MeToo is plastered across social media and mainstream media this week, In the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace, it’s no surprise that a hashtag emerged. The conversations are not comfortable by any means but make no mistake, they are conversations many have been trying to start for decades.
What I Told My Kids About MeToo
My kids asked. I answered. This is not a time to have separate conversations with my son and daughter. No, this is a time to have the same conversation because anybody can be a victim of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Beyond that, it doesn’t matter what gender you identify as when it comes to these issues. Everybody has a duty to speak up, speak out, and understand the consequences of actions. That’s the point I conveyed to my kids. We discussed consent and we discussed their options and responsibilities.
This is a scary topic to discuss with tweens and teens but it is one that needs to happen. Think of a typical middle school or high school and the conversations already occurring about what young women can and cannot wear to school, to dances, and in pictures. Consider the provocative nature of advertisements – both digital and print – that surround our young people day in and day out. Now is the time to teach them right from wrong and all about the issues of consent and what constitutes harassment, assault, and rape.
There are great resources at TeachConsent.org.
I posted on Facebook and Twitter with #MeToo. While I have no desire to recount the stories that back my posts, I felt the need to add my voice, small as it may be. Some of my friends did not feel comfortable tacking their name to the hashtag and that is their prerogative. While I don’t understand it, I respect it. For those who have added their names to the millions of other #MeToo posts, thank you for standing up and know you are not alone.
If you or somebody you know is a victim of sexual assault, reach out to the National Sexual Assault Hotline or call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).