I try not to walk through my neighborhood alone after dark. Last night, I was going to a birthday party, and I didn’t have a choice. What I was wearing shouldn’t have been relevant, but let’s be real: my knee-high boots and peacoat that was just a little longer than my dress elicited even more catcalls than usual.
When you approached me, I immediately started pawing through my purse for my keys. I don’t know if I planned to stab you, or what, but I’m sorry I completely ignored you and sped up as you got closer, because “Those guys are dicks, and I just want to make sure you get where you’re going without them bothering you” was the last thing I expected to hear. I am 5’7” with an average build, and you were at least 6’4” and built like a linebacker, so please understand my apprehension.
What I really appreciated, though, was the fact that you kept your distance, You could tell that I was still a little uncomfortable and you respected that. You stayed a few feet behind me for the few blocks I had to walk, and when someone whistled at me from their stoop, you yelled “leave the lady alone!” As soon as I got to the subway station, I turned back to wave at you. You smiled, waved back, and said that you hoped that I had fun wherever I was going.
Thank you for your concern, whoever you are. I appreciate it. I really, really do.
Thanks for being a decent human being and looking after someone.
Random Internet user.
Sharing because he was caring.
The following day, I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:
“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life — including my mother, sister and girlfriend — and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender."
In the longest-running study of lesbian families to date, zero percent of children — not one! — reported physical or sexual abuse. Given that in the general population 26 percent of children report physical abuse and 8.3 percent report sexual abuse, it seems that if we don’t want abused kids, the answer is obvious.
This news is just the latest in a long line of research showing that children of gay parents are happy and well-adjusted. Research published in 2010 in the Journal of Marriage and Family, for example — a five-year review of 81 parenting studies — found that children raised by same-sex parents are ‘statistically indistinguishable’ from those raised by heterosexuals in areas including self-esteem, academics and social adjustment."
— Jessica Valenti in “The kids are all right,” her debut column for The Daily. (via thedailyfeed)