#me too

Over the last week, I've been following the various #me too threads on social media.  It's got me thinking; we've got to do a better job. 

As a woman, a wife, a mother, I'm ashamed of our world. I'm ashamed to hear that the culture that I lived in as a young woman years ago, is still happening now. I'm ashamed to hear stories from my daughters of men following them down the road, shouting obscenities. Possibly the sons of the men that followed me or my friends and yelled obscenities years ago. I'm ashamed to hear stories of times when their friends had felt like "yes" but then, decided "no" only to have their words and protests ignored. Like so many of the women who have answered #me too.  I'm ashamed to hear of boys, silently pleading to have a too drunk girl pried off of them as they sit helplessly not wanting to look "unmasculine" for saying no. Just as my husbands friends may have been mocked for being " pussies" if they seemed too caring or sensitive.  I'm ashamed to hear of  my daughters, or their friends,  "just wanting to let it go" because addressing it or acknowledging it would just make it worse or would lead to social suicide. Just like the many stories of Hollywood women that have recently come to light.

We've created this mess for our kids. We've created a world where sexuality equals popularity. Where causal hook ups and "kills" ( the new name for number of sexual conquests) are counted as a type of badge. 

In our world, kids see a lot about sex. But we're failing them. We're forgetting to guide them to see the effects of their actions. We're continuing to perpetuate the concept of sexuality equals popularity without helping them to see the lifelong baggage that it can create.

I don't know the answers. And, more often than not, I feel the heart wrenching knot in the pit of my stomach that makes me feel like I'm failing my girls in some way. I fear for them, and I'm completely at a loss about how to empower them.  

I don't know the answers; but I do know that We've Got To Do A Better Job. Our kids deserve it. 

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Karen Patterson

Muskoka Family Works, 55 Main Street West, Huntsville, ON, P1H 1W9