Monday, March 18, 2013

Conversation can change the world

The Steubenville boys were athletes. They were average high school students. The kids who were live tweeting the rape had good grades. They had great resumes. These are your kids. This is my baby brother. The victim is not at fault, so once we start really looking at the perpetrators, what led these perfectly average kids, your son, my piercing client from Saturday, whoever they were, to believe that this is good? This is hilarious? What messages have you taught the young people in YOUR life about sex? It's never too late for a good conversation.

If you're afraid to talk to your very young children, or your teenagers, about sex and consent and themes like that, find someone who can talk to them. I will. I'm not licensed, certified, whatever, but I'm friendly.  Talk to a friend or family member that can talk about sex calmly, rationally, and without stuttering or blushing, and see if they can have an age appropriate conversation with your 4 year old, your 10 year old, your 16 year old, if you can't do it.  
 Look over the messages you're sending in the movies you're watching, the games you're playing, the things you say. What are you teaching your loved ones about sexual assault? Are you sure that no one you know would ever consider video taping a questionable situation? Talk about how much you respect them for that decision.

The grades, the resumes, and the athleticism of the Steubenville rapists is relevant, it should be reported on, because they weren't sneaky predators in an alley. They were kids, who weren't ever taught better.

My mother and I have talked to my 17 year old brother about sex, about consent, about sexual assault.  You might have, too, he's been at Slutwalk 2011 and 2012.  I'm pretty sure he'd take a black eye or worse to defend someone's right to choose when they have sexual contact.  Even if there was beer and peer pressure involved.  

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