My daughter has just turned 5. She is perfect- even is I do say so myself!! She came home from school last week and said a boy in her class kept trying to kiss her but she didn’t want to so she didn’t. All good! I say ‘ aw, well I hope you didn’t hurt his feelings’ WHAT???? I actually said that- as soon as the words were out of my mouth I retracted, I told her she never has to kiss anyone she doesn’t want to and she never has to hug anyone she doesn’t want to, that she is her own boss! She agreed and seemed happy enough but I was kinda shell-shocked at myself. MY DAUGHTERS FEELINGS SHOULD BE MY ONLY CONCERN. Have I been so ingrained in this patriarchal society that I was more concerned about some male that I didn’t even know- okay- they are only 4/5 and it is innocent but he should be taught not to kiss girls when they don’t want to be kissed and my daughter should be encouraged to stand up for herself and say NO. I hope she didn’t hear my first comment or if she heard it I hope she rolled her eyes at me and didn’t take it onboard. I want her to be kind but I also want her to stand up for herself and say no if she is ever in an uncomfortable situation. I have been in many an uncomfortable situation- standing at a bar when the local ‘character’ put his hand up my skirt, all the while still talking to a couple who had no idea what he was doing. I just froze- I was in shock, this guy- everyone knows him- probably 30 years older than me, he was affable- jolly- not a pervert! It didn’t make sense- I made my excuses and left their company- God forbid my daughter finds herself in a situation like this- I want her to turn around and slap the guy and tell everyone what he did. On more than one occasion a taxi driver (same taxi driver tried it a couple of times) leaving me home would drive on passed where I lived, stop down the road and lunge on top of me, I said no- and he stopped- after a while- he finally got the message- I was called a tease and left home. I felt disgusted- he didn’t, I felt shame, he didn’t. In university the ‘welsh guy’ (I called him that cause he was Welsh- see how clever!) came up to me and said, ‘you are good looking but I’ve heard your frigid’ what a chat up line- basically- ‘prove to me your not frigid’ I didn’t!! But again, I felt shame, he didn’t. There are countless other occasions where I have been made to feel sexualised and uncomfortable- too many to recount but I was the one that always felt the shame- not the man. I DO NOT want history repeating itself- I want my daughters to slap anyone who crosses the line, to tell on them, to SHAME THEM! I especially do not want to be the reason my daughters feel they can’t hurt a man’s feelings… How stupid! My daughter is already a better, stronger woman than I am and I need to nurture this. I need to retrain myself and I need to think before I speak. I realise this post isn’t about MS but I feel like I need to put this out there- I also realise my family might read this and they may be shocked- but maybe not shocked. Deep breath and publish.