Friday, February 27, 2015

Is it Ok ......

This is the innocent question from my eleven-year-old the other day in the car.

"Why is it not Ok for boys to hit girls? Is it a manners thing?"
"It is a manners thing, chivalry. Think about our conversation the other night when everyone was wrestling - men have more upper body strength than woman, so imagine a man using all that force to hit a woman, that is not a fair fight. Plus you know that book your brother is reading about slavery - there was a time when woman had no more rights than a slave they were the property of their husbands and sometimes they would get beaten very badly.  We had to put a stop to that in society."
"So...then, why are girls allowed to hit boys?"

BAM! right to the gut - that's my boy

"Well, girls are not allowed to hit boys. Why?"
"Because they do. The girls in my class do anyway. I won't name any names but the other day I was holding the door for the whole class and when I went back to where Darin was in line one of the girls called me out and said get back. I told her I was holding the door and she said I don't care and kicked me in the shin."
"Did you tell someone?"
"It didn't hurt that bad."
"If it didn't hurt that bad, why are we talking about it? It sounds like you are still upset about it?"
"Well, it did hurt bad, for a little while. But I didn't cry or anything. The girls hit, and push, and kick  and stuff and I don't like it. I don't want to hit back I just want them to cut it out."

What a precarious precipice I am on right now. I hang on to the steering wheel for dear life- I feign exuberant interest in the traffic while trying to collect my thoughts.

"If anyone is ever touching your body in a way that is hurtful, harmful, or makes you feel awkward in anyway you need to make that stop.  If you are being attacked - fight back. Even if it is a woman. If you are being touched - get out of there immediately. Even if it is a girl you really like.  And if the girls at school are being mean - call them out, loud and clear in front of everyone. For example you could say loudly so that everyone around you will hear your words -
Emma stop kicking me. That hurts and I don't like it. Please keep your hands and feet to yourself.
It is really important to me that you take care of well as others. But if you are not taking care of probably can't take care of others."

I try to keep my voice steady and the tears at bay. I hope that I have given him a reasonable answer and appropriate tool.  I imagine my beautiful sweet boy who holds the cafeteria door everyday for the entire 125 students in his grade getting kicked for it. Literally. And what I really wanted to say is
"It may not be ok for you to kick her - but I can. Give me her name!"

Mama Lion won't make this better either.....but sometimes I'd like to try.

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