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Women's Rights. Girls' Rights. Safety and Consent.

Bully GirlBy Kim Rossi

There was a petition from Change.org in my in-box this weekend. Lauren's Law in Oklahoma seeks educational funds to teach high school students about informed consent regarding sexual relations.

"Lauren was raped by a boy she knew from school. She was shocked to find out he had no idea what legal consent was."

HB2734 will allow for the development of age appropriate programs on consent and healthy relationship behavior. These programs will teach students about consent and how to recognize and prevent relationship violence, including physical and emotional relationship abuse. It will also address relationship communication skills, emotional health, and accountability.

Federal funds are available for this consent and safe relationship education to be implemented at the state level through Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Under the last administration, the White House Council on Women and Girls Report estimated the cost of rape to be as high as $240,776 per incident, including medical services, investigations, loss of productivity, and quality of life. With the high cost of assault and federal funding available, there’s no excuse not to protect and educate our kids.

Let’s do this for Lauren, the young women we started our movement for, and all the survivors who hope for a better world.

I have three daughters. I want to protect them at all costs.   If I had sons, I'd want to protect them too. As a martial artist, I teach self defense to boys, girls, women and men. We teach children how to prevent bullying.  We also teach children how NOT TO BECOME a bully.  We teach kids how to win. And we teach them how to lose. I think teaching them how NOT to become a bully and how to lose is the more important lesson. And sorely lacking in much of their teaching outside of the dojo. I would like to see schools teach martial arts self-defense to students, then girls can show boys what NO means with their fists. There is a time for fighting. We've lost that in our zero tolerance culture.

With that in mind, I am in favor of classes to teach boys and girls what "NO" means.  Dating is nothing like it was when a cute boy and I exchanged a note written in ink in the hallway. Or when a boy whispered to a boy who whispered to a girl who whispered to another girl who whispered to me that he liked me.  Bonne Bell Lip Smackers are the thing of the past, replaced by swiping left and right or sexting while Mom and Dad are in the living room watching a Seinfeld rerun.  The dog eared Playboy hidden away has been replaced by 24/7 on demand porn the likes of which was never aired in the seediest Times' Square XXX theatre decades ago.

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