Wolf whistling is to become a crime. Well, good. It’s not just a bit of a laff. It’s not funny. It’s not harmless. The reason that I can say this with such certainty is because I am a woman. I’ll tell you how it has made me feel in the past: frightened to leave the house, hugely intimidated, incredibly embarrassed.
It is undoubtedly worse for teenagers. As I got older, they no longer intimidated me, they just irritated the hell out of me. I never want my girls to feel intimidated. I want them to be empowered. They are all black belts in Taekwon-do and through the martial art we are teaching them how to be strong and fit and how to use their bodies and their strength in the most effective way to keep control in any given situation. However, even with this knowledge, I know that as females they are still incredibly vulnerable.
It’s not just the unwanted attention from men. I worry about teenage boys’ attitudes to girls. I worry because I know how influenced boys are now by on-line porn. I know that this gives the boys unrealistic expectations of what girls will do and do the boys actually care what the girls want? I actually wonder whether girls and boys know how to communicate with each other any more. I know that boys can be hard to drag off their X boxes. My step-daughter told me that most of her friends at Uni are using Tinder. At Uni?! I nearly fell off my chair! If there was one place you could always guarantee to pick someone up it was in the Student Union Bar. What’s the world coming to?
There has definitely been a huge cultural shift since I was a teenager and I just don’t get it. I’m not saying that I should, nor that I want to, but equally I don’t want my girls to grow up feeling powerless.
I recently came across this vlog by Nicole Arbour. In it she talks about how modern dating is fucked. She swears a lot in it, but her message is a valid one and it’s one that is bothering me too. Check her vlog out, here’s the link (but if you have kids at home, you might want to use earphones).
To be honest, her view on dating makes me feel that no-one is really feeling empowered any more. I get the impression that someone needs to take control of this situation. Things need to change. I’m too bloody old to change anything, but I want to give my girls the feeling that they are in control and if we all empower our kids in this way, perhaps effective communication between young people will resume.
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