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You’re Hot

By:  Kelly McBride, executive director, Domestic Violence Network

My 14 year old had her headphones in so they thought she couldn’t hear them. She ignored it the first time.

“Nice ass.”

That was the second time my daughter was harassed by a classmate as she walked home from the bus stop one afternoon. This time, she turned around and told the boy to stop. At the same time, the boy walking next to the offender said, “Hey man, stop it. This is why Jill doesn’t walk home with us any more!”

The boy stopped.

Fast forward to a week later and Ava is getting off the bus again. Another boy she went to middle school with was taking a long time to get his belongings gathered up. Ava realized that he was buying her some time from a group of boys that she did not know. Three boys started hollering at her telling her, “Bye Ava. Love you, Ava. We will see you tomorrow, Ava.” She did not know their names. She did not know how they knew her name. She was uncomfortable and nervous to walk home. She snapped a picture of them.

Four boys in two weeks harassed my daughter as she walked home from the bus stop. Four boys whose parents probably have not talked to them about respecting women and girls.

But there were two boys who were upstanders. They had seized the opportunity to exert positive peer pressure on their classmates. As Mr. Rogers once said “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

I’m choosing to focus on the positive behavior of the two boys that helped Ava because otherwise what do I tell my daughter? Get used to it? This most certainly will not be the last time that men or boys make unwanted comments to you? I’m really sorry that this happened to you? Make sure you hold your head high, don’t make eye contact, and walk a little faster?

Instead, I tell her good job for standing up for yourself. I’m really sorry that this happened to you and it’s really great that J and P were able to be a support for you. I’m proud of you for taking their picture so we can try and figure out who they are.

Talk to your sons about respecting women and girls. Talk to them about stepping up and saying or doing something if boys are harassing girls.

Our daughters deserves better.