Like many people, I’ve been thinking a lot over the last week about the “Me Too” movement on social media. I hope the momentum will lead to further conversation and action around boundaries, consent, and trauma caused by harassment and assault.
For those who are not sure what to do next, sexual health education is a great place to focus. In BC, we are lucky to have two amazing sex education gurus, Saleema Noon and Meg Hickling. Together, they have published a new book called Talk Sex Today. Meg Hickling also wrote a fantastic book called The New Speaking of Sex: What Your Children Need to Know and When They Need to Know It. If you are a parent or educator (or both), or anyone who is interested in changing the way we approach these issues, please take a look at these books. Pass them on to friends, teachers, and family members!
The take-home message from these books: It is essential that we start talking to kids about their bodies from preschool age, and that we continue our discussions all the way up through the teenage years. It is important to invite and answer all questions, even when we feel uncomfortable or awkward. We need to raise kids who respect other people’s bodies and have the emotional skills to recognize when they are being hurt and when their actions could hurt other people. This starts with having honest conversations between kids, parents, and educators.
It was moving and heartbreaking to see so many “Me Too” posts. I know there are many people out there who chose not to post, or who were not interested in being a part of yet another viral event, and I understand that too. No matter what your choices around this issue, I hope that we can continue talking about this, not only to change our current culture, but also to encourage more confidence and caring in the next generation.