Thursday, May 29th, 2014
In the wake of yet another mass shooting of young women and men in Isla Vista, the hashtag #YesAllWomen took off, as a way for women to share stories about the ways that male violence and harassment have impacted their lives. Odds are, you’ve probably seen this in your Twitter and Facebook feeds—and the stories I’ve read were harrowing. Horrific stories of domestic abuse, rape, even murder—and even the more typical tales of girls groped on the subway, women who don’t feel safe walking around alone at night, women who are told they should feel flattered when they get catcalled on the street. And really—should it be considered “typical” for a woman to feel like a walk around the block is too dangerous to risk? (If you want to just get the Cliffs Notes version of this debate, check out this list of some of the most thought-provoking #YesAllWomen tweets.)
But even though the tweets themselves are scary, scarier still is the backlash and comments these statements have provoked from a few men, who have harassed and even threatened women who chose to speak out. Because what we all should be doing is coming together and figuring out how to solve this issue—not intimidating people who are brave enough to share their stories. And who better to start on the path toward solving this than parents like us, who are raising daughters and sons.
I want my daughters to be smart and strong and kind and loving. But because I also don’t want them to be victims, they’ve been taught stranger danger, instructed not to trust adult men, and sent for years of karate and jiu jitsu lessons, so they can fight back if something does go terribly wrong. These are not the lessons I want to be teaching my daughters.
I’m hoping that my friends with sons will be teaching them a different set of lessons—how to honor and respect the women and girls they meet. That no means no, no matter what a girl is wearing or whether she’s had a few margaritas. That women aren’t conquests—that their opinions, thoughts and feelings matter more than their level of hotness. That sometimes, “manning up” means stepping in when your friend is crossing the line with a girl—and not staying silent. Because that silence means that you’re supporting whatever actions your friend is taking.
But I’m worried, because I can already see it starting. Lately, the girls in my daughter’s fourth grade class have been complaining nonstop about the boys, who keep trying to boss them around and put them in their place. Right now, it’s “kids’ stuff,” fights over kickball games and whose turn it is to lead the line. My daughter comes home angry about the latest boy-related slights to her and her friends, and tries to work with me to come up with strategies to deal with it. I’ve been telling her to just ignore the boys and they’ll probably stop. But maybe that makes me part of the problem, by teaching her to stay silent and not speak up about the issues, like we’ve all been doing for far too long. Maybe we should be supporting our daughters as they fight to be treated like equals.
Tell us: What do you think of the #YesAllWomen movement? What lessons and values are you hoping to instill in your kids?
Image: Loving hands by CHAINFOTO24
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#yesallwomen, domestic abuse, Facebook, harassment, isla vista, lisa milbrand, parenting, parenting style, rape, Twitter | Categories:
News, The Parents Perspective
Monday, March 3rd, 2014
We all know today’s tweens and teens are prone to oversharing every aspect of their lives on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — and even adults are guilty of oversharing — but in the case of one young woman, college undergrad Dana Snay, her overshare accidentally cost her family thousands of dollars.
When Snay’s dad, a former headmaster at Gulliver Preparatory School, sued his former employer for age discrimination and won an $80,000 settlement, Snay couldn’t resist posting this cheeky Facebook update: “Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”
Her careless post started a domino effect: it was seen by other Gulliver students (in her network of 1,200 friends) and eventually made its way back to the school’s attorneys, who reported it back to the ruling judge, who then revoked the settlement. Even though the court stipulated that it was Snay’s parents who couldn’t talk about the case, her Facebook status still violated the confidentiality agreement.
Obviously, Snay was old enough to know better than to boast about something better kept private, but her mistake highlights our society’s addiction to social media and to oversharing (and oversharenting). Our constant need to be plugged in can lead us to weaken our sense of privacy and diminish our better judgment. So as your children being spending more time on social media, start teaching them the things they should never reveal (on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram)…no matter how tempting. Even if they have exclusive “friends only” settings on their social accounts, remind them to avoid sharing the info below for privacy and safety reasons.
1. Personal IDs. This seems like a no-brainer, but teach kids not to type social security numbers, credit card numbers, and account passwords of any kind (email, social media, bank) in any messages. They should also not share photos or videos that show credit cards in them. You can never be too careful…especially when child identity theft can be prevented.
2. Mailing/home address. Street View on Google Maps is just a few clicks away. (And no one wants a repeat Bling Ring situation.) And tell your kids to avoid posting photos or videos of the house (or selfies with the house in the background), especially with street signs in prominent view. And be careful about Foursquare, especially if you don’t want too many people to know where your kids are at certain times.
3. Medical history. There have been amazing stories of kids being diagnosed and saved through Facebook, but like personal IDs, medical information (e.g. specific conditions, diseases, and allergies) should be kept private. You never know what people may do with the info — child identity theft can also occur with medical records.
4. Specific vacation days. Sure, your kids may be excited about going to Disney World or Hawaii, but it’s probably best to avoid posting status updates that say, “Can’t wait to see Mickey in two weeks!”, or posting photos with the caption, “I can’t believe I’m in Hawaii right now!”. Don’t let others know when your house will be or is empty. Instead, encourage your kids to post photos and share stories after the vacation is over.
5. Problems with other people at home or school. It’s easy to vent about some annoying parent, sibling, friend, teacher, etc., online but you never know who will see a Facebook or Twitter status and be hurt. It may be hard, but it’s best to wait and talk to someone in person (whether it’s venting to an objective person or confronting the problem person). Embarrassment will be nixed and online fights and dramas will be avoided. Personal problems won’t drag on…and on.
6. Improper photos or videos. These include any photos and videos that can be misconstrued or misinterpreted, including ones showing nudity or risqué looks, hard partying, smoking, drinking, drugs, etc. Basically anything that show your kids in compromising situations. And have your kids ask their friends (and vice versa) to grant permission before any photos or videos are posted and tagged.
7. Sensitive information attached to a court case. Obviously, don’t do what Snay did. If your family is involved in or going to be involved in any court case, instruct your child not to reveal anything (even in person) before, during, or after the case…no matter the outcome. After all, no one wants two sentences, 140 characters, or a photo or video to be the cause of unhappiness (like, um, losing money) and unwanted media attention.
Tell us: What will you teach your kids not to share on social media?
Use our family internet-use contract to keep your kid’s digital interactions under control.
Image: Popular social media icons on iPhone via Shutterstock
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Monday, December 9th, 2013
Is there a Pinterest wiz you’re obsessed with? A Twitter feed that makes you laugh? Tell us about it! Nominations for the 2014 Parents Social Media Awards close today, so get yours in now. Last year’s contest opened readers’ eyes to some of the greatest voices in parenting on social media, and we’re excited to share even more. So nominate your favorites this year in our newly expanded contest!
We’ve opened the nominations up to include these social media categories:
-Best on Pinterest
-Best on Facebook
-Best on Twitter
-Best on Instagram
-Best on Tumblr
Then come back to vote for the finalists December 30, 2013 — January 13, 2014. You could help select a winner to be featured in an upcoming issue of Parents. So what are you waiting for? Get to it!
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