Here’s the thing:
I don’t want to be the one saying this.
I don’t want to, but I’m going to.
I’m going to go through simple ways we as a society can make small changes for the next generation.
Many of you are probably already aware or practicing these things in your own home.
But maybe you haven’t had the words to stand up to others in your family, or insist these are followed outside the home, because, yes, it would be deemed AWKWARD.
So here’s my Public Service Announcement.
To those who have young children in their families, or are close friends with those who have young kids, THIS IS IMPORTANT.
Kids have THE say in what happens to THEIR bodies.
If a kid says they don’t want to be tickled, if any part of them is saying stop
(I don’t care if they are laughing,
that’s the body’s response, btw, NOT an indication of enjoyment)
Before there’s a hug or a kiss goodbye or hello, ASK.
“Can I have a hug?
Can I have a kiss?”
If, in any way, the child is not indicating an absolute “yes”—
BACK OFF (and be OKAY with it!)
Don’t act upset, or try to guilt the child into giving you what you want—
(Do you see how messed up that is!?)
(How to treat children is for MEN AND WOMEN, because, women, I’ve seen you do it too)
I have members in my family, maybe not close members of the family, but a part of my family who I am uncomfortable with.
Yep. I said it(!)
But because we are family, and I am a woman, I don’t have personal space.
I don’t get asked for a hug.
I am given one.
I don’t get asked for my personal space to be invaded.
It just is.
Because, there is an assumption that either I’m okay with it, or I am not important enough of a human being to be treated the same way I would be if I was a man.
So men, if you are standing next to a woman, maintain the same boundaries you would if she was a man.
Oh yes, I know, you’re a heterosexual male.
But guess what, we don’t want your heterosexuality shoved down our throats.
You have not been invited to touch us, so don’t.
Would you come up behind another man and start rubbing his shoulders?
So why the hell do you think it’s okay to treat a woman that way?
We should be treated with respect and dignity.
It should never be assumed we are okay with your touch (however “innocent” and “friendly”)
I swear if one more person says “he’s just being friendly” — I may punch them in the face.
No he isn’t.
He’s being dominating.
And he’s okay with it.
And making me feel small and insignificant and honestly I doubt he even second guesses what he’s doing.
Men, if you are taking a picture with a group, and you end up next to a woman, no that doesn’t give you permission to get closer to her than if she was a man.
Would you rest your head on a man’s head?
Or wrap your arm like so around another man’s body?
So why are you doing it to a woman?
Guys, I don’t think you realize, because we as woman have been told since we were children to:
Do what we’re told.
Give them a kiss.
It has been “give give give”
And “obey obey obey”
As though we as girls, and as women, don’t get to decide if we are uncomfortable.
We are placed in the society where we submit to the comfortability of the male.
Here’s the deal men,
We as women won’t be offended if you assume you cannot touch us.
If you assume we have a personal space
(the same as you would give another male, because, you know, in this society if you are straight and don’t want to be considered gay, you give other guys a respectable berth.)
Just because you are attracted to women doesn’t mean you get to go stand in a woman’s space.
Or expect her to want to hug you.
Or share a seat with you.
Wake up, men.
Wake up, and realize an extra sense of respect towards women is not just appreciated,
BUT we are DEMANDING it.
For our mothers.
For our sisters.
For our friends.
For our neighbors.
For our daughters.