So. Matt Lauer is this week’s scum-du-jour. Sexual harassment is the new black. Who’s next? Please not Tom Hanks, not Lin-Manuel Miranda, not Sterling K. Brown, not Ryan Reynolds.
As a woman, I am sad and angry that other women have had to experience such shame, pain, and embarrassment at the hands (ahem) of powerful men. As a mother, I’m INCENSED. First off, people in positions of power and people in general, keep your eyes and your hands and your parts off my kid, even when she’s not a kid, unless you’re invited BY HER, when she’s of the age of INFORMED CONSENT. (I’m looking at you, Roy Moore.) And to my boys, no. Just no. Since my boys are 9, we are focusing our energy and discussions around using words, listening to what people are telling you with their words (like, when your brother says he doesn’t want to play xbox, you don’t beg, plead, barter, negotiate. No means no. Respect it.) and making choices of which we can be proud. I.e. if you wouldn’t do an action – whatever action it is – in front of your mom or your teacher or your grandmother, don’t do it at all.
Like all things, it takes time. Clean up your own messes. Put things back where you find them. Listen the first time. Make good choices. No means no. As moms, we say and model these behaviors again and again and again.
Here’s another one we should say again and again: choose kindness. If you don’t know what it means, read Wonder and go see the movie. Take your kids. The 4th graders at my children’s school went this week on a field trip and these sweet little buggers were wiping tears off their faces and applauding. It’s a beautiful story, filled with hope. And we can all use a little more of that.