wow! There are so many souls that have been scarred by self gratifying idiots.
I honestly can’t identify with any of the extreme traumatic situations – but I do have my experiences. When a guy has tried his “thang” with me, I have kicked back so hard he has never even looked at me again. I embarrassed him by being loud and physically hurt him in front of everyone.
I’m lucky, in a sense that a lot of “harassment” I have ever experienced has been in the open – but I hate that innocent children, teens, young adults and older people become the prey of those that just can’t control themselves.
I hope you can sense the tone of my post today – I’m annoyed and angry that there is so much of this going on and these idiots just carry on being their idiot selves without consequence. I remember feeling this way when I watched and wrote about 13 reasons why. Rape culture is hectic, and sexual harassment is just as ugly – yet “seems” so innocent and way for boys to pursue a woman for what he wants.
So, what can I do to make this world a better place? How can I help turn the tide and make my mark? Ok, I know I can’t do it all at once – but what I do know is start within my home.
I have 2 girls and 1 boy. Firstly, I need to teach them that saying “no” is ok. That their stuff, is their stuff and it’s ok if they don’t want to share. It sounds small, but allowing my children the freedom to firmly tell anyone “no” – gives them the tools to exercise fighting for what’s theirs. (don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying all victims that couldn’t fight back got what they couldn’t fight against) I’m saying that this is a tool. It could help (God forbid) one day.
I also allow my kids to “tell on” each other and their friends. Yes, I’m probably going to be annoyed out of my pants about it – but this enables them to blow the whistle on anything they feel is inappropriate or wrong. By telling my kid – stop coming to me with your issues – I’m saying that what they feel is wrong isn’t important and that they must sort it out and deal with it. Now, I don’t always sort their issues out – but I do give them tools on how to remedy the situation.
I’m honestly struggling with this one with my son – they can’t always have what they want straight away or even at all. Call me a strict parent all you want but it’s hectically important to do this. They can wait for their sweets, they must wait for their allocated “screen” time. Ice cream only comes after the food is finished. You don’t clean your room – there will be no gymnastics! It’s amazing that something as simple as seeing the lollipop sweet on the kitchen counter – not hiding it away and telling my two year old to wait for it – is a principle that he will need to exercise for the rest of his life. Eventually, the sweet isn’t a lollipop anymore – but a girl, all dressed up (the way she wants to) and he must wait! He MUST learn to wait until it is the right time to unwrap that sweet and enjoy the rewards of it’s contents. It’s the same for my girls – but I thought it would be best to say it with the male child in context.
I’m also trying to teach my kids how to speak to each other and to other people. My girls struggle with this one the most – I also understand that my son is only 2 so it’s probably coming. I don’t care how upset or frustrated or how much you “won” by – you will talk to everyone and anyone with respect and honor. They are all human beings and even if you don’t agree with their life choices, circumstances or appearance – respect and honor are always the way we speak to another person.
Don’t get be wrong – I’m not perfect and as much as I will hold my tribe to this standard, I hold myself to it too. It’s a daily exercise and we are constantly learning. Trust me, we are learning everyday.
But I strongly feel that if I can get my three to be better human beings by withholding certain pleasures, by expecting a higher level of communication and yet the freedom to express their opinions and fight back when they see fit – I pray that these will be good tools to help them NEVER, EVER be the perpatrators and have another person say #metoo with them in mind.