Tuesday, 24 March 2009

15


Some girls at my daughter's school are having sex before they have even started their periods.
Another girl, just 15, has been sleeping with a 28 year old illegal immigrant. When she was 13 years old, she had an abortion. Her mother, middle-class, well-off, is fine with it.
One girl never uses contraception, relying purely on the 'morning after' pill.

"These girls are trying to be adult. But they don't act like adults", I say to my teen.
She tells me that many pupils go through the school day high on coke or 'e'.
I'm restrictive. Over-protective. I ask to speak to the parents if she is going to a party. I want to know where she is, where she is going. Some of her friends can go out whenever they want. 

"This girl C. can just go out at midnight. Her parents say yeah, no problem, do you want cab fare? Everybody lies to their parents", my teen says. 
But she came home tonight complaining that she was being hassled by men on the street. 

"Twice this evening, on the way home from school. I told one to fuck off"
I look at her. "I know, I know", says my daughter. 
When I was her age, I got pestered all the time by men in the street. Once I told one who wouldn't leave me alone "hey baby baby baby" to fuck off and he punched me in the face. Hard. 
"Careful", I say. "These men are not nice. One minute they want you they next they are hitting you. Nice men don't pester young girls in the street."

10 comments:

  1. Being hassled like that can be hard to deal with, but some of the classic tactics like starting to pick your nose can be useful... as of course is a rape alarm. But you gotta let kids out to learn for themselves.... And as for coke it just turns people into airheads, it is really boring....

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  2. I'm only twenty and very thankful that my parents were strict when I was in high school. Your protection will keep her safe. Even smart kids make mistakes. She will appreciate it late.

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  3. I hated being hassled in the steet when I was that age. It made me feel completely sick. I don't get hassled anymore now that I'm 'over 25'. I used to think men were just creepy with everybody, but I now see that only disgusting weird men lech in the street, and they only do it to young girls because they know that it will bother them and they will not know how to handle it. It's a power thing. They get a kick out of the power of being able to make you feel bad.

    Your story about being punched is horrible. However, I do think telling guys like that to fuck off is important, as it shows them that you will stick up for yourself and not be a victim. But it's important not to sound too bothered by them as that only encourages them. Perhaps a very firm (but slightly bored) "leave me alone (sigh). I don't even know who you are!". This also makes it clear to passers by that it's not somebody you know (a reason people are often reluctant to intervene when a man is abusive to a woman in public).

    I'm so glad I'm not a teenager anymore. Maybe we should go on some women's self defence classes together?

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  4. So far such horrible men have left my daughter alone. I'd make them very sorry if they didn't! I knew this French bloke at my school who used to wolf-whistle at every girl he fancied as he walked past. One of them once shouted "Fuck off!" at him, but he just then made a vulgar remark. Then he kept on making even more vulgar remarks to other women. I suppose it depends on the person they are, or you are. Deep down I think he disliked girls; he had no friends who were girls, but many girfriends, but it's easier to have a girlfriend than a girl who's just a friend. You can shag somebody you don't like or respect, but can only be mates with somebody you DO! It's worthwhile learning self-defence, and taking precautions, like staying in well-lit areas with lots of people. But I like to try and strike a balance with that and allowing my girl to enjoy herself. I don't want to terrify her into staying indoors the whole time. Nor can I wrap her in cotton wool any more. (BTW: Today is my daughter's 14th birthday)

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  5. Wow! That's quite shocking. Whatever her mother thinks, that's an ordeal for a young girls body.

    You're absolutely right about those men. My mother was strict with me in these matters and I am very grateful to her for that now. Your daughter will be too.

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  6. The mother wants to be friends with her daughter. She was rebellious herself and didn't get on with her own mother.
    Personally I think, although it's nice to be friends with your kids, you only have one mother. Part of parenting is being disliked.

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  7. when I was at Manchester Poly (I'm old) we had a lesson in how to stay safe - male & female. We were advised to walk in the road if you felt you were being followed. If you were being followed the advise was to sing - it is very hard to vocalise when you are surprised & you're less likely to be hassled if you seem loonier than everyone else. It has definately worked for me, especially in NYC in the 80's.
    The other point I remember was the advise given to the guys; if they found themselves walking behind a solitary female they were told to cross over the road, tell the woman to let them get ahead so that the man would always be in the eyeline of the woman. Some of the blokes I knew took this on board and said it definately helped them feel less like potential monsters!

    Sad that kids want to rush into being adults at a time when adults are trying to elongate their own adolescence. The truth is that today's bodies are much more mature than those that went before (thanks to all that oestrogen in the water). Sadly, the emotional brain hasn't quite caught up yet. Sex has become a recreation sport for many under 16's in the absence of anything else to do. We must help our kids learn to occupy themselves in other ways.

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  8. PS - I don;t get this modern thing of mothers wanting their children to be their best friends. Haven't they got anyone their own age to play with??

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  9. Completely agree about acting loony to keep yourself safe. It really works!

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  10. Haha, I too have never been hassled when singing in the street... And it DOES make it easier to shout out if you're surprised by somebody.

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