Sunday, July 14, 2024

Teach Your Daughter Manners.

October 2, 2019 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( The climate of our society seems more focused on the training and sensibilities of boys. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard women say: teach your son’s not to beat, teach your sons boundaries, teach your sons to respect girls, teach your sons to value women, and teach your sons manners. The problem with these focus statements is that we should be teaching this to all of our children, and it implies we should teach it to boys because it is being taught to girls. In specifying boys we are allowed to believe girls don’t beat, they understand boundaries, they respect boys, and have manners. This is the furthest from the truth. Given that I have no children I have no bias either way, but I recognize the imbalance in what society is doing. The lack of fairness will allow girls to run unchecked in ways we would come down hard on a boy.

As someone with illness I don’t get to go out much without complications. While in Walmart recently I came across an encounter that finally made me say we need to have the same energy for girls lacking manners that we do for boys. I was in the checkout line and there were some pre-teens behind me with a parent. Three boys and one girl. While waiting I felt a hand on my backside. I immediately turned around and made a blanket statement asking the young people to keep their hands to themselves. I didn’t accuse anyone directly, but I assumed the culprit was one of the boys. What appeared to be the mother of these children said nothing. Illness is notes because it causes me to move extremely slow at times.

Well, I paid for everything, put my groceries in the basket, but had to bend down to retrieve something I dropped. In that moment I felt a hand on my backside again. When I turned around it was the girl that was laughing, and speaking lewdly about my backside. When I addressed her and made it clear I felt her actions were a violation of my body and space her mother stepped in to defend her. She made it clear she felt I was overreacting, and should calm down because it was just a girl. The mother explained it was no harm intended…it’s not like her son’s touched me. I wish I could tell you I was making this up, but I was absolutely amazed that the mother felt this was okay.

None of my experience was okay. That young girl has no right touching me, and it shouldn’t have mattered that she was a girl. We’ve for to teach all of our children that manners are important, and they should keep their hands to themselves. No one has the right to have their space or body violated by another person regardless of their gender. Please know I have patience towards children and disabled people. I know stores can have right spaces and we can accidentally bump each other. I know mistakes happen.

However, this was girl was deliberate in her actions and words that followed, and her mother justified it because she’s a girl. None of that is okay. If the boys can’t behave in that manner neither can girls. Let’s focus on making sure all of our children are bought up with common decency, and manners.

Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

May also connect with this sister via Twitter; ChelleStJames.



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