Forgive me if this proposal is less than organized. I'm trying to wrap my brain around ideas and feelings I'm having difficulty putting into words. Things are screwed up. In our society, one in three women can expect some form of sexual assault, abuse, or worse in their lifetime. One in three.
Think of the people in your life, now think about one in three of them going through something unspeakable because the person who attacked them thought they were entitled to sex.
The measures in place aren't enough. They help— absolutely they help. Support groups. Counselors. Personal defense classes. Training to reduce the risks. But these organizations either assist people who have already become victims, or teach them to defend themselves against people who already think they're entitled. They respond to symptoms of a larger problem, rather than address its source.
And now, something curious (and unrelated) has happened. In the last 48 hours, LeVar Burton has raised almost $2,000,000 in a Kickstarter campaign designed to bring Reading Rainbow to elementary school kids across the country, and the world. $2M in less than 48 hours. I promise you, those dollars are coming from men and women who grew up watching programs like Reading Rainbow. It demonstrates (to me, at least) how teaching a child something important— at a time when it might leave a bigger impact— can influence them as adults.
Given that sex and gender identity are topics rarely touched on before middle school— isn't there more that we can do for our the generations that will follow us?
I'm not an expert. But I feel like there must be more that we can do: Write and publish more children's books where gender equality is an inherent part of the story. Produce shows that educate young children that boys and girls aren't all that different, and have the same rights and privileges. Do something to impress on impressionable minds that it's not okay to touch someone who hasn't told you they want to be touched.
If you disagree, tell me why. If you think I'm wrong, make your case. But this needs to be talked about, to the effect that some new course of action be taken.
We have to do better than this. We owe it to ourselves and the generation following us. So by all means, kick off a debate. So long as it goes somewhere.