The dark, lurking horror of parenting girls (and what we’re teaching them about their bodies).
@FeministIre (emphasis added, as always):
So, with this in mind what are we teaching girls about that? Are we telling them to watch out for the man who lives next door/the older cousin/the guy you’ve been dating for 6 months/his best friend? Are we teaching them that 1 in 4 relationships are abusive and that you need to know the signs of abuse before embarking on one? Are we teaching them how to spot the signs of an entitled person? How to spot status seekers? How to rid their lives of anyone who treats them with disrespect? Are these things fundamental to every parenting book/school class room?
I wonder also why most campaigns focus on women, putting the onus on them not to get raped or be assaulted. Violence against women seems to be the one area where the focus is on potential victims to take responsibility for decreasing their chances of being attacked. I’ve never seen a poster giving tips to stop me being potentially run over by a motorist , or a poster warning me on the dangers of being in the presence of someone smoking. So why in this one area of violence against women, are poster and ad campaigns directed at potential victims? Another issue with these campaigns is that most of the campaigns I’m aware of seem to promote the idea that sexual assault occurs between strangers. I’m yet to see a campaign that aims to impart the knowledge that 75% of assaults happen between people who know each other. Why are most campaigns ignoring the statistics on this? And where are all the campaigns reaching out to the perpetrators of these crimes?
According to the UN It is estimated that “35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. However, some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime”. So, if you’re a woman or a girl you’ve got a 35 – 70% chance of being sexually or physically abused by a man. And these statistics are not taking into account other forms of abuse – verbal, emotional/psychological, financial abuse and cyber abuse (unsolicited dick pic anyone?)
The dark, lurking horror for me as a parent of two girls is that I know there is little chance they will escape this. I know in my woman’s heart what most likely waits for them. It is frighteningly likely that at some point a man is going to try and hurt my daughters.