What Would Your Parents/Grandparents Think?

Aren't we all appalled with avalanche of sexual assault/harassment stories that are coming out?  We're probably getting tired of them.  That's not to trivialize it.  It's just overwhelming. 

One of the problems is that there is a fine line between assault/harassment and a person who THINKS he/she is being funny by doing something inappropriate for a laugh.  Neither are acceptable, but then intent is different. 

I want to say to those people who do something inappropriate for a laugh, what would your parents or grandparents think?   (I'm purposely excluding the assaulter/harassers here because I think they are beyond asking the question.  As I see it, they wouldn't care.)  Would you make a boob joke to your mother?  Would you grab your father's private parts for a laugh?  Would your grandparents think it was funny?

I am of the opinion that a lot of "stupid sh*t" is done as a result of being immature.  (I was going to say young, but I think immature better describes it.)  Again, I say, it does not make it acceptable, but it does explain why some (not all) of this happens when the perpetrators are under 30.  And let's face it, for a long time society has been laughing at the inappropriate.  Think back to silent movie slapstick or burlesque.  If it's been done on stage or in the movies, why isn't it funny in real life?  (Well, "real" life isn't a movie and the person who is being "picked on" is not getting a paycheck for it.)

A couple of years back, my son was "pants-ed" in the locker room after gym class.  The act was caught by the gym teacher and perpetrator (and my son) were sent to the Principal.  All the parents got a phone call.  Now, the perpetrator was a friend of my son's and my son was not upset at all.  But the incident was addressed.  I'm sure the parents had a "discussion" with him.  And I KNOW that this will never happen again.  Both boys were under the age of 12 at the time.  It doesn't make it right, but the fact that it happened when they were both young makes it a teachable moment.  A lesson that was learned and will stick.  (And just as a follow up, my son and this boy are still good friends and so are we with the parents.)  If the intent had been different, serious consequences would have occurred.  

It might be a sad commentary on society, but it's time to "teach" common sense.  Don't cross the street without looking both ways; don't touch a woman's breasts, butt or genital area.  We need to teach children (and perhaps ourselves) that we need to stop and think before we act.  We need to exhibit common courtesy!  And, yes, we need to follow "the golden rule."   What would our parents think if we did "x"?   Is this something my grandmother/grandfather would do? Or, in 20 years when I look back on this, am I going to be embarrassed by my actions?  

This IS an overly simplistic answer, but we need to start somewhere. We HAVE to do something. We can't change the past, but we CAN try to ensure a safer future.  


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