Let me explain. A few nights back, at bedtime, as we were ushering the girls upstairs, I leaned in to give my two-year-old daughter a snuggle. She pulled away. We do this sometimes; it’s our little game. So, playing my part, I feigned an indignant, overly-dramatic offense, which made her giggle. We were playing, of course, so naturally I leaned in again for my second attempt. Same pull-away. Same feigned offense. Same giggle.
On the third round, she began to lose interest in the game, and instead reached for her binky. I, being in possession of said binky, having just rinsed it off, held it up, just out of reach.
A bargaining chip.
It only took a split second. My wife and I exchanged an identical look of instant recognition. In that moment, I knew. I actually felt it, deeply and personally. I have always empathized, or at least tried to, but now I understood.
And it sickened me. And scared me.
Because how can you be part of the solution when you don’t even realize you’re still part of the problem?
Because the sense of entitlement is ingrained to the point of instinct.
Because we judge ourselves based on our intentions but judge others based on their actions.
And because the underlying danger isn’t reserved only for the risk of an overt assault, but in the fact that one’s intentions and actions can be completely incongruous without even realizing it.
Were my intentions in the little scene I described anything but those of a loving father? Of course not.
Did my actions equate in their severity to those of someone who forces himself on women? No.
Will it be easy for some reading this post to view it as overreaction or dismiss it as liberal brainwashing? Highly likely.
But the simple fact here is that even at the age of two, my little girl is learning what it means to be female.
She’s learning that her affection has value and that withholding it can have consequences.
That her consent, if not offered outright, will likely be subjected to coercion.
That there is a path of least resistance.
In recent days, I, like many, have struggled to reconcile the moment we are in, and to see a path forward. I’ve been enraged. Outraged. Incredulous. Helpless. Depressed. Angry.
But now I am resolute.
The change we need won’t *begin* with elected officials or judicial appointments. It will begin with each and every one of us taking a good hard look in the mirror; in our own individual ability to acknowledge our flaws and to be mindful of them in the behavior we model moving forward.
It begins by raising our sons to own their actions with humility.
It begins by raising our daughters to own their power without apology.
It begins by no longer tolerating a look-the-other-way culture of hypocrisy and calling out those who do loudly, publicly and relentlessly until they are shamed into self-reflection or out of positions of influence.
It begins right now.
(via Marc Giannettino)
found @ 2461 likes ON 2018-10-11 06:00:40 BY ME.ME