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Aug 27 2013

What My 10-Year-Old Son Knows About Rape So Far

By at 12:46 pm

college campusThe semester approaches. The students have all returned to our small town and the sun is out in Athens, Ohio, which means the students take their shirts off and stand around on their front lawns in their bathing suits. They blow up kiddie pools and fill them with water and rubber ducks, then they stand around some more, sometimes in the kiddie pool, drinking their alcohol and blasting their music.

We live in a pedestrian friendly town, so we walk by these students on our way to get ice cream or watch a dance performance on campus. My son, 10, watches them all very carefully. They’re like an alien species from a distant planet. And he knows that he will eventually visit this distant planet, and so he spends quite a bit of time wondering about himself in eight years. Sometimes he shares his thoughts; other times, I can see him having an intimate dialogue inside his head. I know enough to leave him alone at these moments, but other times, he wants to talk. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 20 2013

Teaching Girls to be Confident and Boys Not to Rape

By at 11:00 am

the Big DipperRape culture. Those are two words I never thought I’d see together. But lately I’ve read blog post after blog post discussing the world of rape culture and why so many men don’t understand the concept of consent. Coinciding with a week where feminism and “leaning in” are the topics du jour, it’s important to see the social connection here.

While we as women are arguing over whom the real feminists are, and whether or not feminism means embracing ourselves as women or becoming more like men, there is an entire debate going on about rape and consent. If a girl gets completely wasted and is acting sexual, but her eyes are rolling into the back of her head and you can tell she won’t remember this tomorrow, can a man have sex with her?

Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 20 2012

Let’s Talk About Sex and Politics

By at 8:10 pm

We would probably be remiss if we didn’t post something about the absolutely horrific stupidity of Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, the Republican candidate for the Missouri Senate race. As you all probably know by now, Akin told a news station on Sunday that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Read the rest of this entry →

There Was a Rapist on My Kibbutz

By at 2:52 pm

girl on bike no handsSo once upon a time when we lived in the Big Bad City where police helicopters were more plentiful than stars in the smoggy LA night sky, my ex told me about this magical place where children roam free and everyone knows everyone and it’s like Mayberry only in Hebrew and with shmarim instead of apple pie, and blah blah blah.

It’s called a kibbutz. And apparently it’s paradise for children. And dogs. (Because both like to run around and pee on lawns, etcetera.) Read the rest of this entry →

May 20 2011

Mothers, What’s Wrong with the World?

By at 11:49 am

Tristane Banon, a journalist who claims that Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her during an interview. Daniel Janin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Today, I am stumped.

Item 1: A mother prevailed upon her daughter, a young victim of the IMF’s former chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, to refrain from making a public accusation of sexual abuse. She felt that her daughter would be victimized again by this powerful man, that her name would be sullied, and she would be unable to achieve any justice.

At first I thought–some mother! What about helping her child pursue truth in a court of law,  protect subsequent victims, maybe even get revenge? What about validating her daughter’s pain and anguish? But then I thought–no doubt there were many excruciating conversations between mother and daughter and you, know, sadly that mother has a point.

Item 2: The world is ending this weekend and the New York Times quoted a daughter whose mom told her that she was not going to heaven. “At first, it was really upsetting,” said the daughter. Indeed.

I have no reference point for this at all. One the one hand, the mom has utter and complete faith in her position. On the other hand- she’s nuts. But the truth is, this is not such an unusual position- parents all over the world feel similarly about their gay children.

For me, the bottom line is protecting my children and accepting them, as I hope they will accept me, with all our inadequacies and disappointments.

But, Kveller readers, what’s a mother to do?

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