Thursday, November 16, 2006

Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon

It happens to every woman but you dread thinking of it happening to your daughter.

Today my daughter was sexually harassed for the first time.

A boy on the school bus was allegedly "saying gross things" about her body to another boy and then, when she was exiting the bus, he slapped her on the butt. Oh, how I wish I could have a word or two with that boy. I think I might enjoy making him cry and grovel, though, so maybe it's best I will probably never see him.

I remember being her age and the boys in class snapping my bra straps or commenting on my boobs. There was also the infamous "list" the boys kept of which girls they thought were prettiest. The school bus, though, was by far the absolute worst. My best friend and I were harassed (sexually and then regular ol' harassment) by the older boys on a daily basis. Just once I wish an older girl could have embarrassed them or put them in their place with just a few choice retorts. They have air marshalls on planes...they really need marshalls on school buses, where kids are terrorized every day. I still can feel the the anger bubbling up inside when I'm catcalled on the street or told, "Why don't you smile for me, sugar; you look so much prettier when you do."

Email to the principal requesting a meeting? Check.
Conversation with Stella encouraging her to stand up for herself? Check.
Blog post venting my anger at the sprouting seeds of sexism? Check.

How were you ladies out there harassed when you were younger?


Anonymous said...

Wow. How infuriating...and even more frustrating because I know Haley's usually on the bus with her--just not today. More proof that girls gotta stick together and put those little pervs in their places.

carolyn says said...

gross, it's so hard to know what to say to that kind of thing too. she's in a tricky situation on the bus because her reaction could get her in trouble. i remember a friend of mine once got in trouble in the 1st grade for kicking a boy who was lifting her skirt. not that a kick is the best response, obviously, but i remember how upset we all were that nothing happened to him.

in 6th grade there was a boy who "liked" me, he sat behind me in reading class and he would hit me in the back and punch my head and pull my hair really really hard. i think i finally hit him back one day between the school buildings, i still can't believe that it all happened in a classroom, always with the teacher present and he never noticed a thing, i mean i know teacher's can't see everything but yeesh, it was pretty freaking obvious