Lessons from Hollywood
I'm sure a lot of people have heard about the the latest sexual misconduct accusation blowing around Hollywood, the one against comedian Aziz Ansari. Published on babe.net, Grace's story describes meeting Aziz Ansari, their date, the hookup, and the aftermath. Now, people far and wide are weighing in on who was in the wrong and whether the actions taken by the celebrity comedian were sexual misconduct.
I'm not big on following celebrity gossip, but it's hard to miss the torrent of sexual allegations being made throughout Hollywood against household name actors and celebrities. For many, it has been startling to realize how prevalent these issues are. Many are quick to point the finger and lay blame, still many more are quick to write this person or that person off - but for me, it has made me more passionate about teaching the next generation, and it has reinforced the idea that equipping our children with the skills to create and enforce boundaries and to communicate effectively is fundamental.
When we teach children how to create and enforce their boundaries, we are empowering them. If you are tickling your little one, and they tell you to stop, and you stop, the lessons reach far beyond the surface. The lessons you imprint on your little one say, "You are separate person. Your wants are not the same as my wants, and your wants are worthy of being fulfilled. Your body is worthy of being respected. You have the power to say what you like, and what you don't like. Your body is yours and no one is entitled to it." How powerful is this message? What long-lasting effects will this have on your child's self esteem and self worth? Because, in turn, we can teach our children to respect others and their boundaries, they will be able to see others around them as equally worthy.
Because it is the most recent, I can't help but reflect on Grace's story. How different would the story have been if Aziz Ansari had demonstrated respect for Grace's tastes and opinions and asked her what wine she wanted? How different would the story have been had Grace vocalized her discomfort?
Empowering our children, helping them to grow into communicative and respectful adults is the best way to protect them against being victimized and becoming predators.