The Girl Scouts Say #TimesUp: We Must Talk to Our Daughters About Sexual Harassment! by Kimberly Johnson

Parenting
9 months ago
The Girl Scouts Say #TimesUp: We Must Talk to Our Daughters About Sexual Harassment!

Chances are, the thought of discussing gender discrimination and harassment with your young daughter strikes fear in your heart. The truth is girls (and boys) need us to address these tough subjects because, tragically, you’re never too young to be affected by them. I am relieved to see the Girl Scouts have recognized that just one #MeToo is one too many.

In recent studies, it was found that one in 10 American girls had been catcalled before her 11th birthday, and one in six girls in elementary and secondary school dealt with gender-based harassment. This is too prevalent to be ignored, and can be part of the safety talks you are already having with your kids. Regarding harassment, gender discrimination and related matters, remind your daughter:

  • No matter what, harassment, unwanted touching and sexist behavior are never her fault, nor could anything make her “deserving” of being objectified or feeling threatened. It is not something she should be embarrassed about and it does not make her weak.
  • It is not rude or impolite to tell someone his/her behavior or actions are unacceptable when it comes to harassment or unwanted touching. If she is uncomfortable standing up to the person, it is fine to walk away and ask a trusted adult for help.
  • Trust her gut. If she is left feeling uncomfortable but is unsure if what she experienced is harassment or discrimination, she should talk to an adult.
  • Err on the side of caution. Unwanted touching or “teasing” is never a sign that someone likes her. She should get away from that person and tell an adult.
  • She is not alone. Women and girls everywhere have had similar experiences. This does not make it acceptable, but she can rest assured she has a tribe of people behind her.

Read the Cornell International Survey on Street Harassment and read "Don't Want to Talk to Kids About Sexual Harassment? Time's Up" via GirlScouts.org

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Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Such important info here, Kimberly Johnson ! Thanks for sharing it with us.
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
Amen, Kimberly Johnson ! I love this post and I love the Girl Scouts. Thank you for putting this together. So important for parents to talk to their kids about sexual harassment and what is not OK. It's so true that girls feel they're being "rude" if they say no, etc. We need to use our voices and stand strong. #TimesUp
Morgan Hawthorne
Yes to all of this!!!! Love this!!!💗
Katie Sloan
This is so critical. This statistics are scary! My job as a #boymom is to raise a kind, empathetic and respectful man who values women.
Kimberly Johnson
Absolutely scary! My heart broke the first time Madison ended up clinging close to me last year at the age of NINE while we were grocery shopping. My typically wide open, fun child was acting out of sorts and it took me a few minutes to coax an explanation out of her. She finally confessed that a man had been looking at her “funny” and she felt uncomfortable and even scared, but she wasn’t SURE he was looking at her so she didn’t think she should say anything.

YES, it could’ve been nothing, but ALWAYS tell me if something feels out of sorts! That’s what I’m here for! Now she does, without fail. I hate that she already feels the need to be on high alert at this age, but I’m glad she’s more aware of her surroundings because of said incident.

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