I would consider myself against violence.
But a column called “Teach Your Daughters to Hit People Who Touch Them,” by the Houston Press’s Jef Rouner has been pretty persuasive.
I’ll admit reading this headline made me uncomfortable at first.
Isn’t violence always wrong? Does punching have to be the answer?
But as I kept reading, I grew more convinced.
Rouner mentions how the saying used to be if something were wrong, your child should go to the teacher.
Sounds about right… But is it?
Should your daughter go tell a teacher?
A woman is suing Houston because her rape kit sat untested for five years, Rouner wrote.
Countless Harvey Weinstein-esque stories have appeared in the news lately of women either reprimanded for speaking out or too afraid to speak out.
Even public officials are being accused, and it’s barely tainting their reputations.
Plus, human resource departments often prioritize the company’s best interest over its employees’. I don’t really blame them for that, but it still sucks.
All these instances exemplify vulnerable individuals looking to authority for help and being totally screwed over.
So I’m sorry. But my trust in authority is a little shallow right now.
Plus, telling people about the problem after doesn’t stop the problem during
In reality, would I teach a young girl to tell officials if someone touched her? Yes, I would. Because I choose to be optimistic — even if naively so — that they’d do something about it, that there would be some form of justice.
But confiding in leadership would not be the only task. I want girls to feel like they don’t have to solely rely on others for protection. I want them to feel like they could do something to protect themselves, God forbid they had to.
As Rouner eloquently wrote:
Is violence the ideal answer to sexual harassment? Of course it isn’t. The ideal answer is living in a world where this sort of thing is swiftly dealt with at all levels of authority with a zero-tolerance policy. Anytime y’all want to make that happen, you let me know. Until then, I’m teaching my daughter the proper way to throw a punch, and if you don’t like it, teach your kids the proper way to act.
If she’s punished, so what
If for some disgusting reason the school decided that your child was out of line for throwing a punch at a guy who tried to touch her without her consent, then yeah, she’ll probably be punished.
But you know what? It’ll be better to have a mark on her record than a mark on her well-being.
So yeah, parents. Teach your daughter to punch people who touch her.